I wrote a post, “Why Vegan” a while back about my journey to eating a vegan diet… and re-read it last month around Thanksgiving. It provided some renewed food for thought, which I’ve been mulling over ever since.

I made the switch to vegetarian thirteen years ago, right before Thanksgiving. Since then, I’ve sat at my family’s dinner table with (plenty of) alternatives to the turkey on the table, and have had an all-vegan Thanksgiving too. This year, however, for the first time I decided not to participate in a feast at all. Obviously in a pandemic, conditions were ripe to avoid the expected socializing of the holiday, but it was nevertheless an important step in standing more strongly for what I care about.

Today I gave a speech in my Toastmasters public speaking club about going vegan. It was scary to do — I lost sleep from anticipation of sharing my heart in this way. The fear arose because I care, in a way that most others do not. This can be a touchy subject to broach. I prefer to maintain an inclusive space and not make others uncomfortable about their own ethics or lifestyle choices by talking about my own; thus I usually keep quiet about my why behind being vegan, in order to stay in a neutral zone. Stepping out of that zone is definitely out of my realm of comfort. But it’s something I feel a lot of passion about, it really matters to me, and expressing it is an expression of who I am. Today, I had to remember that. I’m sharing all this to gently remind you as well.

Being seen for who we are is not easy. It’s incredibly vulnerable. There is safety in silence, a safety we can be tempted to cocoon ourselves within, indefinitely.

As a teenager, I was incredibly shy; I worked to break out of that shell, to become a social butterfly.

What I’m working on now, is to become a butterfly effect for positive change: to send out ripples in the way I show up with my actions, words, and embodiment of a loving spirit.

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