Rarely do I discuss our decision to take up a raw vegan lifestyle with anyone but my beloved husband. On the occasion that I do, people mainly ask, "Why?"
One thing is certain. It's not because I care about what people think.
This wasn't always true. The first time I was vegetarian and mostly vegan, which was over 15 years ago, I found out that behind my back, some people were saying I looked anorexic or anemic. The implication was that rather than following a healthy lifestyle, I had an eating disorder. I felt wounded by the comments and as a result I second-guessed myself, but it seems silly now. I had never felt better in my life. My body type is ectomorph; I'm supposed to be thin. When I changed my eating habits, I gained weight. Gradually I began to feel increasingly unwell. What's more important, approval from people who don't really care about you when it gets right down to it, or one's health?
Looking back over my life, some of the things I did that I regret now had to do with placing approval from others above my own highest vision.
Recently I saw a comment that a non organic person made. He said that people choose an organic lifestyle because they want to look like they are better than other people. The problem with that statement is that people who live an organic lifestyle are not necessarily more highly regarded than those who do not. Perhaps some people choose organic because it makes them feel better about themselves, but hopefully most are not silly enough to believe it will make others think more highly of them. Regardless, approval is not a good reason to choose any given lifestyle.
It comes down to a person's individual core values. What do you stand for? How do you wish to be the change you wish to see in the world? Do you want to place your health in the hands of major multinational food, agricultural and pharmaceutical conglomerates who will place shareholder profits above your personal welfare? Do you think it's okay to pollute the environment? There are heroes and role models for any value set. We can each choose our own.
Today while shopping at the grocery store, it seemed that everywhere I looked, I saw obese people, painfully and tiredly walking the aisles buy more food that contains sugar, salt and fat with far too few nutrients. I know that walk and that feeling of being undernourished and overfed. I no longer choose that, irregardless of how weird others may think my choices are.
I am 8.5 lbs. lighter today than I was almost a month ago, and I have more energy. That's reason enough for me.