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Monday, September 24, 2012

What Grama Betty and veganism have taught me...

To love unconditionally. To give without expectation. To give your best until you take your last breath. To stand in the face of fear, and always have faith.

Today marks a day of celebration and love in my life. My grandmother Betty is enjoying a wonderful vacation at the beach while commemorating her birthday. This remarkable matriarch is the apple of my eye. She has been by my side through thick and thin, and I am so thankful to have her in my life. She's not traveled an easy road herself, but who among us has? Undeterred by adversity, she continues forward with love in her heart and faith in knowing that “in the end everything will be OK. If it's not OK, it's not the end.” I need this reminder every once in a while.

Today I am also blessed with my 5 year Veganiversary. For five years I have lived a complete vegan lifestyle. Of all the days in the calendar year, this is the one day that I really like to take a look back and reflect upon changes, achievements, and contemplate my goals for the future.

So what do veganism and my Grama Betty have in common?? Both have taught me to love unconditionally. There are reasons why there are poems written about a grandmother's love. It is unique, and yet grounded in wisdom. It teaches you to see through the temporary, for all things change, and then encourages you to get back up when you've fallen down. A love like this is absolute.

I have also found an unequivocal love in the vegan lifestyle. It is something that sparked my attention momentarily when I was a child, but it came back full steam ahead upon watching the movie Babe. Who knew “Why would the farmer eat me? The farmer is my friend.” would create such a spontaneous echo in my soul, so suddenly and unexpectedly? Many would call this type of love for other sentient beings unique, but it too is also grounded in wisdom.

All beings tremble before violence. All fear death, all love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?” ~Buddha

I cannot find anything more true than this statement. All beings, regardless of race, religion, sexual preference, physical body form or language, want and need the same basic life essentials: to love and be loved, to feel secure, and to be happy. We all bleed the same color. We laugh and cry in the same language. We all most certainly die.

Some people get their panties in an uproar over open discussions about spirituality and veganism, and some vegans get cranky when you mention any type of spiritual connection to the lifestyle. I guess these topics create uncomfortable feelings when they are not fully understood. It's hard to face fears and uncertainties, but isn't that an essential part of life? Looking, learning, thinking, reasoning, and feeling - these are all tools for understanding life. It's within these five elements we find ourselves on a path that is unique for each individual, whatever that path may be. So what is this all about anyway? What is the point that I am trying to make?

My Grama Betty once told me something that my Pap Larry would say when he was alive, and that is “When we die and go to heaven, we aren't going to walk down a corridor of doors marked Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, or Jewish. And if there is, won't everyone be surprised when it empties into the same big room.” Indeed, won't we? Standing together as brothers and sisters, regardless of creed, color, race, religion, or species, that is love and that is my point.


  1. What a beautiful post!! :) Your Grama sounds like an amazing lady. And congrats on your Veganniversary too!

  2. Lovely post! Congratulations on five years! :)

  3. Thank you guys very much! I just got off of the phone with her. They went into Ocean City today and checked out the old hotel we use to all stay at when we vacationed together many years ago. She had her grandson and played in the ocean with him, and had a wonderful dinner at JRs. She mentioned they had a vegan menu :)

  4. Yep, you have it right, girl. Love is the common thread which binds ALL living beings together on earth and in the afterlife.