It truly feels that we as a society are changing.
We are waking up and wanting to do better and make different choices.
Yet we struggle, because we live in a society where it’s still not popular or cool to be vegetarian or vegan, to give up paper towels and napkins, to buy reusable, or to fix something rather than just going out and buying a new one. But all of these choices in how we live are not only affecting our lives—they are also affecting our alignment.
Alignment is something we often hear in terms of what we need to do on our vehicles every so often. But in personal terms, it’s when the choices we make for our body, our mind, and our soul are in alignment with each other and not contradictory.
The more choices we make that are in alignment with our total self, the more at peace, stronger, and balanced we will feel. Not because we made drastic choices, but because we simply started to practice what we believed in.
Let’s be honest, vegans have a bad rap at the moment. From memes to social media posts, they are painted as these crazy, extremist individuals. But in truth, part of their passion comes from aligning their thoughts with their actions. Once we realize this, we can start to change our view of these food and lifestyle choices.
But vegan is also just another label, like vegetarian, pescatarian, or even omnivore.
A few years ago, I went vegetarian for the first time. It was not something I was raised with or had any experience with. At the time, it was because I had a hard time being okay with the treatment animals went through to get to my dinner plate after professing my love for animals.
But then I had children, and at the time my partner wasn’t supportive of it. And so, I essentially blocked the process that my food had to go through to get to my plate, I stopped being in alignment with myself, I wasn’t embodying my beliefs, and I was choosing to stay ignorant about something because it seemed too difficult not to.
But things began to shift for me more and more. I once again changed how I ate and also how I thought about the foods that I put in my body. I became aware of our personal vibrations—and just like our emotions affect our vibration, so does the food that we consume.
It’s not far-fetched to understand that fresh, colorful fruits and veggies enhance our vibration over those overprocessed, sugar-rich foods like cookies, crackers, or other snack items.
But what we sometimes aren’t aware of is that not only are we eating any health issues that the animals have that we consume, but we are also eating their trauma.
Just like we have traumatic memories or feelings, so do animals. And by eating them, we’re inheriting the trauma from their life and death—lowering our overall vibration, regardless of how many veggies we eat.
The emotional aspect of deciding to no longer eat meat was just one piece, though.
The number one factor that we could change to help improve the environment worldwide is to stop animal agriculture.
Besides the amount of waste that animal agriculture produces, it takes over 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef, while it only requires 244 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of tofu. Now, I understand that many of us were raised in a culture where we grilled burgers on Sunday afternoons and ate grandma’s fried chicken off the bone at family picnics. But saying that we’ve always done something isn’t necessarily reason to keep doing it.
The truth is that in our generation we are more disconnected from our food source than our parents or grandparents were. Hardly anyone raises their own crops or animals now. We purchase mass-produced foods from the grocery stores, separating the fact that the roast we just picked up was an alive, breathing animal a few weeks ago, or that the chicken sandwich we bought was meat that was washed in chlorine before being able to be eaten, because of the conditions of chicken farms in the United States.
I am not here to tell people how to eat, but I do think we should be in alignment with ourselves. If we wouldn’t be okay killing and butchering an animal to eat ourselves, then we shouldn’t purchase meat from the store, because it allows us to separate what we eat from it having been alive.
If we care about animals, then it becomes an issue of how we assign value to the lives of different animals. For example, cats can be cherished pets, but pigs are raised to be eaten. It’s not just about whether we eat meat, but if we are living in alignment with what we truly believe.
On vacation once, my seven-year-old daughter happened to make small talk with a couple she met at the resort pool. The younger man said he worked with cows. She asked him if it was for milk or meat, and when he said meat, she asked if he killed the cows himself, to which he replied he did. She then looked at him and asked if he ever felt bad, and he replied no, because he just doesn’t let himself think about it.
There are too many things we’re not letting ourselves think about that are causing us to stay blind to the changes that are occurring within our society and environment.
Most people I’ve talked with care about the world, they don’t want to see the oceans become full of plastic, or to have our landscapes built up by buildings, or to hurt animals. But we make it easy to disconnect, to think it’s just one straw, just one plastic bag, just one gum wrapper, just one burger. But there are millions of people who are saying “it’s just one.”
Change is not easy, but it does feel good.
It’s about being aware of using more reusable and less disposable. Reusable grocery bags are a great start; produce bags, even sandwich bags for kids’ lunches come reusable now. Paper straws are sold at most stores, while utilizing cloth napkins and recycling old towels into rags eliminates the need for paper towels. I’ve lived in my home for 11 years and have never once purchased paper napkins or towels. It is possible, we just have to want to make the change.
It’s about living in a way where there are no contradictions, where we know we’re going to have to give up doing things we’ve always done so that we can teach our kids to do better.
It’s about knowing that, just as we rationalize that it’s only one, it also only takes one person to start to make a difference, to show that we can practice what we preach and be in better alignment with our true selves because of it.