I’m sitting here enjoying some vegan nachos and a beer and wondering: “what is it all about”? The more and more that I learn about being vegan, living a more minimalist life and having less of a negative impact on this blue marble we all call home, the more I wonder what it is all for? I mean I have laid all these rules upon myself for what? For me, (I’m learning) it’s about knowing that I played a part in something bigger. By playing that small part, I feel bigger and bigger about myself. And not in a arrogant way; but in away that makes me feel like I am apart of trying to find the solution. Trying to be apart of the greater good that we all posses; that we sometimes forget about in the bigger scheme of things.
It’s not about being right or wrong, or better then someone else; it’s about caring about everything, a little more, as a whole. Sometimes, my husband asks me if composting his banana peal is really making a huge difference? Although he is catching on more and more, because he sees how passionate I am, he still looks at some of it as a chore and sees it as something too small to make a big difference. But I do feel like I am making a difference and that makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I am more attached to everything around me. That I don’t just live in my own personal little bubble where no one else matters. It all matters. Every banana peal, every reusable bag, every animal’s life, every light that gets turned off, every farmers market shopped: it all matters.
And to the people that say “oh I could never do that” or “I could never live that way”, yes you can. You are a strong, intelligent human being, that by no fault of your own, has been brought up in a world that makes it very hard to distinguish ourselves in. We are told day in and day out, how we are “supposed” to be or act. Whether it be from the government, schools, parents, media, church, peers or the press we are always being fed new information that may not be the best information. Sometimes, (a lot of time) these ideas are even fed to us subconsciously. So this is where it is up to you to do the work. Find the research. Read the books. Watch the documentaries. Refill your brain with the uncommon knowledge that gets swept under the rug too many times because it is just “easier” that way.
I fear that if we don’t start to change anything about the way we live our lives, our lives are just going to continue to get harder and harder. Diseases, stress, debt, pollution, greed, and some many other things that you may not even realize are putting a strain on your quality of life, will take over. What will this mean for the generations to come? What are we teaching them? What are we leaving them with? Sometimes it’s scary to think about. Growing from a child to a 35 year old, has shown me that life doesn’t necessarily get easier. With that said, why would we want all these outside forces, (one’s that if we really try we have the power to change), to make things even harder?
We all have a tendency to become experts in things that we really feel passionate about. If you are a runner, you become passionate about shoes, goos, races, interval work, best time of the day to run, best cross training for runners, best pre and post foods to eat and where the port-a-potties are. So what if everyone became a little more passionate about things that affected us all? Every single day, you can make a difference. You can make a choice. Bring your reusable mug to Starbucks. Filter your water instead of buying it bottled. Take a walk, the train, the bus or ride a bike, just once a week. Turn off your tv and spend time with your family. Go to the park and be outside. Make a day to pick up trash at that park. Let the yellow mellow and buy a handkerchief. Share a meal with a neighbor. Plant a garden in your backyard and compost to feed it! Have meatless Monday and learn how easy it would be to make it meatless day everyday. Be apart of something bigger, even if it starts with something smaller.
It will be hard at first. I promise that. Sorry, usually things that are really worth doing aren’t necessarily the easiest things to adapt to. But don’t give up. We are all a lot stronger then we give ourselves credit for. That’s because as animals (because we are all animals) we like to feel like we belong. We want to be apart of the “heard”; to feel welcomed, important and loved. But when you go out and do something new and different, sometimes at first, you may find yourself alone. So seek out and surround yourself with like minds. Look for groups on social media or local Meetups. As you surround yourself with more and more like minds, you won’t feel so alone. Then what you’re doing won’t feel so hard. And I guarantee it will rub off on others that you never thought it could. This new thing you are apart of will grow. Doing the right thing, for the bigger picture is contagious in sometimes the smallest ways. So, yes, even that single banana peel matters.
Listed below are some great places to start!
- Forks Over Knive
- Blue Gold
- Food Matters
- Tiny: A story about living small
- Living on One Dollar
- Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
- GMO OMG
- Hungry for Change
- Terms and Conditions May Apply
- Food, Inc.
- The China Study by Thomas Campbell and T. Colin Campbell
- No Impact Man by Colin Beavan
- Sleeping Naked is Green by Vanessa Farquharson
- Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
- Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Beg by Rory Freedman
- The No Spend Challenge
- McDougall Friends
- The Minimalist Life
- Tiny House People
- New Vegan Support
- Trying Vegan
- Naturally Crunchy Betty
- Dreaming of living in a Tiny House