Veganism in Bangkok- Breaking Free.

I broke free from vegan ideology a few months ago after getting tired of the online noise of people telling other people how to live. It seems the movement which has seemingly good intentions, often perpetuates an inability to put oneself in the shoes of the other, a failure to listen, and a failure to respect ‘other’ way’s of being in the world. To me, if the place from which you protest social norms (in this case animal agriculture), or you push a political stance from of any direction comes from a place of hatred and self-importance, your message is void. For sure, you treat the animals well, but how well do you treat your human family here on Earth?

I understand that passion invites anger and that your love for animals, or yearning to save the environment or health goals takes heed, but if you’re going to commit to the vegan movement, surely try make it one of love not hate.

For me I no longer call myself a vegan. I first started to question it back in September when my eating habits became entirely messed up. Addicted to the delicious vegan junk food of Brighton, yet never feeling satisfied, I quickly clocked that something wasn’t right. For someone who has never had any issues with food, or any kind of disordered eating, I became concerned as my mind was intoxicated, thinking about food 24/7, constantly looking for the next bite. In order to prevent my issues escalating I had to totally re-think the diet I was following and this led me to research further the ‘health’ benefits of the diet which I quickly realised were not as clear-cut, and long term transformative for everyone as I’d always believed. I still think the movement is amazing and important, hence why I haven’t abandoned the diet completely; I still eat plant-based if I feel it is possible to do so. But the realisation that it may not be the best and only way, was a hard and confusing pill to swallow.

As well, I now feel the term is too heavily embroiled with ‘shoulds’ and ‘should nots’, ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ , ‘us” and ‘thems’. Such dualistic modes of thought I don’t see as ultimately beneficial in terms of cultivating a more peaceful world.

Living on the outskirts of Bangkok, if I were to militantly eat a ‘vegan’ diet and carry on with my daily life without making food the focus of my day, I’d be living off mangoes and plain rice, or peanut butter sandwiches and manky, white bread, which would only be possible for a few days before my human body and mind craved something more. So yes, I’ve been experimenting with what I put in my body, far more relaxed these days-I thought veganism was the answer to everything only a few months ago…..

So, delicious pad-thai, sometimes with egg, although I’d choose not if I had the option. Mushrooms soups with noodles and greens and chilli-my favourite kind of food for less than a pound! And of course noodles of all kinds covered in a variety of stir-fried veggies have been my go-to dishes so far. Although I hope it wasn’t, there’s every chance these dishes are tarnished with some oyster sauce or the like, but the language barrier means I probably never know exactly what goes into the wok.

My point then is that I feel we should find and promote balance in our lives. For sure, if you desire to live a strictly vegan lifestyle, and can do so in the area you live, and wish to spread the word without causing harm to others, I salute and support you. But I think we should disengage with this dualistic mind-set which ultimately promotes seperateness, and a skewed understanding that ‘one’ way is the answer for all. We must find solace in doing our bit, being kind to others, animals, the earth whilst also listening to our bodies and being kind to ourselves. For I know if I was eating plain rice and bread everyday, or had continued blindly on my vegan quest, my mental and physical health would be suffering right now.

Anyway I’m soo bored of vegan mumbo jumbo. I’m going to sleep and never talking about it again!

#vegan #exvegan #openmind

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