I’m going to preface this little piece by totally and heart openly declaring that I ain’t someone who fears change. If anything, I fear stagnation and [too much] stability. That’s not to say it’s how I’ll be forever, but it’s for now. On the spectrum of a measure for my comfort and joy, with ‘sameness’ at one end and ‘change’ on the other – I’m definitely parkin’ my [eco friendly] car at the changing end. Our world, environment, society and selves are changing erryday. The seasons tell us, quantitative measures and data tell us and our intuition and gut tell us. The times, they are a-changin.
One of the most radical shifts I have experienced over recent times is in the umbrella domain of food and nutrition, and specifically our perceptions of and attitudes towards these topics. Case in point – vegetarianism and veganism. I was having a chat with my friend recently, who has been transitioning herself and her family, to a primarily plant based diet. We spoke about how common it is to experience ‘stage fright’ and a fear of speaking our own truth in our journey because of a fear or resistance around how we might be perceived.
If I had a dollar for erry time a family member or loved one said something along the lines of – ‘
You’re vegan? So you don’t eat ANY meat? Where do you get your x, y and z [insert any variety of nutrient here] from then? Don’t you miss cheese?! Oh God, I could never do that. It’s all about moderation anyway. We are hunter gatherers.’ etc.
And my responses would be. ‘I don’t like labels [fashion or food based] so I think of myself more as a plant based eater than vegan, but chyeah. Nope. From plants. Nope [ooooh except the occasional pangs for a gorgonzola if I’m having a glass of chardonnay]. ZOMG, same – I never thought I could or would either! Yes … but moderation of foods that we need to survive, not ones that come at a detriment to our planet or its inhabitants. I can’t remember the last time that I, or anyone in my life, ‘hunted or gathered’ for their diet so I don’t know if that’s still a valid fallback.
However, so very often my responses often look a little more like this ‘I …. Ah, I don’t know. Not like a proper vegan. I don’t know … I don’t eat much meat. I get, uh calcium from uh [think Emily, think] almonds [ooo good thinking!] and [yes?] leafy greens [good girl!]. Why don’t we stop talking about all of this and I’m going to do a little dance to entertain//distract you? [sassy emoji and heavy breathing].”
Not quite as eloquent is it? But so often, and this extends beyond the scope of food choices, we collapse under the pressure of when our behaviours and thoughts and beliefs are challenged and are rendered speechless. Recently I’ve embraced this learning curve with open arms. Instead of perceiving these interactions to be uncomfortable, upsetting or painful – start to shift your perspectives to view these as an opportunity to affirm or even reevaluate your current practices. If you can’t back up your actions with reason and intention, then maybe we do need to review what exactly is the fuel behind your choices – have they come from an outward source or pressure, or have they come from a place of conscious thought and present decision making?
Anyway – the point of this post isn’t to ramble and describe [in way too much detail] how my brain converts to mush when confronted – although, impressive how I go from intelligent being to the prowess of a clam in 0.5 seconds right? Today’s post is about redefining our perceptions of what it is to be plant based. In essence, this is all about showcasing the biggest movers and shakers who are redefining veganism and changing the game. These badasses are people from all walks of life who have seen a different way of doing things, and have run towards this opportunity with an open heart, open mind and open mouth [you know, for the vegan yummies].
There are two things I love. Plant based yummies and well timed profanities. Enter … Thug Kitchen. Tick, mother effin tick. When their cookbook launched, the unique colloquial format and the hearty dishes were welcomed with open arms. THEN people suddenly clicked that, ‘Hey! No animals were harmed in the making of this book. Daaaaaym son.’ They won people over first with their thugness, then with their ethos. What’s their mission? “So we’re here to help cut through the bullshit. Promoting accessibility and community are important as fuck here at Thug Kitchen. We’ve got a big table and everyone is welcome to it.”
My #womancrushwednesday erryday. This girl has changed the game for me. Vegan with a side of quirk, a splash of authenticity and a whole lotta amazing recipes. Laura is the founder of Sidesaddle Kitchen, a raw vegan pop up bakery, and the star of Raw.Vegan.Not Gross – a hilarious youtube series that shares incredible recipes with a plethora of plant based adoring fans. I treated myself to her cookbook recently and absolutely fell in love with her honesty, hilarity, passion and obvious talent for what she does. Rewriting the rules and sharin’ dope food.
This man was probably the catalyst to instigating the biggest changes within my lifestyle and diet. And I didn’t just fall in love with him because he could quite easily voice a giant bear in a Pixar film. In a former life – this guy was a fourth generation cattle farmer, in the game for over 40 years. But after becoming all too familiar with the power of the meat and dairy industry and its stronghold over government – he decided to (break the rules) and speak up. His personal narrative, which includes discovering a spinal tumour in 1979 that left him paralysed, sparked a personal mission to shine a light on the unspoken and controversial side of the meat and dairy industries – from a health, environmental and ethical perspective.
// KYLE O’SULLIVAN //
No blurb or bio. Let the man’s insane talent talk for itself. The BEST thing I’ve everrrrr seen. So where’s your fuckin’ cave then?
So there you go. Four game changers. Four people redefining the rules, reshaping stereotypes and contributing to a better planet. Complete with #lols.
Blessings and plant based kisses x
Image sourced from : here