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.