Let me tell you a secret.
Yes, I’m a V.
Vegan, that is.
Don’t get me wrong. I never thought for a second that I’d decide to get into this. My inherent carnivorous self would kneejerkingly look forward to downing those sumptuous steaks at Del Monte Clubhouse whenever we’d go up to Bukidnon.
I remember being in a posh lunch meeting with the company president and my boss back at my previous stint, and they were talking about the variety of colors that make up a good meal. They were complimenting each others’ plates, observing the harmonious reds, purples and beiges on a bed of varied greens. Then my boss looked at my plate – my predominantly brown, meaty plate.
Why do something crazy like this at a time like this, you say. I revel in crazy, radical stuff. But really, the intent is to deepen my yoga practice through this.
Dude, it hasn’t been easy. I recently went berserk as I mindlessly ordered milk tea to quench my thirst after an intense yoga class. I had to take the time to ask if there was such a thing as a soy milk tea (of which they had none). There was a long discussion of having to bargain on changing my order from milk tea to just tea.
But moments like these taught me the value of mindfulness, of being aware of how food is prepared, and how it differs or resembles its original form. It’s been wonderful, actually.
And my favorite yoga teacher would always remind us of this beautiful Sanskrit statement that goes:
Loka Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
May all beings be happy and free, and may the words, thoughts and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that freedom and to that happiness for all.
Beings include animals.
I saw this TED talk about the brain in love, and there was an interesting bit there about brains beyond the Homo sapiens sort:
I would also like to tell the world that animals love. There’s not an animal on this planet that will copulate with anything that comes along. Too old, too young, too scruffy, too stupid, and they won’t do it. Unless you’re stuck in a laboratory cage — and you know, if you spend your entire life in a little box, you’re not going to be as picky about who you have sex with — but I’ve looked in a hundred species, and everywhere in the wild, animals have favorites.
And yet I have been born and raised to see farmed meat for my daily consumption as a desensitized norm.
What if humans were farmed? A couple of years back, I chanced on watching a Cine Europa film titled Never Let Me Go. It was about an introspection on humans being farmed. It was a pretty provocative and perplexing experience watching that movie, and although I got to see it a while back, I wasn’t able to go deep enough and perceive the call to action.
Last year, I got to attend a nutrition talk arranged by vegans, and they talked about how adopting this lifestyle actually meant cutting the middleman of getting the nutrition source, which in this case are the animals we ingest for meat. The misnomer is that it’s only through meat that we get protein, but it’s the amino acids that are vital in protein. So much amino acids can be found in super green vegetables.
And so in all matters that involve going straight to the source, cutting the middleman, cutting the fixer and making things more efficient, the economist in me is pacified. And being a fan of Total Quality Management, it goes without saying that I have high respect for best practice aimed at efficiency measures. Yup, this reasoning to the cause for being vegan makes me one happy camper.
So this, my friends, is my attempt at making my homeostatic system more efficient. Inasmuch as energy and time and space are finite, it will all depend on what I choose for my body to dedicate its energy to: Digesting junk? Or freeing up that unneeded effort and instead funneling that energy towards passions, towards people, towards ambitions?
So above and beyond the call for animal rights, I simply subscribe to the notion of efficient living. And it doesn’t hurt that all the vegans I’ve met so far were all pretty hot. Don’t mind if I join the bandwagon, misters and misses!