Sunday, September 23, 2012

What We Don't Eat

Being vegan for Elena is about what we don't eat as well as what we do eat. We don't eat animals. Elena and I participated in the Cincinnati Walk for the Farm Animals yesterday. Elena proudly carried the chicken poster she picked from the Farm Sanctuary's table of stickers and posters and held it up high for all cars and park goers to see. I am proud to see my daughter living according to her values and letting her actions influence others. It was a beautiful day and we had a wonderful time. There was a vegan picnic after the walk, live music and many compassionate, friendly people to meet.

Compassionate kid with her poster
The best part of the walk for me was listening to Dr. Will Tuttle, the author of The World Peace Diet which is an Amazon best seller! According to his website, he is decribed as "Dr. Will Tuttle, author of The World Peace Diet, is a pianist, composer, educator, and recipient of the Courage of Conscience Award. A former Zen monk, his Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley focused on educating intuition and altruism. He presents ongoing events promoting peace through compassion for all life".

I read The World Peace Diet earlier this year and  recommended it previously through Thierbach Vegan Adventure. I remember reading the book in the dermatologist waiting room (when the lorikeet bit off my mole if anyone remembers that previous post) when I read the chapter on fish. Tears streamed down my face as I learned things about the treatment of fish that I felt stupid for not figuring out previously.  This was such a powerful and informative chapter for me. Imagine how vegan geeky I felt yesterday when Dr. Will Tuttle mentioned fish while sitting in front of me after the walk. There were maybe 125 people who came out to walk and hear him speak. The setting was intimate and we met him afterwards. He signed the chicken poster you see above.

Dr. Will Tuttle

As he reiterated the environmental impacts of eating meat and dairy explaining how much more water and land are needed, he encouraged everyone to become vegan and then to encourage others to become vegan. This spoke to me as many friends have made it clear that they think our veganism is great but they are not willing to change and are almost looking for repect or an OK for them to eat whatever they want. It is not OK to use more water, land and resources than necessary. It is not OK to eat whatever you want and no regard for anything or anyone else. I understand that not everyone is ready to give up animal products however how can everyone not reduce the amount they consume when they know the negative impacts of their choices? I would like to think that people don't know because of course, they would change if they knew. His speech inspired me to have a different conversation the next time I am asked to respect or OK someone else's choices. Instead of politely changing the subject because I am in uncomfortable territory, I will conjure the eloquence, bravery and grace of the Will Tuttles, the Colleen Patrick-Goudreaus and the Elena Thierbachs.  I will respectively point out the environmental impact and health impact of their choices and suggest they learn as much as possible about what they eat so they can truly make the best choice for not only themselves but also for the animals and for the Earth.

My vegan inspiration

I found out today that Will will be speaking at World Peace Yoga next Tuesday. Jason, Elena and I are going! The event is open to the public and free. Click the link to learn more. I hope to see you there.

To World Peace,

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