My new green journey started off with a bang. I read a bunch of cookbooks and vegan articles, and found myself shopping at Natural Grocers on a mission. I purchased Miso, and Shoyu, sea vegetables, nutritional yeast, moshi, and a whole list of other items I had never in my life heard of. I was VEGAN!!!
Along with my newfound list of grocery items, was a new attitude. I was a kombucha- drinking, veggie-eating, judgmental jerk. I was telling everyone about my new vegan lifestyle. I was eyeballing others’ grocery items in disgust, as though I held some secret that they were too dumb to know about – especially if they were purchasing the fecal soup chicken products. Gross.
It wasn’t intentional. I just found myself doing this (and admittedly still do on occasion.) I felt like I was doing all I could to save the planet, while all these OTHER people could care less. I had to give myself a kick in the ass and realize that not everyone cares about what I am doing, and being a judgmental jerk is not going to help the cause.
I learned very quickly that people are not inclined to share in the vegan or zero-waste ways if you are trying to shove it down their throats. I also learned that sometimes I have to allow some failure – even my own.
I love cheese. And fish. And I slip up on occasion. THIS IS NOT THE END OF CIVILIZATION if this happens. And it WILL happen. Allow yourself, and others, the freedom to try out being vegan, or even vegetarian, and be forgiving. Be informative. It is not an all-or-nothing way of life. If you eat a piece of fish, you are not kicked out of the vegan club. The key to this way of life is doing less harm to our planet. It is about caring enough to even want to do it. It’s about educating yourself, and sharing that education with people who see you making a difference.
We are holding the planet in our hands. How we choose to handle that is up to all of us. Don’t be judgy. Make a difference by starting with yourself. Learn something every day that you can share. Do something everyday that keeps you on this voyage of change. Understand that you, as one person, can make a difference and that difference will be contagious without battering people over the head about it.
Here is a fun little tool to keep you motivated: http://vegetariancalculator.com/
To date, I have saved 151 animals, 1,207 pounds of CO2, and 146 pounds of meat just myself. I have three children who have had close to the same impact EACH. Your change does matter.
Until next time…