My goodness, as I sit down to write the first post of 2015, I am keenly aware that it has been two weeks since my final post of 2014. That is the longest time I have been away from my readers and from writing for this website. Over the holiday period I gained four new subscribers. I would like to welcome you. It is always so gratifying to know that I am on the right track and that people find what I am writing about interesting and hopefully, inspiring.
Christmas was busy-a good busy, with a family and friends Xmas party, a Xmas Eve Celebration with all of my family and Xmas day with my daughter and her family. When my family headed for home on the 26th, my husband and I rested for one day (I didn’t even change out of my jammies) and then put Xmas away inside the house. Down came the tree, much to Chimpy’s dismay. He now has to sleep in a shopping bag, rather than safely under the tree. The Santas, the angels, the ribbons and all the bells and baubles have been stowed safely away in one trunk (which my granddaughter calls a treasure chest), one Hope Chest, some boxes and some bags, all out of sight and out of mind until next Xmas.
For the first time in the history of our Xmases together, we took a week off to rest and relax. There was one side trip to spend New Year’s Eve with our grandchildren so Mom and Dad could go out, but other than that, we stuck close to home. We both were tired. But I think we are good now, ready to tackle and enjoy the New year and all that it will bring, ready to set and achieve some new goals.
I am not one to make New Year’s Resolutions, mostly because they put enormous pressure on people to achieve what was not possible in the past. You know the standards. People sign up at a gym because they want to get fit or lose weight or both, others quit smoking and some say they will not drink alcohol anymore. And they attack it with a vengeance, often tackling two or more resolutions at the same time. Talk about setting oneself up for failure, disappointment and self-judgement. So, it is not for me.
But, I do like to set goals. These can be set or made at any time of the year, whenever the need or urge arises. They don’t necessarily follow a season of over indulgence, with me trying to get my licks in before I give up whatever it is I am overindulging in at the moment, for fear of not being able to have it in the future. Plus, I have the luxury of setting one goal at a time-a goal whose time has come, as it were. I will give you a for instance. This summer after attending the Engine2Diet Plant Stock weekend retreat in New York and after listening to the many plant based experts there, I decided that I would eliminate plant oils from my diet-for my health- one goal, set at one time, for one purpose. To increase my chance of success, I did not invoke the never again rule that so many of us use. I had to be okay with having some oil in the occasional meal out. Fast forward to six months later and I feel that I have achieved my goal. Oil free living is part of my everyday life, apart from the occasional slip (like cookies at Xmas).
So, if you are thinking that my newest goal is related to my advocacy for the freedom of nonhuman beings, then you would be right. My goal is to read more books of authors who are invested in this AR (animal rights) movement, which has become so near and dear to my heart. I want to do this because it helps me to fine tune my advocacy, it helps me to write with some knowledge about current beliefs within this community and I hope that it will help me be braver in speaking when people ask questions or comment on my choices.
I took advantage of the mini break and started reading Melanie Joy’s book, Why We Love dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows. This book had been sitting in the library of my Ipad for more than a year. As is the case with many of the books that I read, once I started it, I could not put it down. Now, I have been through it only once and am going to read it again before I review it for you, but at first glance, there were several points made that perfect sense to me and changed significantly the way I see things.
Here are several for tidbits for you:
Carnism is the belief that it is ethical and acceptable to eat some nonhuman beings and not others.
Carnism is a violent ideology that relies on invisibility and myth to survive and to thrive.
Carnism can be exposed and defeated by bearing witness to the atrocities perpetrated in its name.
Asking people to become vegan will not bring about the fall of carnism.
Exposing the truth of the cruelty hidden by businesses with a vested interest in maintaining the staus quo, as well as asking people not to be complicit will.
Annie’s Vegan View
Being open to the perspectives and knowledge of those who make the freedom of nonhuman animals their life’s work is empowering.
Being clear without condemning allows people to hear the frightening facts without feeling that they are being attacked.
May all beings be happy and free.
12 thoughts on “My Vegan Advocacy Goal for 2015”
Happy 2015!!! … First, I have not forgotten the cookies, haven’t made them yet, but have not forgotten and will definitely do it and think of you and your mom. Second, love the photos and Chimpy is so cute!!!!!
Thanks for sharing about Melanie Joy’s book. I love all the points you picked out to share. To expand on those briefly, especially about “asking” carnivists to be vegan doesn’t work…sadly, due to experience within my own family I know that even showing the truth also doesn’t work in some cases. But I do think that giving a voice to our fellow beings who don’t speak human languages is absolutely vital to bringing about change. It takes time and therefore it goes to reason that as many different voices/examples as possible, the better. Showing the atrocities is most definitely necessary and in some cases effective. And wonderful families like Esther’s (http://www.estherthewonderpig.com/) (thanks for introducing me to Esther, Have Gone Vegan!) are most definitely necessary because they show how, for lack of a better word, elightenment happens through love. Were it not for knowing Esther, her family might very well have not become vegan. Had I not known my cow friend (story for another time), I very well might not have become vegan even though I can’t believe that now!
Sorry for rambling! I really do enjoy your blog and your presentation very much. Suffering can not be ignored. And joy or even simple hope can not be ignored either. You capture both of those admirably.
If I hadn’t written to much already, I’d share stories from years gone by when I worked at gyms and did physique shows and what we thought about the New Year crowd! Ha ha….those days are long gone, but I agree about the New Year resolution idea.
Again, happy 2015! Looking forward to more of your posts.
Hey Krissa, did you know that Esther was voted “2014 Person of the Year” by VegNews Magazine? Yes indeed. 🙂
Oops, meant to include link.
It is wonderful news about Esther indeed. It is so positive when a nonhuman is recognized as a person. It is a foreign concept to many people. Even I thought it a bit strange when I first heard it. But I am hopeful that this will help to settle the age old question put forward by detractors. “Do you mean you want them to be able to vote?”
I love Esther and her Dads. I think they are doing much to show that kindness and compassion, through veganism, builds bridges to close the gap between what the population thinks is the truth and what really is the truth about the violence inherent in enslaving other species for our pleasure.
Happy New Year to you too. Looking forward to hearing how the cookies turn out and thanks for thinking about my mom.
Norm Phelps, who died this past week will likely be remembered as one of the great thinkers in the AR (Animal Rights) movement. In his book, Changing the Game, he says that it will take all advocates working together and raising their voices in unison to win the the fight for the liberation of nonhuman beings.
I agree with you that the story of Esther and her family is very inspiring. They will do much to further the cause because they are enlightened, kind and compassionate. I listened to Esther ‘s Dads speak at the First Annual Veg a Fest in Montreal this past September-so genuine about their experiences and their goals.
I am glad that my writing speaks to you, as it were. I look forward to dialoguing with you in 2015. If you would like to consider being a guest on my blog and sharing your story, I would be very happy to accommodate. The more voices, the better.
Bye for now.
Thank you Anne! I’d be happy to write something and will ask you more about that soon.
That’s really neat that you were able to hear Esther’s dads speak at Veg a Fest. 🙂 They seem like such great guys and I admire what they’re doing.
I’ll be in touch soon to see about writing something.
Oh no! Did not know about Norm’s passing. What a shame. 🙁
I too, was sad to hear this. He was an intelligent and calming voice for the liberation of nonhuman animals. This is what he had to say about becoming vegan. he will definitely be missed.
A vegan since 1984, survived by his wife and fellow longtime animal advocate Patti Rogers, Phelps quit eating meat in response to the death of his dog Czar.
“Czar was a person,” Phelps wrote much later. “He had a personality as individual and well-defined as any human being. He could love, he could trust, he could share, he could enjoy, he could fear, he could worry, he could look forward to the future and remember the past, he had a sense of who he was, and he would have sacrificed himself for me without a moment’s hesitation… If Czar was a person, what about other animals? What about cows, pigs, chickens and sheep? Weren’t they people, too? How could we love some and eat others?”
Grand, I look forward to hearing from you?
! Not ? In the comment above.
Those words you quoted above by Norm Phelps really touched my heart. It is such a shame he is no longer with us. He sounds like a great man. “Czar was a person”. This is how I feel about every living creature on this earth from the smallest to the largest. They all do have their own personalities. They share all the same emotions that we do. They all have their own right to their life, just as we do. It makes no sense at all to love some and eat others.
I love Esther too and only found out about her through you and your website. I only wish they all could have her life. She is well and truly pampered by her dads.
I will add Melanie Joy’s book, “Why we Love Dog’s, eat Pigs and wear Cows” to my reading list. It sounds like a great book. Thanks for the tidbits! I agree with her that only by exposing the truth of the cruelty hidden by businesses with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, as well as asking people not to be complicit is the way forward if we want real change to happen.
Reading the views and experiences of others in their particular field of expertise does help me to further define my veganism and place in AR activism. We all come into this knowing virtually nothing and paddle about a bit before we get our bearings.We do not have to agree with everything stated to benefit from wisdom.