Why do i become a vegan?
It has been 10 months i became a vegetarian. It was initiated by pre-Lent season, a religious season for Catholic denomination for having fast and abstinence during Lent. Actually i was just a start. The trigger. I committed in my heart that “Once i succeed of doing abstinence of eating meat, i will continue it, not because of religious occasion anymore. Wednesday, 9th of March 2011 I started my meat eating abstinence when it was a Wednesday Ash. I only ate bread, rice, tofu, tempeh, vegetables, fruits, and soya-milk. In the beginning it was so hard to stop meat eating habit. How difficult it was? Well, i am a meat-eater, or precisely i can eat anything, and i grew up on a family which do not have any vegetarish history. The taste of chicken, beef, pork, lamb, turkey were still really stick on my tongue. But, since i started to do meat-eating abstinence from my heart, i knew that i could overcome that feeling.
I write this notes as a track-record (log) of my life-style switch journey, from omnivore (especially meat-eater) to vegan (full vegetarian). I am proudly say now that i am happy with my life-choice, and i feel so peace to my self also to other creatures which live in Earth.
Week 1 (9-16 March 2011)
It was the toughest week in my life! From a meat-eater, i switched directly to do meat-eating abstinence. Curiosity about vegetarian life style was pushing me to gain knowledge anything related to vegetarian. In order to gain knowledge and overcome the lack of information about nutrition needs to my body, i started my own research project. Honestly, i was inspired of Romo Yohanes Dwi Harsanto (a.k.a Romo Kirun). He has been a vegan (full vegetarian) since the last 3 years, and he testified in his facebook wall that during this period he was more than just healthy, and regular deaseases (e.g. common influenza, cold, fever,etc) were rare. Before i intended my meat-eating abstinence on early of March, i began to contact with Romo Kirun about anything related to vegetarian life-style. I was so excited, and interested in trying this life-style. So, by the end of this first week of becoming a vegetarian i realized that i do not eat this week because of my own resolution in this Lent season. My food menu during this period is not much change compare to previous day (when i was still a meat-eater). I just left the meats (any kind of meats, include fish), eggs, and dairy products (milk, cheese, ice cream, etc.). I replaced the meat with tempeh and tofu, also adding vegetables and fruits intake of my daily menu. It was a tough week, but i was glad that i passed.
Week 2 (17-23 March 2011)
This is my 2nd week of being a vegan. I begin my day with praying and reading The Bible. Because it is a holiday between Winter and Summer semester, I do not have any problems with working activities. I still do part-time job 2 hours/day, and i eat regularly. I keep “hungry” of informations about vegan/vegetarian life-style. So, everyday at least I browse 1 hour in the internet about related information to this life-style. I make record/log of my browsing, and save any valuable information about benefit and additional values which i have gained based on plant-based dietary. I try to start doing meditation also, as a balance of my vegan-dietary. I find i have no problems, passing this 2nd week of my vegetarian diet. I enjoy every meals which i cook and eat, because i know these foods will not harm me.
Week 3 (24-31 March 2011)
This is my 3rd week of being vegan. I find interesting phrase in the internet about vegetarian. It is “Vegetus Libertas”,which literally can be translated as “strengthen the cultivation of life”. It was Dewi Lestari’s blog which made me realized i am not the only person who searched and keep hungry of being a vegan. Her sharing is inspired me, and indeed strengthen me. Here i can conclude several points from Dewi Lestari’s sharing :
1. Being a vegan, is it limitted or challenging ? Limited here means fail in finding a proper vegetarian food, and sadly only eat rice, vegetables, and sambal, that’s it. While challenging here means facing the same situation on the same plate, with a victory feeling. Being a vegan is another challenging life each day. There are various challenges today, and there will be another for tomorrow, next week, month, year.
2. It is important to ask to your heart : how do i live and change this challenging situation into a victory? How do I change my “programming” / principle / perception of limited into restriction? As limitation means actively awareness to reduce what it is not important in your life. You know, as a human we have basic / important thing in life, such as : food, shelther/housing, clothes, education. As far as they are properly use, it does not matter. But as soon as the needs turn out into collection, then it is dangerous! Example : In order you keep living, human body need foods. But if human mind which control the body tell you that, “ach, that’s fine to eat this meat today, that meat tomorrow, etc. as long as i am satisfied, and otherwise i still have money to buy those meats”. You see in this statement, that even every animal meats in this planet will not satisfy you. Why? Because it is no longer a matter of need, it turns out to be a collection of animal meats taste in your mouth. And you loose your control over mind. And i say, it is dangerous. To live without knowing how you live that.
3. Finally, “Vegetus Libertas” means how do you use your mind awarenessely in order to change the limitted options (of food) in your life, into freedom/liberty which is nothing else than restriction.
Week 4 (1-7 April 2011)
“Do not let our stomach become graveyard of (meats/animal products)!” How that statement sound to you? For me, it is another finding. I say, AHA! BINGO! Here is i find one more good question to ask about my vegan motivation.
To be continue…(part II)