My husband and I are transitioning our business over the summer from being a boutique design agency specializing in wine and food, to new ventures focused on environmental issues. We are doing this in less of a business plan model, and just trying multiple ventures and seeing what works.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous to give up billing $100/hour, but it definitely aligns with our hearts and family, and we will figure out how to make it work financially. So far Jonathan has been focusing on more environmental/green projects, and I will be more in raising awareness of how food choices affect animals and environment.
What I have learned through the last 3 years, and especially this summer, is that I am not comfortable in being fully vegan. I have tried to find the right moniker for my eating style- vegan light, hardcore vegetarian? I find it is very difficult for the general populace to imagine going from eating meat and/or dairy multiple times a day, to having none. If veganism is a religion- then there is no halfway, and no reason for them to try unless they fully embrace the ideals. I am still fully aware of how I was eating meat fairly recently, and would have possibly continued if I had not started learning about the issues. Although I began for health reasons, and my daughter wanting to be vegetarian. I now have multiple, much more important reasons.
If the message “eat less meat” is a message that is more easily acceptable and received, then that is the direction to embrace to effectively make change. Only when one’s mind is open to listening about the reasons why we all need to eat less meat, can there be understanding. The message, “You need to be 100% vegan” will immediately close that person’s mind.
In my life, I have chosen not to be religious because at an early age I learned that it causes division (my mother and father are different faiths). By choosing one religion, the others are false. Any dogmatic ideals create this tension. The basic tenet of all major religions is compassion towards others, especially those less fortunate. I believe this extends into our treatment of all animals regardless of how you feel their status relates to humans, exotic animals, or companion animals, as fellow earthlings.
If we can all strive for compassion, the overall burden will be less for the animals, our earth, our children. And that is what eat less meat is about. Not an “all or nothing” attitude, but a common goal of reducing and changing factory farming, creating more options for people who are trying to eat less meat, and giving everyone a way to help make Earth be physically survivable in the near future. Yes, that may sound drastic, but it has come to that point with drought, climate change and population growth that drastic steps must be immediately taken.
And that is why we are taking a “sabbatical” from earning money to pour our time and efforts into what we feel is the most important undertaking for our children, who will most certainly be affected.