1 YEAR!!!

I was so excited when I woke up today because this date is important to me in many ways. Last year I made a new years resolution to go vegan by the end of the year. I spent the first half of that year loosely paying attention to what I was eating and doing plenty of research about the benefits of veganism and how to make transitioning easier, but I wasn’t actually taking any action to make it happen. On July 28, 2015 I made the pledge to swear off of animal products and began actively transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. Today I get to celebrate that decision. It’s been one whole year since I chose compassion and health over the selfish, fleeting satisfaction of consuming animal products. I could not be more proud.

Today also happens to be the 1 year anniversary of Vegelovin (although I do have older posts here that were imported from a previous blog). Moving forward, I’m hoping to make this blog much more active. As I pursue my Bachelors in Dietetics, I hope to share my research findings and support other people who want to make the right decision but don’t necessarily have all of the right resources.

I can’t believe I’ve made it this far and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.

 

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Point Break

the-only-law-that-matters-photo-u1

About a year ago I saw previews for a 2015 movie release that really caught my attention. The film was going to be called “Point Break,” and was a re-make of the 1991 film starring the infamous Swayze ( which I still have never seen). The preview features skydiving, one of my top bucket list activities, so I was immediately sold on watching it. Despite my intentions, I wasn’t able to get to the theaters to see it, but I watched the film last night, and despite the horribly unimpressive ending (we’ll get into movie politics later), I thought that the film carried an incredibly appealing message that deserved acknowledgement.

The film’s main antagonist, a character named Bodhi, has an undoubtedly amazing outlook on living life to the fullest and respecting nature while you do it. He said one thing in particular that made me pause the movie and just sit there for a moment, absorbing and deciphering what I have known all along, but have never experienced in words:

We must give back more than we take.

Okay, for one moment, we’re going to ignore the fact that Bodhi is about to blow up the side of a mountain and murder several people; let’s focus on the meaning of his words and less on his interpretation of them.

Regardless of whether I actually bring it up in a conversation, the fact that I’m vegan or that I live a minimalist and eco-friendly lifestyle always comes up. Somebody always asks a question and I have to elaborate before I sound like a mad man. Finding someone who has the same opinions and views of how we should treat the world is very rare, so I’m always taken aback when I hear something like “we must give back more than we take,” even if it’s just from a character in a movie. It’s not a popular opinion and the last major movie that carried an eco-friendly message arguably received more criticism than praise.

But what exactly does that mean? HOW do we give back more than we take? How do we even give back? Or how do we avoid taking? I think we all have to interpret that in our own way. For me, avoiding overindulging and buying useless things that I don’t need (and will most likely end up in a landfill) is part of what satisfies my need to “give back.” I try to buy biodegradable and reusable products as much as possible. A menstrual cup is just one example of how I avoid using and buying products in excess. If I purchased tampons or pads every month, imagine the amount of garbage I would be throwing away!!

How do you “give back more than [you] take”?

Beyond Carnism

Its been quite a while since I’ve made a post and I think it’s time to get back into the swing of things. I’ve been vegetarian for the past three years and have recently made the decision to transition to vegan. I can’t say that it’s going to be an easy thing to do, but for me it is the correct and necessary thing to do. Thanks to Melanie Joy and her organization, Beyond Carnism, the vegan lifestyle is growing quite quickly. Her TED Talk on the topic of Carnism is absolutely stunning. Check it out!

A New Beginning

Beginnings are difficult for me. Change is difficult for me. But I have learned the hard way that trying to evade such change often concludes negatively, so I have learned to just roll with it.

One thing I think is impossible for the average intellect to avoid is the truth of what nightmarish horrors are being overlooked and downright ignored in the meat, dairy, and egg industry. It makes me stick to learn of the truth and it makes me angry to know that so many people, including the loved ones I know and would otherwise call reasonable, compassionate people, are turning a blind eye to what is happening. Many because they believe that there is “no possible way” anyone could get away with that, others because they are uneducated, even more because they “don’t want to know”, and even a few who just “don’t care” and “love their steak too much.” It’s hard to sit by and watch this happen while everyone else goes about their day eating the dead carcasses of other animals who would otherwise be living.

I’ve made a bit of a resolution for this new year. Last year I made the pledge to go vegan by the end of the year. I slacked all the way through the first half of the year before finally buckling down and making the commitment at the very end of July. That’s over half of the year wasted and so many tortured animals that I could have spared. This year I won’t make that same mistake.

Starting in the new year I’m going raw til 4, the diet I was originally on when I switched to this lifestyle. Honestly the consumption of fruit early in the day gave me so much energy and I felt 10x better just by changing what I was eating. I really don’t know why I stopped. I am also pledging to make one post a week, researching various brands, food items, ethical issues, and health problems in relation to veganism and relaying the information with reliable sources here on the vegelovin page. I want to be able to educate myself and others about this terrible industry and the lies that are being fed to us as children to turn a profit for these large companies.Perhaps eventually I can start a blog series, but for now this is where my conglomeration of vegan education will be gathered.

In starting off the new year, I can proudly say that I am becoming more at terms with who I am and where I am going. This journey will be a difficult one, that’s certain, but I know that if I make the best of it there is so much that can come out of it.

– Jordan

Shane Koyczan

I don’t usually try to focus a blog post on one specific person but I think there is one man who deserves special praise right now. I have read countless poems by this man and he never fails to make me smile. In some form or another, he is always making an effort to help someone be noticed or improve the overall condition of the world. He is always working toward making life more bearable and I think that is the kind of person I want to be when I reach my ultimately successful moment.
I want to know that I can impact someone so much and it amazes me how few words he needs to say to do just that. I just received this poem in my email:

Prayer for the Someone who is Somewhere Dying 

I did not know you
we did not counsel each other through the hardships of experience
we did not foolishly believe that a driver’s license
was the cure to our failed popularity

we never laughed at each other
with the well meaning that you can find sculptures of
in any cathedral
 that was built to memorialize love

we did not backpack across Europe and drink cheap wine
while celebrating our adventures in flesh
I wish we would have 
but seldom were my thoughts
that you were even out there
I did not know you
we did not feel the inconsistent tides 
of our comings and goings

the way friends sometimes do

we did not lay heavy sacrifices upon the altars of longing
hoping to bed those we dreamt of in our youth
and if by chance distance allowed us to do so
we never traded the stories
as if they were the baseball cards
needed to complete the collection of ourselves
we did not break bread
I wish we would have

but seldom were the times I took pause to think of you
until now you have only been a concept

something that I once or twice glimpsed

and later dismissed as a cunning trick of light and shadow
but please know

I cannot live in your absence with only the wretched excuse
that I did not know you
so sleep now
knowing that upon my death
my body will be the candle that I light for you.

Shane Koyczan 

A Lesson in Generosity

For the past year there has really been something tugging at the front of my brain and although I thought it was a really cool idea, it was something that I thought seldomly happened or wouldn’t happen to me, however, last Thursday I was proven wrong.

It was the first day of classes and since I’m part of a middle college (high school and college) I was required to attend. I had gotten ready in a hurry that morning and forgot the lunch I had planned on my bedroom floor, leaving me with $4 to feed 2 hungry teenagers. As we were walking through Fred Meyers I looked to my girlfriend and said, “Okay. We have $4, what do you want to eat?” or something along those lines.

At this point I was almost completely oblivious to the employee  stacking boxes in the vegetable/deli section and was quite surprised when she popped up in front of us and handed us a wad of cash. She said that it wasn’t much, but it would at least get us lunch. We asked the lady if she was sure, and took the money, only to find out that she had given us $12. There is a big difference between $4 and $16 and it was because of her that we were able to eat lunch for the three days following the incident.

I never saw her name tag and she seemed to disappear shortly after, but it’s thinks like this that make me want to pay for someone else’s meal. I have yet to actually do it, but once I get enough money to make sure I can feed myself, I would love to pay for someone else’s meal and see what happens.

The generosity of this woman not only made my day because I was fed, but because I was overjoyed that someone would give away their hard earned cash to a couple of teenagers trying to feed themselves. I’d love to know I made someone else’s day that way.