You know a book has some weight and power behind it when you haven’t read it, the people around you haven’t read it, you’ve never heard of the author or read any of his work, and yet a brief discussion about what is supposed to be found in its contents inspires you to consider a life-change of some significance. In this case, the book is Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. As I type this, I now own the book and have read about a third of it. My initial thoughts regarding its power and weight stand for now.
Among the most potent catalysts for change in my personal life is inspiration from the examples of others; particularly those I respect, care for, love, or simply like. So, when my brother-in-law asked my wife and me for advice on removing meat from his diet, I was inspired and re-invigorated to examine my own reasons for being a vegetarian and consider whether I was doing the right thing in the right way. Incidentally, I later learned that my brother-in-law’s decision to alter his eating habits was based, at least in part, upon listening to an interview with the author of Eating Animals. This dashed my delusions of grandeur, as I had assumed that he had been watching me for years and finally decided that it was time to follow in the footsteps of a great man…anyway.
What I have learned over the last couple of weeks about myself doesn’t really surprise me. The fact is, something has to change. I’m going vegan.
The details of and reasons for this pursuit will be worked out over the next several weeks. My wife is supportive and is going to join me. I’m giving us a full year to do it. At first I figured it would be easy, as I have already been a vegetarian for over five years and my wife has not eaten meat in over ten. We're not vegan, but we we rub elbows with the concept pretty regularly. However, the tightrope upon which I have gingerly placed the ball of my right foot seems to get a little higher every time I glance at the danger below.