Monday, October 12, 2009

What Does Bike Safety Have to Do with "Being Vegan?"

This is what my Hubby Bear asked me a couple of weeks ago as I made the Bike Safety flyers for the Green First Friday event. Actually, that was a really great question. It got me to thinking about the best answer.

Usually when I tell someone that I am Vegan, they immediately ask, "Is that like being Vegetarian?" People tend to associate these 2 distinct lifestyles with food or nutrition. "You don't eat meat." or "All you eat are vegetables." I can only speak as a Vegan and not as a Vegetarian. And I can only speak what "being Vegan" is to me personally.

Yes, as a Vegan, I do follow a very strict plant-based nutritional plan designed by Dr. Alan Goldhamer, Founder and Director of the True North Health Center in Santa Rosa California. I eat this Vegan nutritional plan, and participate in water-only fasting, because it keeps my Systemic Lupus in remission and keeps me medication free. But, as I recently realized on my last 22 day of water-only fasting, that there is much more to "being Vegan" then eating a plant-based nutrition plan.

There is truly a "lifestyle" that is associated with "being Vegan." Eating as a Vegan is only part of this. For over 5 years, I've eaten as a Vegan. Only over the past 4 months, am I learning to practice this Vegan lifestyle on a daily basis.

Practicing the Vegan lifestyle includes stepping back and looking at a larger picture. It is a much bigger venue then what exists in my little world of Hubby Bear, pups Jack n Jill, personal training, Vegan cooking classes, blogging, promoting the VOICE VISION VEG*N'z for the Brazos Valley and whatever else I am up to. For me, living the Vegan lifestyle means living a life of acute awareness. A life that honors, respects, and protects all living creatures, our local environment and our Earth. A life that recognizes the importance of health, wellness and safety for each one of us and for all living creatures. The Vegan lifestyle, to me, is trying to live in harmony with everything around me.

Adapting to this new awareness does not occur overnight for me. It is a step by step process. I did not immediately sell our leather couch and chair. I did not toss out all of my make up, or hair and beauty products. Nor did I sell my little PT Cruiser and get a bicycle. I did not insist that Hubby Bear sell his THREE trucks and buy a Prius.

I admit that my strength & expertise regarding this newly discovered lifestyle is in the nutritional, health, fitness and wellness facets. I promote a plant-based nutrition plan, a daily exercise & meditation routine, a safety awareness of all daily activities, family time, community volunteering, and a hefty dose of daily laughter..... All because from much research, I realize the unbelievable benefits that we derive from these endeavors..

Shamefully I am lacking in awareness when it comes to the environment. For in the past, I have not been the one to recycle, to think about the affects on the environment that a type of vehicle I might purchase will have, & to acknowledge that 90% of the large fish in our oceans are gone. I knew not that 80% of agricultural land in the U.S. is used to raise cows, pigs, goats, lambs and chickens and 70% of the grains we grow, go to feeding this livestock. I failed to understand that 500 million tons of animal waste annually is polluting our air, our water supply and our oceans; and poisoning our agricultural produce with bacteria. I did not give one thought about the plastic bag that I tossed into the trash and the fact it might end up in the ocean somewhere suffocating a fish, a sea turtle, a dolphin, or contributing to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch off the coast of California that is the size of Texas.

Awareness is the first of many steps for me. So, I don't eat the flesh or the skin of animals. I don't wear their fur, their skin or feathers. I eat organic plant-based food as much as possible. I recycle everything I can and I’ve started using the canvas bags to bring home groceries. I don’t take needless trips in my car and try to consolidate my errands into one trip. I’m volunteering in the community, I watch out for the safety of my family, my friends, the deer, the birds, the squirrels, the dogs, and the cats that share space in our country neighborhood.

There is much progress to be made, but “being Vegan” is a lifestyle that makes me want to be a better person. It makes me want to try harder to protect our children, all living creatures in which we share this Earth, as well as our local environment, our bodies and our Earth. I am truly humbled by the impact it has made upon me and the lifestyle attitude changes that I see in myself.

So, in a very long answer...... that’s what “being Vegan has to do with bike safety.”

How 'bout you....... are you thinking more about the lifestyle you live and the impact it creates?

Until Next Time......



  1. So, so true...being vegan makes you think about the impact of ALL your decisions on the world around you! It's crazy when it hits you that "it's not all about me!" :)

  2. I think you just said it best, kiddo... "It's NOT all about me!" and i Know plenty of vegans that STILL think its all about them :-( They just dont get the whole pic yet... thanks for you comment!