A few nights ago there was a film night organized by a couple of my friends in our local vegan group. We watched now well known ‘Cowspiracy’. It’s about the environmental issues that surrounds animal industries on the planet.
It was so lovely to be able to have this time and space to share the information and discuss. Thank you for the organizers.
I believe, as long as we live on the earth it is essential to think about what impact we cause on the planet, as much as possible, as a species. I know for a lot of us it is easy to not to look at this and stay ignorant. But I realized that openly talking about this and making a change can also become a tool to bring us together and feel connected.
Living with non-vegans I have had conflicts and struggles. I didn’t feel I was able to express my great concern in life in front of them, or more precisely, I didn’t know HOW to do so. I didn’t want to confront them, but at the same time it was hard to consciously avoid the topic. But I knew that whatever you may be saying to them, if I had even a slight bit of frustration or feeling of blame, it would have been conveyed to them only to make them feel more resistant. As a result, I ended up stop talking about it at all, thus not showing the very core part of me.
I went to the event with my non-vegan colleagues without any particular intention. However, on the way back home that night, unexpected comments were made by one of my colleagues. He showed the biggest interest in the whole issue around animal industry ever, and even mentioned none or less eating animal products from now on. Even more, he is going to buy the film to show to others. This was a BIG surprise to me, as he was the one who had always said he loved meat. It was ages ago that I stopped talking about veganism to him.
The event showed me that, in trying to make people aware, non confrontational way of showing a film etc. and informing people of the facts may be better than a direct confrontation, if our goal is solely to save the animals and care for the planet, not to prove that we are right by any means. It doesn’t matter how people get to the same place.
A while ago, I asked myself “how can I stop feeling disconnected from people around me just because they don’t see what I see?”. I noticed that it was pointless to get frustrated. I tried to understand the way they are now, what their views are, and listened. I still wanted to connect with them as humans, even if they ate meat. We need to help each other.
You know, I believe no one really wants to hurt others at the deepest in our heart. I am not saying this is the absolute truth. (In fact, some religions encourage you to do so.) But this is my reality and how I see the world. I asked myself if I could drop all the burden of prejudice, separation, frustration and blame towards others so that I could live more harmoniously within.
So, what I have started to see these days in various areas of my life, including from what happened on the film night, was that if you trust the others and show understanding, no matter how ‘unfit’ they seem to your idea, the trust and the understanding come back to us. The understanding is that everyone has different views, whether you agree or disagree with them. Blame doesn’t take us anywhere and it certainly won’t benefit the animals and the planet, no matter how sad and frustrated you feel inside.
We can be compassionate to ourselves, too, for feeling the way we feel sometimes. It’s uncomfortable to be seen as an extremist or a preacher when you are just being authentic to what matters to you. At the same time, we can choose to drop any unnecessary feelings, too. This way I could find myself connected with others and myself again.
I even had an 2 hours long discussion about the film with all my colleagues the next morning. This would have never happened before. Everyone was shocked to know what’s going on in the world. Whether the film will make them go vegan or not, it certainly sown the seed.
Thank you again for the organizers and I look forward to the next one 🙂