by Loretta Westbrook, Raglan, New Zealand
I’m a vegan nurse and I am also 65 years of age. Becoming vegan at 50 makes me a very late starter. I am vegan for ethical reasons, recognising that animals are beautiful, thinking, feeling creatures just like us. I am also a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. As an ex-farmer, I have done many years penance and grieving for the animals I used and abused.
When I first became vegan there was no one else in my family and I am sure my family believed I had lost my mind. Now, to my great joy, there are quite a few vegans including my much loved husband and partner. This happened over time when one by one they came to see the rightness of being vegan. I consider becoming vegan a spiritual journey and I have enormous respect for the sacredness of life. Animals teach us how to live in the moment, and are a joy to watch and learn from. To me, being vegan is the compassionate choice and flows through to respecting and valuing all life and the earth. Even in my dreams I am vegan, so it has definitely permeated my whole being.
One of the many benefits of being vegan has been learning to be more adventurous and extending my repertoire of recipes, and discovering the many wonderful plant based foods there are. I have learned to make nut milk, cheese and make agar jellies, and whole grain breads; so I really feel I do not miss out on anything. In fact, I have gained greatly.
My blood pressure has remained good, my cholesterol levels are great, my iron stores are good. In fact my doctor recently said my blood results were some of the best she had seen. Plus, I feel light in my being and know that my decision to open my heart and become vegan has been one of the best decisions of my life.
Special thanks to Butterflies Katz for publishing this as one of the entries in her short essay contest and eBook: I’M A VEGAN: One Movement, Many Voices.
Image courtesy of tuelekza at FreeDigitalPhotos.net