Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My Journey so far...

This past summer, my husband and I bought a share in a local organic farm for the purpose of buying fresh produce. The owners were also raising chickens and beef for those who wished to buy organic meat.
For approximately 18 weeks I would stop by after work and pick up our share. Each Tuesday around 5 o'clock, I would pull into the lane way of their farm, and slowly make my way up toward the barnyard at the back of this lovely old homestead. I enjoyed driving slowly watching the chickens flutter out of my way and then pull into my parking space. Often there were children about, with their ponies, or retrieving young animals who had escaped their pens. It seemed idyllic to me, a really healthy place to raise a family. These children would know where their food came from, both vegetables and meat. And for this reason, I respected these people as farmers and parents.
While I choose to try to follow as best I can, a vegan diet, I am quite conscious that this is my choice only.
For a while after I had made the transition from vegetarian to vegan, my attitude and mind were very judgemental and closed. I was angry about the cruelty inherent in factory-farming practice and was angry with the people around me who continued to eat meat, all the while listening to me rant and rave about the injustices in our meat-eating culture and yet not feeling the least bit compelled to make the same changes I was making. How could they be so insensitive? Why couldn't they see what I was seeing?
Well, as it was pointed out to me very gently by some friends, being close-minded and judgemental really just locked me in to my own little world. Of course, I did not want to be in that constant state of hopeless, depression, feeling that the problem was overwhelming and what could I, one little person, possibly do to change things.
Fortunately, my mood and attitude continued to evolve. I am still committed strongly to my decision to choose a vegan diet and at the same time, I accept that people around me, even my own family (shockingly!!) still want to eat meat!
This summer, when I watched the chickens, wondering about just "being" chickens, I thought "they don't know what awaits them; they are going to end up on some one's plate".
But then it dawned on me: come to think of it, I don't know what awaits me either!

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