WHAT IS A VEGAN LIFESTYLE? WE’RE HERE TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS

by | January 23, 2018

What is a vegan lifestyle? I wonder if there is a word so full of misconception – Perhaps feminism! – that is, by the way, an excellent topic to go through some happy day.

I am very glad to know that now veganism is the new top trend. It is a very pleasant and spectacular event when fashion brings something really positive not only for the crowd’s brain but for the planet’s and society’s health. But what really is a vegan?

Frequently, when we hear talking of veganism, words like “extremist”, “hippie”, and even “naive” form a cloud surrounding the topic, and brunches of prejudice grow in a cage-like shape around this term that is barely comprehended. Also associated with immature, misinformed and impulsive convictions, it is sprinkled with a deaf condescension from the peoples that try to explain veganism to themselves in an effort to break it down into denial of facts. Some think it is “just” a plant-based diet to stay fit, or the misfortune of animal protein allergic people, or the silly refusal to get a pair of leather boots because you believe cows are important as dogs and people. In the worse of the cases, you might be the freak chained to the zoo!

There is clearly a resistance on going from one point of view to another and understand what this attitude towards life is about. Behind the veil of prejudice and misconception, what is veganism after all?

For most of the vegan-to-be, the starting point is vegetarianism. Then they start to wonder what is a vegan lifestyle, and is it right for me? People start by cutting with meat and then, once in this new “awareness network” tend to extend into wider and more impactful choices. Even when it has origin essentially on ego, like to be vegetarian for fitness purpose, we naturally become able to see the big picture and face the path of everything that we consume. By choosing which pathways we want to support and empower, we are contributing to design of our society. What?

Again, the voice of the tiny powerless citizen comes with the defeated idea – or excuse – that we can not change the systems and industries of the world.

This idea is that one letting bright convictions down. How can we transform it into a constructive practice? What is a vegan lifestyle?

We are used to set up goals for our own lifespan, and whatever has impact beyond that seems unreal, unreachable and not our business…

Ups!

I think we’ve just hit the root point! Education: the root of society, the soul of the family, the core of our beliefs and behaviour.

Education is a cultural construction that packs all our truths, and we are so loyal to what we have learned that we protect it despite all the contradictions and facts.

From the perspective of the mainstream mind ground, veganism seems very maladjusted to the horizon of normality that most of us have been taught.

Is this what keeps us from embracing sustainable and compassionate attitude towards life?

When we choose to adopt a new life attitude we need to upgrade our mind and change our software in order to succeed. The same happens for example with addiction, as our body, the hardware, tends to push us to the previous mind-body chemistry we are familiar with. To engage with a whole new basis of principles requires time and perseverance, to educate ourselves on the guidelines of the pack of truths we want to take through life.

In this education defined by a passive reproduction of the same patterns, we keep on feeding a sterile and entropic structure, that supports the current functioning system.

I defend that the gateway of this labyrinth is to engage with a different education model that allows us to get updated and adapt; to ground with the self-acknowledgement that the greatest manifestation of loyalty to our roots and humaneness is our capacity to adapt and evolve. Like we’ve been doing for thousands of years on Earth, through experience, observation and interpretation, creating culture.

It is a fact that in the current times we are drowned in an ocean of information that keeps us away from being aware of many aspects of reality. And as we start pushing the string, more and more facts, enter our reality, on the way to get digested and addressed, snowballing at speed of light. It feels that we have no control at all. And we don’t.

But if we do have control about what to put in our plate, how we nourish our body and mind, what to wear and who we are paying, that is a power we should excerce and gift we should use to spread goodness.

With the transition to veganism, the revolution of our standards reflects in a consumerism list that aims to prioritize a global well being.

A common obstacle that comes up is the economics of the ecological and fair trade market is sometimes hard to afford for many people. My favourite solutions are homemade, the locally produced, and second-hand purchase, that altogether balance nicely and have a positive social and environmental impact.

To step forward, taking responsibility along with freedom, collectively, as citizens generating and celebrating culture resembles, in my understanding, the core of veganism.

After cleansing away all the misconceptions and prejudice, to live more ethically only takes a change of perspective, and veganism falls from the utopian cloud to the fertile soil of real life.

Trendy or not it is important to keep up and expand the work of protecting and regenerate the balance of our home, and the good news is that we don’t have to be superheroes, only to choose, consciously from the comfort of our busy lives. Does that sound powerful? Suddenly it feels like we have the world in our hands.

In a simple way, we can define veganism has a life attitude that supports sustainability and boycotts any kind of exploitation and waste, in all the possible ways of the quotidian. With the bonus of staying healthy while licking our fingers!

I believe it is worth to adopt a mindset that fuels this kind of life attitude, and that it can only contribute to the rise of a compassionate and sustainable cultural heritage for human societies.

Standing for this trend to have the strongest impact on cultivating generations of paradigm shifters, I invite you all gorgeous educators to enjoy together with your treasures the words and beautiful illustrations of “Lexy, the Vegan Boy” by Barbara Magalhães – digital version available here –> Lexy, The Vegan Boy 

 

Do you think you might find yourself wondering, ‘what is a vegan lifestyle and is it right for me? Let us know in the comments.

 

Andreia Luzia

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