Recently, I’ve experienced a change.
I don’t know if it was a change in heart, mind, spiritual, or a combination of the three, but it rippled through my entire life. It didn’t happen in one instance. I could track back the initial changes 2 years back and it’s been a long time coming since then.
Two years ago, my life was in shambles. I was physically unhealthy, emotional unstable, and had no motivation. Now, when life is that unharmonious, it’s hard to pinpoint the underlining issues that causes us stress. But now, in retrospect, I can acknowledge that it was the lifestyle I followed causing my issues. My negativity, habits, and mindset was behind all my turmoil. And while I knew what would make me feel better, I could never achieve it because I was standing in my own way. To become happy, I needed a change so disruptive to my current mentality that it would shift my entire life.
Cue the change.
One fateful night in January of 2015, I was introduced to the concept of veganism via a YouTube video of speech by Gary Yourofsky. This speech pointed out so many environmental, biological, and ethically reasons to cut animal products from the human diet; I was convinced and made the transition to go vegan that same night.
Now, I won’t go into too much detail (or start advocating the diet), but going vegan was an enormous disruption to me. Just think about how many times you consume food in a given day; and I was a big guy so my consumption was more than average. With every encounter with food, I was forced to evaluate my beliefs, customs, and mindset towards my meals. It was a pain, there’s no doubt about it, but it slowly got me in the habit of questioning my beliefs about everything; eventually questioning reality, but I come back to that.
Not only was I questioning myself internally about my decision to go vegan, everyone around me was questioning it too. I constantly got ridiculed and interrogate for my new-found beliefs. Let’s face it, vegans aren’t the most popular group.
But I had to develop sound reasons for my decision. Of course at the beginning, I tried to explain all the reasons I learned throughout my transitions, but I realized quickly that most people don’t listen and marked me off as pretentious. So I had to do some thinking to find the one, fundamental reason for going vegan that I could bring up in a pitch, which became the driving force behind my spirituality:
Every living creature has a soul.