Becoming a parent is one of those things in life that change you. Knowing that you’re responsible for another human being can rock your world! You question things you gave little thought to before because you know that who you are will make an impact on your impressionable child.
Today I want to share a touching story of how becoming a parent changed my blogger buddy, Mychael.
What Becoming a Parent Taught Me About Compassion
Celeste has asked me to tell my story about how I became vegan- thank you for asking, Celeste. Here is the condensed version:
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, let’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 “leaning in to” a whole-foods, mostly plant-based diet. Although Colleen doesn’t know me, I had started referring to her, when talking to my wife, as “my friend, Colleen”. I had already watched documentaries like Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, Forks Over Knives and later read The Food Revolution (which had been on my shelf for years).
To make a long story into blog entry 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 a vegan gem inside. Like the ancient jade carver explained, the final piece was there all along, but just had to have the extraneous bits whittled away. I had no more arguments or excuses to eat or use any kind of animal parts or secretions. Thus my vegan adventure began!
Since becoming vegan, I have felt better physically. I know I am walking lighter on our planet. Honestly, though, the best part about it came to me as a surprise. When I was eating animals and their secretions, I unwittingly kept them at a distance. Now that I don’t eat them, and do my best to not participate in their exploitation, my heart has naturally opened to them. They have become included in, as Will Tuttle says, my circle of compassion.
Gary Francione talks about non-humans being part of the moral community. When our circle of compassion grows to include more beings, it naturally follows that we feel better, cleaner, about the lives we are living, doesn’t it?
I’ve been asked for a link to Mychael’s blog, but he’s not a blogger. I met him through Yelp, and you can find more about him and check out his reviews here: Mychael’s Yelp profile.
Photo courtesy of Cute Baby Animals.