There are so many happy thoughts and feelings that come up to me when the holidays come around. The obvious ones being that its a time to spend with family and friends...instant happy! Eating comfort foods made by your grandma that you grew up eating. If you are no longer living in your hometown, you get to come home and settle back to your roots... you get to come back to the place where you can truly be yourself.
What's better than that?!
Thanksgiving holds a very special place in my heart for these few obvious reasons, but there is one reason in particular that makes it a very special time for me... Six years ago, to the day of Thanksgiving, I made a life-altering lifestyle change that trickeled through all levels of myself in ways that I never thought it would. Thanksgiving day 2011 was the day that I took the biggest step in becoming who I knew I needed to be; who I wanted to be; who I always was, deep down inside of my soul... I was just too afraid to stray away from the herd and do what I knew was the right choice for me on my journey.
Thanksgiving day 2011 was the day that I chose to eradicate all animal-based products from my life, and adopt a whole foods, plant-based diet… It may seem a bit silly that all of that build-up came down to me coming out about choosing to go veg, but I can’t think of something that was more nerve-racking... Hundreds of scenarios of awkward conversations that would arise at the dinner table when I'm there with just the sides and salads danced around in my head. "What are you going to eat?", "Humans are at the top of the food chain, animals were put here on this earth for humans to eat!", "But our teeth…" (I can’t handle this argument), "You’re going to wither away!" And my favorite… "Where will you get your protein?" These are questions that were posed to me when I came out to my family and friends about this choice I was making for myself and questions that I still hear to this day six years later.
The choice to go plant-based was so easy for me and it was something that I would’ve done years ago… The only thing holding me back was how I felt the reaction from my family and friends would be for going so far out of the box from how I was raised. Criticism of a personal life choice from people who love me... This was a big obstacle for me to get over.
I really had to think back to what my reasoning was to go plant based so many years ago, because at this point in my journey, there are more reasons than just one. My reason back then... Netflix. For those that know me on a personal level, know that I am big into self-education and by watching documentaries like Cowspiracy, Food, Inc., Vegucated, and Forks Over Knives (just to name a few), I learned the truth about where my food was truly from, and the processes which food goes through prior to being put on the shelves at the grocery store. Without the graphic explanation (because you can all get to that point in your journey if you wish to know), I was appalled by what I learned. Along with that, I have very deep rooted feelings regarding environmentalism and conservation of the planet. I felt is though I'd be a bit of a hypocrite by now knowing that going plant-based lowers your carbon footprint, but choosing not to just over social pressures and traditions. These were my two biggest reasons for my new lifestyle choice. There is an also another big one that hadn’t really made much sense to me until later down the line when it became a priority for me…
What's this seemingly simple choice to go plant-based really mean to me?
"The main thing for me is just living a life where my actions are in alignment with who I am and who I want to be."
"Ahimsa" is the Buddhist principal of compassion and non-violence toward all beings. Being in alignment with this principal is to live a life where we are causing no harm to others, whether the other is a chicken, a dog, a fish, the environment, or another human being. This company was founded on this principal, and each Mala is made from responsibly-sourced, vegan materials. I mean, if you have the choice to live a life of love, or not... why wouldn't you always choose love?
Always Choose Love.