Many are beginning to realize that veganism is not just a diet, but a way of thinking and living.
You may not have gone vegan yet, but three reasons could indicate that you are very close!
1. You love animals
You admire animals: how beautiful your cat is in its grace and independence, and what a true friend your dog has become to your neighbor.
At some point in your life, you felt a strong connection with your pet or some other animal. A deep connection that can best be described as “love” but which, in a way, goes beyond that overused word. This is pure, reverent love that does not need reciprocity.
You have found that by watching animals – wild or domestic, in real life or through a screen – you become a witness to a complex inner life.
When you watch a video of a man rushing to save a beached shark, your heart fills with relief and pride in the human race. Even if you instinctively swam in a different direction if you saw a shark swimming next to you.
2. You are frustrated by the lack of action on climate change
You are fully aware that time does not stand still, and we must come up with quick and powerful solutions to undo the damage we have already done to the planet.
You want all people to show love for our planet, our common home, and take care of it.
You understand that disaster awaits us all if we do not act together.
3. You are tired of all the suffering in the world
Sometimes you deliberately don’t read the news because you know it will upset you.
You despair that a peaceful and compassionate life seems so impossible, and you dream of a future where things will be different.
You are afraid to think about how many animals suffer in cages and die in slaughterhouses.
In the same way, you are sad to hear about people who suffer from hunger or abuse.
Vegans are not special
So you think and feel like a vegan. But vegans are not some special people!
Anyone can become a vegan, as they are just people who strive to be true to their feelings, even if it means going “against the wind.”
Vegans have discovered a deep connection between themselves and the world by choosing to live by their values. Vegans turn their pain into a goal.
“When you treat yourself with compassion, kindness, love, life opens up to you, and then you can turn to meaning and purpose and how to bring love, participation, beauty into the lives of others.”
These are the words of psychology professor Stephen Hayes in his 2016 TED talk, How Love Turns Pain into Purpose. Hayes calls the ability to interact and actively respond to emotions “psychological flexibility”:
“Essentially, this means that we allow thoughts and feelings to emerge and be present in our lives, helping you move in the direction you value.”
Move in the direction you appreciate
If you’re already thinking vegan, try sticking to the vegan lifestyle for a month or two and see if you can improve your relationship with yourself.
It may seem difficult at first, but you will soon find that you get much more than you donate.
If you need help or tips, read more articles on vegan social media communities. Vegans love to share advice, and almost everyone has gone through the transition to a plant-based diet at some point, so they can understand your feelings.
No one expects you to make an immediate and complete transition. But you’ll learn a lot along the way, and one day—pretty soon even—you’ll look back and be proud that you’re brave enough to take responsibility for your values in a world that doesn’t encourage it.