Being Vegan – So What If We Did This…?
By Paul Graham
Las Vegas Informer
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
I believe that the world is changing. It is beginning to make a change towards more compassionate, conscious eating and living. Perhaps it is not happening as quickly as we would like, but it is happening. We would like to speed the process up because we know exactly what is at stake. The lives of billions of living creatures are at stake. Our health, both in body and spirit, is at stake. The preservation of our environment is at stake. For those of us that have already crossed over this bridge, this is all very apparent to us. We are part of a committed movement unlike anything we have perhaps seen in history. We are endeavoring to see change in the eating and lifestyle habits of humans that have been present throughout the ages. The fact that they have been present certainly does not make them right. In fact, we have never been better equipped to help others to the benefit of living a life apart from the consumption of animal products in any way. Whether a majority of people realize this or not right now is not important. The fact is that it needs to happen and we can see evidence everywhere that it is.
According to BIOFACH 2014, the number of vegans and vegetarians is fast-approaching one billion people, or roughly 1/7 of the world’s population. Thousands are making this change every day. My personal experience is that most of the people that I connect with are bypassing the vegetarian step and becoming vegan, eliminating all animals products from their lives. It just makes sense for all of the reasons above. I also know how we can continue to forge this movement ahead and make the kind of change that we know to be necessary for this planet and all of it’s inhabitants. I spent two decades of my adult life in the vocational ministry in Northern California working with young people and professional athletes. I definitely learned many things during this time and I am finding that many principles are still being actively used in what I am doing today. One is the principle and lifestyle of discipleship. I learned early on that it was not enough to become a follower it was necessary to become a disciple. This was a deeper level of commitment that was usually brought about by a relationship with another disciple who walked with you and imparted life in you in a way that would prepare you for not only successful living, but also the ability to impart that life into others. You would do the same with others and teach them to do the same with others and the world would soon see a difference.
It seems like the Church became somewhat derailed in this process and went the way of crusades and mega-churches to impart this message and moved away from the power of true discipleship as a means of reaching the world. It is part of my mission to encourage those who have embraced the vegan lifestyle to see the power of reaching people individually and not just helping them to cross this bridge to conscious eating and living, but commit to a deeper relationship with them to make sure that they are solid and know all that they need to know and then encourage them to now impart that life into others. Can we understand the power of becoming fully-committed and deeply rooted in this this lifestyle and then sharing that with at least one other person and helping them to not only get to the same place but then replicate that in someone else? It is absolutely possible for this movement to begin to grow at an exponential rate. If we all realized the power of this and committed ourselves to reaching others and teaching them to do the same we would could see our numbers double each year until we see world change that is palpable in our relationship with animals, other humans, our health and the environment. This absolutely possible. We just need to focus on reaching at least one. Some of us will be able to do this with five, ten or more each year and that will compensate for those that might struggle with one. But it can happen.
I also believe that there will be a great spiritual, not religious, movement that will move forth as this all comes about. As we heal our relationship with animals, our bodies and the planet…we will also begin to heal our relationships with other humans as well. We can heal our relationship with a Creator and all living creatures. I believe that we will see love begin to reign in our lives in a whole new way and this world will become a kinder and healthier place. Let us not focus on those that oppose what we know to be true. In many ways this is a real waste of our energies and will only serve to derail us from actually reaching others and make a difference. Let us go to a deeper level of commitment and begin to share this amazing lifestyle with the legions of people that are just waiting to hear this message and see it lived out before them. Those are the people that we need to focus on. Reach them, help them, teach them, and encourage them to do the same. Again let us not engage ourselves in the negative banter and arguments with those who are not ready to change. Instead let us engage those who are curious and ready and build a new paradigm for all to eventually become a part of. People reaching people for the benefit of all creation.
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 email@example.com or www.facebook.com/EatingVeganinVegas.
Paul‘s revised edition of Eating Vegan Vegas is now available in bound book form and can be ordered through Amazon.com or any independent bookseller. The e-book version can be found at Kobo.com.