Happy Thursday, Vagabonders! Today, Jessie from ModCloth wants to share with you a bit on her views of compassion. Jessie is a sponsor of The Vagabond Studio, and I adore working with her. She is also one of my few daily reads. Hope you enjoy!
People feel compassion in many different ways and for many different things. A few years ago compassion was not a word I used in my vocabulary. I’ve always considered myself a nice person who cared about others but now I realize how much compassion was lacking in my life. I have been Vegan for over a year now. When I first decided to stop eating meat and all animal products it was only for personal health reasons. Several months later into my new lifestyle I started watching more and more films that showed how abused animals are in the farm industry.
I have to say it’s hard stuff to watch. I have to turn my head many times and I cry many tears. It doesn’t get any easier to see the images of neglect and abuse. My heart aches when I see a cow being pushed by a bulldozer or it’s baby dragged away from it. It’s horrifying, but indeed reality. Humans are doing these horrible things to these animals that are completely helpless. I grew up with lots of pets and love for animals. Compassion for animals has always “been there”, I’ve just taken it to the next level in my life.
Being vegan is a choice. Not always an easy one if you base it off of how some people will judge you. Other then that though, it’s simple. So much of it is truly just will power. We live in a world where we are all raised to eat meat and drink milk. It’s considered the “norm”. You stray away from the “norm” and you are criticized for it by some. Vegans like me attempt to inform people about it but most people are scared of change and don’t want to hear it. I love the quote, “You can lead people to water, but you can’t make them drink it.” I remind myself this everyday. I can’t change anyone, I just hope to leave someone inspired.
I can relate to being scared of change. I used to be that person. I ate meat for the first 30 years of my life and up to a few years ago I didn’t even know what a Vegan was. Now I am one! I also used to never believe peace was possible. I used to roll my eyes every time I would see a shirt with a peace sign on it. Just a few weeks ago I purchased my first peace sign necklace and I now wear it proudly. I used to throw everything in the trash. Never recycled and rarely donated things. Now I am lucky if I can fill up a normal trash bag in a week because I recycle and reuse so much.
I am living proof that people can change. I love setting an example now and inspiring people to make better changes in their lives. Not only for themselves, but the planet, all the people and creatures living on it. If that’s not compassionate, I don’t know what is. Being compassionate to me is ending all unnecessary suffering. We all can make a difference. Don’t ever doubt yourself or think that one single person can’t leave the world a better place.
Another thing that happened to me before becoming a Vegan, is I took a road trip by myself across the country. (I did this drive to be with my husband who was in California and I was living in Ohio.) The further I got away from the mid-west and the closer I got to the mountains, something clicked inside of me. I was driving in between these beautiful mountains and rolling hills on highway 40 when I realized there was so much more to life. I felt connected instantly to nature. I was filled with an overwhelming feeling of joy and happiness! At that moment I fell in love with our planet and knew I needed to make some changes.
Little did I know that just a few years after that moment that I would be so deep into my new Vegan lifestyle. Caring about the environment, being green and not eating animals all goes hand to hand for me. A lot of people think that you have to be a “hippie” or extremely liberal to care about the planet or being a (GASP) Vegan. It’s all just a stereotype. We all share this planet together and we should all care equality about it. I think caring about the environment is also a very compassionate action that someone can take. It is our home after all. :)