Back in March (um, where did April go?) I discussed the phrase listen to your body, so now I'd like to talk about listening to your body vegan style. What does that mean? It means that if you're going to "listen to your body" you listen to your head, your heart, and your feet, all from a vegan perspective. From top to bottom:
Use your head. Another phrase you're no doubt familiar with, but an important one for vegans contemplating abandoning their convictions. I'm assuming you became vegan at least in part because of information your brain processed regarding animal use and abuse. Visual and numerical data made you pay attention. A shift in consciousness occurred because you allowed this data to not only be added to what you already knew, but to change how you felt and behaved.
So why ignore this accumulated body of knowledge when you're tempted to stray from the vegan path? Is your position that what you know about animal suffering and death doesn't matter? Or that this cruelty matters less than your own appetite? And why not take advantage of all the useful information out there? If concerns about health are really at the heart of your wavering commitment to animal justice, then why not seek out the expertise from professional vegan dieticians? I mentioned Jack and Ginny in the post referred to above, but what I admire about their approach is how they don't shy away from what vegans might not like to hear. Their philosophy is science above wishful thinking, and that makes me trust what they have to say. If I actually felt that my nutritional needs were being compromised by my vegan intake, I wouldn't hesitate to consult them before reverting back to a diet that harms others.
Don't want to contact them? Then do research on your own from other qualified sources. And part of proper research is determining IF your sources are qualified. What's their background? Their funding sources? Are they employed or supported by any organizations that profit from animal use?
While information is invaluable, it's pretty useless if your heart isn't open to receive it. You can throw all the scientific and well-documented data about animal use/abuse at someone, but if they're not ready to hear it, then they just won't make the connection. Receiving behaviour-changing information involves two organs: heart and brain. Both need to be receptive. (One of the reasons activists keep plugging away is that we can't know when and how the seeds we plant may eventually become fertile.) But you're vegan already, so your heartstrings were successfully tugged at and reached before. Why discard what your heart feels now? Compassion is what likely drove you to become vegan in the first place. Has that well of empathy really dried up?
Wondering what feet have to do with any of this? Becoming vegan changed your vision. It allowed you to see the injustice of how we treat other sentient beings, each other included. Your feet became more firmly planted in the knowledge of how our various economic, health, political, social, and legal organizations intersect to continue justifying and profiting from animal use.
So don't let your feet do a runner when it comes to vegan consciousness. Stay put, my friend, and utilize ALL of your bits and parts to keep listening to your body vegan style!