Being Vegan – Another Year of Being Thankful

By Paul Graham

Las Vegas Informer

This is such a special time of the year because we celebrate things that are very important…gratitude and love.  This should not be a season of over-working, over-spending and over-eating.  It is a time to slow down, not speed up, and to express thanks and love for all the good that is around us and the people that truly enrich our lives.

As much as society would try to rob of us of the joy of celebrating with those that we love with the great distraction of consumerism, we just cannot buy into it.  You can look at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other holiday celebration as a culmination of a year and a reflection of all that we are blessed with, but I also like to see them as a springboard for a mindset that we need to have all the year round to always give thanks and be an instrument of love and kindness.

I would love to pause to give thanks for some things that I am sure that all of you can relate to in a similar way in your own lives.  We are more alike and more connected than we sometimes realize.  I am every moment of the day thankful for the life that I have and the health that I have to enjoy it.  Though I may not always have everything that I want, I know that I have everything that I need.  I have a partner in Theresa who loves me and supports me in everything that I do and makes the journey thrilling and so much fun.  My four children will always be my greatest success and joy.  I am thankful that they are all healthy and happy and are using their great talents and love to make a difference in this world.  I love the life partners they have chosen and we continue to expand the circle of love in our family.  My two grandchildren are such joys and possess a spirit of love that will transform their world.

It is very easy every day to count the blessings for the many wonderful people that continue to enter and stay in my life.  There are those people right here in Las Vegas to some in different parts of the world that I have not had the pleasure to meet in person yet, but we share a common bond of love and compassion for all living creatures and wanting to see this planet and the people on it evolve to a place of understanding, compassion, peace, and love for all.  Throughout the day these people educate, enlighten, and encourage me in my own journey.  I am thankful that the numbers of people who focusing on conscious-living and conscious-eating are growing and we are forming a bond that will not be broken.  The world is slowly starting to change right before our eyes and it is happening one person and one plate at a time.

I am thankful for increasing awareness that people are showing towards the food that they eat, what is in it, and how it not only affects their own health and the health of their families, but also where the food comes from and what other sentient creatures are impacted by it.  People are realizing that in a quest for profit, large corporations are trying decide for us what is best to eat without any thought to the impact upon our health and that of future generations as well as the ethical and environment impact that it has.  There is a battle…a revolution…for our food that is now waging and I appreciate those that are joining the movement each day to band together to fight the monsters before us.  We have great power and we have to choose wisely each day with our buying decisions. Power and profits are the two languages they know and we need to let them know that we have power and we are going to impact their profits.

While abuses still rage on every day, I am thankful for the many victories for animals this past year and for the many new supporters that have joined in the cause to free our brethren creatures.  I am thankful for the millions of people who work tirelessly in behalf of animals and who will not stop until every cage is free and animals are given their rightful place upon this earth.  If you cannot get involved actively in helping in this cause, please support those that do and we will continue to see victories won.  Use the Internet and social media for the good and protect the freedom to use it, it is one of the last bastions of free media and information that we have.  Remember those three E’s…Educate, Enlighten and Encourage.

I wish you a wonderful holiday season, however you choose to spend it.  Do not be afraid or be discouraged by being different…for the way you choose to live for kindness and compassion is one that the world will only grow to understand and adopt as time goes on.  Be a blessing to others in any way that you can find to do it.  Our greatest joy will come in giving, not only during this season, but all the year round.  If you are going to buy, don’t buy into the consumerism that is put upon us to blind us from the things that are truly important. Buy local from local merchants and artisans and be a blessing to our own communities first.  We live in troubling times, but we also live in times of great possibility, and I have a great hope because of the love and kindness that I have seen in so many before me and around me.  It always starts with us individually to make a difference and now together we will touch and change our world.

Paul Graham

Paul Graham was born and raised in Northern California and has lived in Las Vegas since 2004.  He is a top wedding officiate, a green Realtor and writer.  He has a daily vegan food blog www.eatingveganinvegas.tumblr.com which is 365 days and 365 vegan meals in Las Vegas.  He can also be reached at eatingveganlv@gmail.com or www.facebook.com/EatingVeganinVegas.

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