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New Goals!

Well, well, well… if it isn’t… me. I found that once I finished yoga teacher training and then failed to start a yoga business that it was quite difficult to continue updating this blog. However, I suppose the term “destination yogi” still applies. Because it’s still a destination, right?

I’m putting that attitude on hold for the moment. Because guess what? I’ve started training for a half marathon! What?! Yeah. Why would I ever do such a thing? Because they put the race at Disneyland. So… I’ll be running through the parks and wearing some cute little princess running outfit that I find on Esty. Or maybe make myself. Who knows? The race is in May, on Mother’s Day to be exact. So there’s plenty of time.

However, you have to submit a “proof of time” by February 1st if you don’t want to be placed in the last corral. For a “proof of time” to need to have run at least a 10k in a timed event. I was reminded of this just about a week ago. I frantically signed up for a 10k that will be taking place… NEXT WEEKEND. The past week and a half I’ve been running like crazy. I finally got up to 4 miles… and hopefully 5 miles this weekend… and then 6 miles for the race. OK, it doesn’t seem so bad now that I’m looking at it. I’m giving myself one rest day a week. On my other “off” days I’m doing yoga or barre.

Oh yeah… I’m also going mostly vegetarian. Or “flexitarian.” Or “reducatarian.” WTF is that? Ever since the new year started I think I’ve had less than 10 meals total with meat in them. That’s pretty good for me. Honestly, it would be about 30 meals if I was eating my ‘normal’ way. Basically the school of thought is to reduce your intake of meat, eat more vegetables, and make sure the meat that you do eat is high quality. The hubby has been cooking vegetarian meals almost every night. Though last night I was so sick of beans that we had some chicken.

Do I feel better exercising and eating healthier? Maybe it’s too soon to tell. I’ve actually been having MORE trouble sleeping the past couple weeks. Is it a weird side effect? Also I’ve lost like 5 pounds. Should I be concerned or is it just water weight?

BOOK REVIEW: “YOGA AND VEGETARIANISM”

I finally finished the book assigned in yoga teacher training called “Yoga and Vegetarianism” by Sharon Gannon. You can read my first thoughts on the book in a post or two below this one. It was less than 150 pages but it took me well over a week to read it because it was so pretentious and I couldn’t stand the author’s “Holier Than Thou” attitude. This book might be good for those who are already vegan, but as a meat eater, it’s just condescending and rude. The author has a very in-your-face all-or-nothing attitude toward veganism. She doesn’t care if you’re against factory farming. She doesn’t care if you are vegetarian but still drink milk and eat eggs. She doesn’t care about any of your efforts to save animals unless you are 100% vegan. The basic premise of this book is – unless you are vegan then you are evil.

Here’s an excerpt from her book:

When you speak to others about vegetarianism or animal rights, you must not view them as stupid, callous, or evil. Instead, see them through your eyes of compassion. See them as holy beings, capable of kindness. If the person eats meat, why not view that as a temporary condition? If you can’t see others as potentially kind and compassionate beings, how can you every expect them to see themselves that way?

Uhhh, thanks for pointing out that I’m CAPABLE of kindness. How big of you.

Eating meat and consuming milk is an addiction: an addiction to violence. To facilitate a lasting positive change, we must view the person who is still eating these foods in the same like as we would view a drug or a sex addict.

Thanks again. Makes my heart all fuzzy. In an earlier chapter she compared women being raped to people eating meat. I would have put down the book at that point but I had to finish it for my assignment.

And lastly in her Q&A section:

Q: If the law of karma is true, then shouldn’t we accept the fact that animals are suffering because of their karmas?

A: It is true that every being is enjoying life or suffering as a direct result of his or her own past actions. The animals in factory farms may have been meat-eating human beings in a previous birth….

Seriously? You just stated the belief of reincarnation as FACT? I’m all for freedom of beliefs, but you can’t state this as fact. How am I supposed to trust that all your other statements are back by science? Congratulations. You lost me and all my faith in everything you have to say. 

She also admits earlier in the book that carrots and vegetables have feelings too but we eat them in order to cause the LEAST amount of damage.

That being said – just because I’m not on board with this particular author, it doesn’t mean that I’m dismissing other beliefs of vegetarianism / veganism. I just realllly disliked her approach. 

What the author needs to realize is that as a society we need baby steps. There’s no way that every person is going to give up their ways instantly. Ways that have been ingrained in our heads since birth and that our culture has practiced for thousands of years. Let’s focus on trying to stop factory farming. In my opinion, that’s the first rung on the ladder we need to get to. Then we can take some more steps. The all-or-nothing approach is just going to get people angry and upset.

So far this past week I’ve been limiting my meat intake to 1-2 meals per day instead of 3 meals a day like I was. And I’ve only bought humanely treated meat. Right now, that’s a good step for me. I have noticed, however, when I eat a vegetarian meal I get hungrier quicker. I used to be able to eat 3 meals a day with no desire to snack. Sometimes I’d even forget about lunch or look at the clock – “oh hey it’s 7:30 maybe I should think about dinner.” Vegetarian meals – at least the ones I’ve been eating – aren’t nearly as filling.

To Vegetarian or not To Vegetarian?

One thing that I’ve been seeing a lot of and hearing about during yoga teacher training is how vegetarianism is related to yoga. Yoga is all about non-violence and some believe that eating meat is going against those morals. Now I wouldn’t say that eating meat would make someone a violent person at all but it has been brought to my attention the way in which we get meat is very, very violent.

Before I go any further I’ll take a brief detour and discuss my history with vegetarianism. I was actually a vegetarian for a few months of my freshman year of high school. My reasoning was that if I had to do the actual slaughtering of the animal myself then I would never eat meat. (In fact, I still feel this way. Heck, I can’t even bring myself to kill a spider or a bug in the house). Of course this upset the meal-maker of the house (my mother) who did not want to make an extra meal for me. And me, being 14, did not want to cook my own meals. I think I mostly just ate pizza and ice cream and was really unhealthy about it. Shortly after I became a vegetarian I switched over to semi-vegetarian and did not eat red meat for the next 3 and a half years. During my freshman year of college was when I broke my no beef rule. And it was for a guy. Haha. I was dating this stupid horrible mess of a human being and he finally convinced me to eat a burger again. Well, if I was going to break it, I was going to go all out. We went to TGI Fridays and I got a bacon cheeseburger. I still to this day remember how delicious that burger was. I’m sure it wasn’t the best burger ever, but to me it tasted like the best burger because I hadn’t had one in nearly 4 years. Well, I never recovered from that. Meat and more meat please. I joke that I like to wrap my bacon in bacon. And with the new health discoveries in diets like the Paleo diet, well that has just added more meat into my diet. 

But then we were assigned this book to read in Teacher Training called “Yoga and Vegetarianism.” I was afraid to read it because I knew it could convince me to change.  And I warned my husband about it. And he said no matter what I did he would support me (cue – ‘awwwww’). The first couple of chapters actually ended up really pissing me off. Her arguments were a little harsh like comparing eating meat to raping a woman. (OK – it wasn’t that bad but it was along those lines. Her point was more that a meat eaters excuse was that we’ve been doing it for so many years so it must be right. And she pointed out that men have been raping women for years but that doesn’t make it right). She also described the difference between vegetarians and what she called “ethical vegetarians” – which basically meant “to be vegan.” It really rubbed me the wrong way because she was implying that unless you were vegan then you weren’t ethical. 

Then I got to the chapter on factory farming. And I have to say, this chapter basically destroyed me. I still haven’t been able to sleep soundly reading about how all the animals are tortured. For years of their life. And just recently have there been laws put into place that an animal has to have enough room to lay down in it’s cage. She also talked about some horrific incidents of how some farmers sexually abused the animals, which actually ended up making me cry – though I feel that was an unfair shot on the author’s part since that doesn’t have anything to do with eating meat, but whatever…

But after all of this I do know one fact. Whether or not you eat meat – factory farming needs to stop. The abuse to the animals can’t continue. Buy grass-fed beef if you buy beef. Buy cage-free (or even better – free range) eggs if you eat eggs. Buy organic. I know it costs more, but I’d rather spend a few extra bucks to support farmers who are trying to do right. I understand that eating meat is a part of the food chain, but abusing animals and confining them to horrific conditions and quarters is not. I don’t know if I will become a vegetarian – maybe I will by the end of this. But until then I’m going to be more conscious of where I get my meat from. Go to farmer’s markets more. Maybe I’ll even try to have a “Meatless Monday” or something like that. I don’t know. I want to make a difference somehow. Maybe I can.

 

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