So I'm sitting here at my computer, my head so stuffed up I'm constantly
amazed that it isn't actually larger than normal. I can't type two sentences
in a row without pausing to cough or blow my nose. And since I'm a teacher
and this is the end of the semester, I have a stack of papers to grade.
Instead, I'm writing an essay for Vegan Views, because Jo posted a note
saying there weren't enough for this month. Why?
Being a vegan for the past two years has taught me a lot about gratitude.
Sometimes being vegan is about frustration, difficulty, and even anger.
"Friends" who think it's funny to tell me about their deer hunts. Walking
out of restaurants after finding out that there isn't one single thing I can
eat (that was early days; now I know to call). And the overwhelming despair
that can hit any vegan in a world that seems coldly brutal most of the time.
But more often I'm grateful for all the people who have supported me in my
beliefs. Some I don't know at all, some I know in cyberspace, and some are
very close to me. So despite the sniffles, I want to take the time to
express my gratitude, now, in this season that should be about such things.
I'm grateful to Jo for her continued example of compassionate living,
and for giving me the ability to once again enjoy grilled "cheese"
I'm grateful to John Robbins for opening my eyes, without making me feel too
guilty to continue.
I'm grateful to Jeff and Sabrina for hosting such a welcoming and
informative site as VegSource.
I'm grateful to all the people on the Veganism board, who are supportive and
loving. Every time I feel down or angry, it is nice to have a place like
that to go to and feel better.
I'm grateful to places like Farm Sanctuary and BestFriends, places that work
every day to save animals from abuse and make people aware that animals have
I'm grateful to my husband, Alex. We started the vegan path together, and
I'm overwhelmingly grateful that neither of us had to face a conflict of
ethics or lifestyles.
I'm grateful to most of my family, who doesn't quite understand, but admires
my stance enough to check the labels of things they feed me and not tease me
I'm grateful to my friends, who don't order meat when we eat out because
they know it bothers me.
And, New Agey as it sounds, I'm grateful to the Earth and the animals.
Sometimes I think that humans, as a species, should have been wiped out long
ago by Nature. But the planet still supports us and my companion animals
still love me, despite the sins of my fathers.
And so, hard as it is to go forward sometimes in a world where putting bacon
on a double cheeseburger is considered a good thing and fur is, incredibly,
once again "in," I find that I have a lot to be grateful for, even as I blow
my nose for the thousandth time. And perhaps I'm most grateful for that --
the chance to feel how lucky and grateful I am.
a b l e o f c
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