I’m coming out, again.
In 2019, I purposefully decided to take the plunge with the understanding what I was going to witness would not be easy, but in truth was so much harder for those experiencing it.
I watched Cowspiracy, followed by Earthlings, Forks Over Knives, What The Health, and then…The Game Changers.
In my heart I’d already made the decision.
I’d decided I no longer felt alignment with my dietary choices and that this was the moment I was going to choose another way. A way that didn’t perpetuate suffering. A way that didn’t continue the disconnect between what was on my plate and the pain caused to animals to provide food for my consumption.
A split-second shift from one to the other
In the first few weeks I had a fear-based reaction where I was focusing on what can I eat? what can I eat? what can I eat? (not pretty but the truth.) It took a while for that to leave me (a couple of months), and then I relaxed and settled into the adventure of discovering all the wonderful meals I could create.
It’s a very personal choice and as individuals we have to feel we can live with our choices. I no longer could; I was experiencing the energetic frequency of shame whenever I consumed cheese or added cow milk to coffee. Good shame tells us when we are doing something that goes against our values or when we are being inappropriate with someone else. I wanted to see if I could make the shift.
I discovered that in just one month I was saving*:
- 124,900 litres of water
- 82 sq metres of forest
- 273 kg of CO2
- not to mention the lives of animals
Prior to making the shift, I was vegetarian for 33 years. (My Mum had called it a phase I’d grow out of.) I understood that I had already been contributing to those figures but there was more to do.
Changing our eating habits seems to be linked to our survival instinct. Anyway, it was that way for me.
Now when I eat and shop, I know that I’m contributing to kindness towards animals’ and the environment. I feel in greater harmony with the planet.
In an interview with Radio Times in 2019, David Attenborough explained:
“I haven’t been a doctrinaire vegetarian or vegan, but I no longer have the same appetite for meat. Why? I’m not sure. I think subconsciously maybe it’s because of the state of the planet.”
Attenborough has since said that he would occasionally still eat meat, consuming “poultry a bit, but mostly fish,” but acknowledges that this is a “middle-class hypocrisy” that leaves his conscience feeling “troubled”.’
In 2020 Joseph Poore, an environmental researcher at University of Oxford, calculated that for the 350,000 people expected to take part in Veganuary, this would save as much greenhouse gas emissions as moving 160,000 cars from the road or about 400,000 to 500,000 single flights from London to Berlin.
A Shift to Kindness
For me going plant-based is about extending compassion even further, while at the same time feeling I’m restoring the planet. I’ve shifted from to kindness.
In a report on the UN News Centre website in November 2006, it states “Cattle-rearing generates more global warming greenhouse gases, as measured in CO2 equivalent, than transportation, and smarter production methods. Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems.” – senior UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) official Henning Steinfeld.
Cattle ranching accounts for 80% of current deforestation throughout the Amazon.**
Animal agriculture is also responsible for water shortage
“An average person uses 1500 gallons per day, approximately 50% of this is related to the consumption of meat and dairy products. This is because the animals use very water intensive grain, which is what they eat.” – Heather Cooley, Water Program Co-Director of Pacific Institute.
What we eat matters for so many reasons.
David Attenborough has issued many dire warnings:
“Human beings have overrun the Earth.
Half of fertile land on Earth is now farmland,
70 per cent of birds are domestic, majority chickens.
We are one third of animals on Earth.
There’s little left for the world. We have completely destroyed it.
The planet can’t support billions of meat-eaters.
If we all ate only plants, we’d need only half the land we use at the moment.
We must change our diet.
The true tragedy of our time is still unfolding – the loss of biodiversity.”
Like every choice we make it can be expensive or economical; what you purchase and how much are you willing to make from scratch.
Make it fun
I’ve found this shift can also be lots of fun; I’ve been trying out loads of different meal options and love experimenting. I’ve also conducted rigorous market research 🤣 trying out pies and pizzas to find the ones I love – Clive’s Pies are the best (IMHO), and the M&S Plant Kitchen Woodfired Margherita Pizza is a good one (add your fave toppings).
Then there’s all the other goodies and delights out on the market, and for some odd reason more chocolate bar options than there are probably fish in the sea.
Perhaps if you are considering making the shift, take the step to vegetarian first, and then move to plant-based eating. Personally, I feel it’s an easier route and your gut will thank you for a softer transition.
And if you’re worried about your protein intake, look to Matt Pritchard (who completed 10 ironman triathlons in 10 days), Lewis Hamilton or Ultra-runner, Carl Adams, as examples that it’s possible – you just have to be curious to make it work. If you’re looking for support, there is loads out there.
You can start here:
Veganuary.com – isn’t just for January
Online nutritional coaching and emotional support are also available 1-2-1 as you make the move to plant-based eating.
73 cows – beautiful and no distressing images
Earthlings – Heads up: this film contains some graphic imagery of the day-to-day reality for many animals. The first 20 minutes can be safely viewed if you don’t think you can watch the whole thing.
Why did I take so long to tell you? Because I wanted to be certain this was something I could manage and maintain. Some people are very judgemental about whether an animal communicator can be this or the other, and I wanted to feel a grounding in my choice.
Do I wish I’d made the shift sooner? Yes, I came to it late, but I’m here now.
I hope that you will meet me on my journey. This is my truth.
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With kindness and grace,