The choice of me being a vegan was already made before this life. At least that is what it feels like in retrospect.
How much of this is nature and how much is of a spiritual nature I cannot say. Neither am I comfortable separating the two, not anymore.
Growing up my diet was mostly plant-based with chicken every now and then, goat on special occasions, and seafood whenever we were blessed with a harvest from the nearby river.
I loved spending time in the river, it was my playground in the bosom of nature with lush green mountains in the backdrop, fruits like pineapple and guava flourishing along the riverside… which belonged to no one.
Fresh drinking pours out between the rocks and there were no dangerous animals in sight. Or maybe I was just lucky to never encounter any.
Talking about Jamaica always has me missing my birthplace. I reminisce with a smile, while vivid images penetrate my mind’s eye, and nostalgia finally overtakes me.
After a few moments, I return back to my physical presence with less pleasant thoughts of not being able to go back. The reasons why not are many.
30+ years have passed since I left, not by my own choice, but I’m happy and grateful that I did. For it was – and still is, if not worse – a harsh environment to live and grow up in. I know there are other views and opinions than mine, but this is how I see it.
As I mentioned above, being a vegetarian or vegan was never a goal of mine…still isn’t. It came naturally little by little as if my soul was needing it to be so.
Trapped in the life-goes-on cycle without like-minded beings in my daily life, I carried on just like everyone else. Not giving any thought to why I really did not enjoy red meat, which was the first animal flesh I consciously decided to stop consuming after an episode of not feeling well healthwise.
Feeling lighter and no longer having stomach issues, red meat never made its way back on my plate, and of course, it was never missed or thought about.
Sometime later I had another health issue where I was lacking in energy. No matter what I did I always felt exhausted. No doctor could tell me the reasons why. It wasn’t until by chance that I was recommended to visit a kinesiologist by a, back then, acquaintance.
Alternative medicine was completely new to me at the time and I admit that I was skeptical. But not having found any solutions over a too long period of time and had all but given up hope, I booked an appointment.
The kinesiologist discovered that I had a leaky gut and explained how it caused energy drainage in my system.
His prescribed solution was a drastic change in diet. The diet excluded all sugars, including sweet fruits, omitting pork for three months, and complement with the supplements he provided.
After the first month, I felt like a new person. I had lots of energy, I lost weight I did not know I had, and I was visibly happier… and just like with red meat I’ve never missed pork for a second in my life ever again.
At this point, I was still cooking meat for my kids because it was something I didn’t want to force on to them, plus the fact that their mother really didn’t want that.
Chicken with something I really enjoyed, no matter if it was fried, stewed, or barbecued. I found it finger-licking good and had no thoughts of giving it up or going vegetarian. After all, this is how I grew up and I love the way my aunties cooked.
One day, however, I saw the news on how some farmers were excessively injecting their animals with antibiotics and other stuff that were downright bad for us humans… and of course for the livestock.
I decided on the spot to stop eating chicken. I thought this was something I was going to miss, luckily I never did.
With fish and seafood still remaining as part of my diet, eating them helped me to lead a healthy life and I consciously thought that I could continue having them.
Well, it did not take long to choose otherwise. Again, this felt like the choice was made for me.
I was having lunch alone at the small restaurants in the center of Marbella with nothing coursing through my mind, I was simply enjoying my present not knowing this was my last dish of seafood ever.
Suddenly, while eating, I lost my appetite and was inundated with a sensation of this is not meant to be.
I stopped eating and looked at my plate, then without formulating any thoughts, it was ingrained into my soul to never have fish or seafood again.
This marked the start of me being a vegetarian. This was some years ago and it wasn’t until earlier this year I got a similar feeling as with fish. This time regarding cheese and eggs.
In all fairness, this scenario has happened a couple of times before but being a vegetarian I was desperately hanging on to eggs and cheese as there are easy and accessible sources of protein.
It was only some months ago now the cheese and eggs disappeared from my menu and I officially became vegan… or so I thought.
For the record, I consider myself a vegan only in terms of what I eat.
And although I consciously put effort into avoiding buying clothes, accessories, and the likes that are completely free from animal ingredients, I still have a few things like belts, shoes, a jacket, and a couple more items derived from animals in some sense.
The only thing I was still consuming almost on a daily basis without any thoughts of what it actually is, was honey.
I only thought of it as something really healthy. I used to believe that it was my health concerns that drove me to ultimately become a vegan. Now I am certain that the spiritual side of me played a larger role in making this ‘choice’.
This realization came to me yesterday after I read about how much work bees put in to make a glass of honey.
I found it fascinating that bees visit approximately 15 million flowers to make a glass of honey. It was mid this fascination I actually realized I was not a vegan.
That said, it was decided then and there to exclude honey from my life.
After that, I spent some time wondering if there were anything else that I missed, but by the looks of it, I’m not.