If you would have told me in 2014 that I would be meditating almost every day and that I would stop eating meat and all animal products I would have told you that you were crazy!
But here I am, 4 years later, almost a full-fledged hippie!
I can’t remember the last time I ate meat and meditation has become such an integral part of my life, I feel like I’d go insane without it!
So then, what the hell happened to me?
I used to be the guy who thought meditation was only for tree huggers and that eating meat was simply what it took to be a man.
Back then, I thought “real men” didn’t have feelings and that ordering a salad at dinner would immediately revoke your man card.
It never occurred to me that there might be another way until one day I was fed up trying to pretend I was someone I’m wasn’t.
Meditation led to veganism
The truth is, I never really liked eating meat. Sure the occasional ribeye was okay, but the only time I ever ordered steak was when I was on a date in order to impress a girl.
Furthermore, I was always a sensitive kid and the idea of pretending to not have feelings seemed foreign and almost unnatural to me.
So there I was, a man in a world not built for men like me.
I didn’t like meat and I couldn’t help but be sensitive to myself and the people around me.
I felt lost and almost without a tribe.
Of course, I didn’t dare mention this to any of my guy friends for fear of being outcast or even worse (in my young, naive mind), being called gay.
Now, I’m not going to say that my meditation led to me to go vegan but in hindsight it’s very possible that that’s exactly what happened to me.
When I sat down for my first meditation session back in 2015 all of these fears and anxieties became painfully clear to me. The more I meditated the more I realized I had spent my whole life putting on one mask after another.
As I continued to meditate and learn more about myself, I came to the realization that life isn’t about discovering who you are…life is about remembering who you’ve always been.
Meditation has allowed me to embrace the sensitivity I had in my soul and in reality, gave me permission to start being myself.
The deeper I went into my meditation practice the more suffering I found and before I knew it, my life’s mission had completely changed from the accumulation of things to helping the people around me!
That’s the thing about meditation, the more we see our own suffering the more we want to help ease the suffering of others.
Meditation reveals the truth about the human condition and once you see this truth you can’t help but feel connected to everyone on a deeper and more spiritual level.
Of course, this connection doesn’t just stop with humans because the human condition is really the shared condition of this one life.
That is, humans, animals, plants and everything else that resides on this earth are all sharing this one existence in time together.
This shared life and shared suffering only points to one thing: that we are all connected on a fundamental level.
The minute you realize that what animates you and your body is the same thing that animates the body of a chicken or a cow the thought of creating more suffering in this one life becomes unbearable.
Meditation, and the observation of my suffering is what led me to become vegan because I could no longer stand the thought of harming an animal that was fundamentally the same as me.
A reason to end suffering
I could list the many, many health and environmental benefits of being vegan but that’s not what this post is about. If you are curious about those benefits it won’t take you long to find mounds of data to support the vegan diet from a health and environmental perspective.
This post, however, is about something more than just being healthy. This post is about realizing your fundamental nature and extending the same courtesy to all living beings.
There’s something that happens to you when you stop eating meat. Aside from the health benefits there are serious implications on the soul when you cut out all animal products.
We are all but one little drop in a vast ocean, but we do have the power to make tremendous waves by the choices we make.
By abstaining from meat and animal products we announce to the world that we do not believe in, nor condone, the propagation of suffering in this world.
Immediately, we become an agent for peace and happiness on this earth and that small and yet profound declaration has the power to cleanse our souls.
To choose forks over knives means to recognize that we are not alone and that we are all part of the same phenomenon called life.
I believe the ultimate goal of the human soul is to realize that we are all connected by love. We have evolved over millions of years as a species to take care of our most basic needs which means we should be focusing our efforts on the evolution of our souls.
Part of this evolution means that we stop creating suffering—whether for ourselves or for others.
The vegan diet is one small, yet profound way we can begin to heal our spirits and begin to create a peaceful and benevolent world.
This week, I encourage you to think about the impact you are having in this world and on your soul. Think about how you want to show up every day and ask yourself if creating suffering for animals and others in this world is worth ordering that steak at dinner.
You might find, like I did, that your appetite for meat was purely conditioned and that once you stop, you will begin to remember who you’ve always been.
We all have the power to make a tremendous impact on the suffering on this planet by choosing to be conscious of the fact that we are all connected and that we are all one.
So, if only for one meal this week you decide to order a salad instead of chicken, pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for choosing peace over pain!
Thank you as always for reading this week’s blog. We know this topic can be divisive so we would love to hear from you even if you’re not vegan!
We are all in this together and the goal of this post is to create a positive dialog so please be sure to drop us a line or leave us a comment.
See you next week and until then…
Many many blessings