My Most Difficult Challenge…

“My most difficult challenge is the world of human indifference. It is standing in the line at the supermarket and realizing that for the majority of people in the world, the misery and slaughter of animals is not an issue.”

– Karen Davis

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About celestedimilla

Hey there. Iโ€™m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
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28 Responses to My Most Difficult Challenge…

  1. Mychael M. says:

    So true, Celeste. I will share that quote. I enjoyed Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s 10 stages podcast, “From Consumption to Compassion”. I’m sure, having done this for many years, Karen Davis doesn’t live in stage 5 all the time (grief, anger and sorrow) although I would guess that all of us bounce back to that occasionally, or often. It can, indeed, be overwhelming and daunting. To open our eyes to the horror and violence all around us and realize most everyone else is completely blind to it. I’m only vegan for a little more than a year, so this stage is pretty fresh for me.

    I wish I could tighten up this link, but the only way I could get it here it to copy and paste from the whole address. These are Colleen’s 10 stages. I believe it is a useful tool for those of us in the process:

    http://www.compassionatecook.com/writings/podcast-media/from-consumption-to-compassion-the-stages-we-go-through-when-we-stop-eating-animals-and-what-we-need-to-know-to-stay-hopeful-and-joyful

    • Hi Mychael! I love Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, but I haven’t listened to that podcast yet. Thanks so much for sharing it!!

      So you’re a newbie vegan like me – I’m at a year and a half now. I’m curious, what prompted you to go vegan? I always like to hear what inspired people to make the change.

      Hope you’re having a fabulous weekend. We’ve got beautiful weather, that’s for sure!! Celeste ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. That’s so true! They (we?) have no idea of the pain our consumption creates…

  3. I hate going to the supermarket. I hate walking past the aisles of death. I hate to see people buying dead flesh and not caring—yup a trip to the grocery store is like going to a cemetary for me.

  4. junefit says:

    While many are unaware of the tortures of farm animals, and are disassociated from the animal and what is in the package at the store, many either shut out listening and learning, others don’t care. A former friend of mine once commented when I gently told her 9 billion animals are slaughtered each year for food, and her reply was “that’s what they are raised for”. Never got over this comment. I think we need more Peta moral shock photos and videos. People need to see with their own eyes not just hear background noise.

    • Oh wow – I don’t know what I would say if someone told me that. I wonder how your friend would respond if you asked her if she thought it would be okay to “raise” dogs to be slaughtered and eaten.

      Still, I get where you’re friend’s coming from. It’s the common sentiment of our society and I used to buy into it myself. I look back and don’t get how I could ever have believed it was okay to eat meat, but I did. Like you say, society needs some serious wake up calls. Sometimes I think the Peta “shock” photos and videos backfire, however. No one wants to see them, so they mentally close their minds to the info. Not only this, but they also use cognitive strategies to rationalize what they see. They say things to themselves like, “these images are not the norm.” “Most farm animals are well taken care of.”

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment – I appreciate it! Celeste ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I agree that shock photos can backfire for many people, Celeste. We have so many psychological mechanisms for dealing with such images that they often do not have the desired effect. In fact, while I had seen and been appalled by some factory farm photos I’d seen here and there, the photo that stands out as having a profound affect on my thinking, and ultimately my actions, was of a gorgeous calf standing in a field of lush green grass against a bright blue sky. This bucolic image was marred only by the bright yellow tag in the calf’s ear depicting her number. It hit me like a brick that, well treated or not, whatever god or life force created such a complex and beautiful creature could not have intended for her to be tagged, numbered and slated for an early and unnatural death so I could enjoy a hamburger. A photo of a goat with a line spray painted down the middle of his back with the world “sold” spray painted on one side of his body had a similarly soul-chilling effect.

    • Hey Cowgirl! This is in response to you, but I don’t know if it will end up after your comment. I’ve got to figure out why there’s not a way to reply to all comments on my blog – it’s annoying! Anyway, great comment Cowgirl! It reminds me of the saying, “A little bit of sugar makes the medicine go down.” Softer sometimes makes a bigger impact. I love your story of seeing a gorgeous calf and the impact it had on you. Lovely and powerful!

      For me, Vegucated is what first got me thinking about what our society is doing to animals. Although this movie has some graphic images, it starts out light and casual and then gradually walks you toward the horrific images. This movie made such an impact on me! I think everyone should watch it.

      Hope you’re having a wonderful week chica! Celeste ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks for the Vegucated link Cowgirl – I’ll check that out! Celeste ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Anna says:

    I can not pass close to the meat department. They all smell blood.

  6. Mychael M. says:

    Hi, Celeste. Thanks for asking. Hereโ€™s the gist of my story.

    I’d been vegetarian in my younger days, and had put quite a bit of thought into eating animals and whether I should or not. Little by little, I went back to sleep, until about a year and a half ago, when I started focusing back on long-term health again. I am a, letโ€™s say, slightly more “mature” father of a young child, and realized I’d have to be in peak health to 1) keep up with him now, 2) watch him grow up, and 3) live long enough to see him well into adulthood. I found Colleen Patrick-Goudreau some months into my โ€œleaning in toโ€ a whole-foods, mostly plant-based diet. Although Colleen doesnโ€™t know me, I had started referring to her, when talking to my wife, as โ€œmy friend, Colleenโ€. I had already watched documentaries like Forks Over Knives and later read The Food Revolution (which had been on my shelf for years). To make a long story into blog-comment length, after listening to all of Colleen’s podcasts, I realized I was already vegan. I assume we are all this way. After peeling away layer after layer of carnistic training, built up over a lifetime, after removing all the unquestioned barriers, there appears that vegan gem inside. Like the ancient jade carver explained, the final sculpture was there all along, but just had to have the extraneous bits carved away. I had no more arguments or excuses to eat or use any kind of animal parts or secretions. Thus my vegan adventure began!

    • Thanks for sharing your story Mychael! It touched my heart – you’re an awesome dad!! It’s also really interesting that you say we’re all vegan and I think I agree with that. We’re taught to eat meat, which makes us blind to what we’re doing. If we have an experience that opens our eyes, I think you’re right – most of us will realize that we’re actually vegan deep down inside. It reminds me of the movie, “Vegucated”. When you take typical meat eaters and “show” them the impact of what they’re doing, they go vegan. Or people who watch “Forks Over Knives” and discover how unhealthful eating meat and dairy is, often cut down on it or give it up all together. Great story – thank you so very much for sharing it! Celeste ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. For many the thought doesn’t even enter their mind. I never even thought about it myself before going vegan. I was raised by my parents who fed us burgers, deer sausage, roast, bacon etc. it was totally normal to me. I chose vegan for my hubby’s health initially, but then I started to discover the horrific lives these poor dairy cows live and suffer and pigs etc. I was disgusted that I ever ate meat or dairy and find it repulsive to me now. I see so differently and hurt the same way when grocery shopping. I HATE grocery shopping now and purposely do not go by the meat areas and cheese areas. It was gradual for us so that’s what I have to remember and not be too judgmental towards other non-vegans, because I once was standing in their shoes but I completely changed. They can too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Hey Brandi! Your story is so similar to mine! I started eating plant-based for my husband’s health too and then my eyes gradually became open to the suffering of animals on factory farms. What really opened my eyes was the movie, “Vegucated.” Like you the thought of eating meat and dairy became repulsive. At first, I tried to tell everyone I knew about what I had discovered, but they didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t get this. After thinking about it, I realized that I probably wouldn’t have listened to someone spouting animal rights stuff before I went vegan either. I think it takes either hearing the message many times for it to sink in, or we need some kind of light bulb moment (like I had when watching “Vegucated”). Anyway, that’s why, like you again, I understand and am not judgmental toward non-vegans. I get where they’re coming from.

    Wonderful comment – thanks for sharing it! Celeste ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Michael Lane says:

    So true… and I think the main reason is that people are just disconnected… so that they can love Fido and Fluffy and eat every other animal… or wear them… whatever… connection starts to change things… it certainly started my journey. Thanks for your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Michael! I agree with you about the disconnection. When I think about it now, I don’t understand how I used to eat meat AND considered it cruel to kick a dog. This doesn’t make sense to me now. Connection is powerful! For me, the connection came from watching the movie Vegucated. Thank you for your comment – I appreciate it!! Celeste ๐Ÿ™‚

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