MY VEGAN JOURNEY – BY DALLAS
One of the most fascinating aspects about being vegan is continuing to be brought to deeper levels of consciousness. It’s been over five years and my only regret is that I didn’t start sooner. Back in 2004 when I was running a naturopathic clinic and apothecary, I discovered through my nutritional studies that a vegan diet and lifestyle was optimal so I made the decision to be vegan. It was a great experience and I loved it. But after about 8 1/2 months, I started eating meat and dairy again. Because I’d made the decision for nutritional reasons as oppose to moral ones, I didn’t stick with it. I had entered the world of competitive bodybuilding and still believed the idea that I had to eat meat to get big. And because I hadn’t investigated the moral or spiritual reasons for veganism, which are far more powerful, I switched back. But I never forgot the experience and how much I loved it; I felt so good and strong, light and lean. It always stuck with me and I thought—I could do that again.
Such a time came after multiple experiences, all life changing in their beauty and uniqueness, of working with animals—all varieties of domestic and wild. I visited several sanctuaries, worked in cat rescue and volunteered. Each precious encounter was working on my soul. It simply made less and less sense to love and care for these animals, then go consume them. Why would I do that? One reason alone: conditioning. So I prayed and mediated about it. And as it always does, answers came by and by.
I was talking with my dad on the phone one day in one of our frequent fitness and nutrition related conversations, and I said, “I could totally go vegan again. I wouldn’t eat a cat or a dog. If I was friends with a turkey, I don’t think I would eat them either.” And as I said it, I realized, I’d already met many of these animals. Why is it different? Are these animals not loving, not unique? Do they not have intelligence, emotions, souls? All evidence shows they clearly do.
I did meet a turkey later at The Gentle Barn. They love to cuddle. The people there said that hugging a cow was life changing. They were right. They are big gentle warm dogs. These many moments fill one’s heart with a lightness that can’t be described.
So it wasn’t so much that I chose to become vegan; it’s something that happened to me. I was changing and my consciousness made it impossible to go on consuming or using animal products.
Adding to that, my growing awareness of the deplorable conditions of factory farming, which can only be described as absolute hell on earth, wicked and abusive beyond imagining, was more than enough to confirm this was nothing to be a part of. Simply no good comes from that situation of torture and misery.
The cognitive dissonance in my mind was no longer tolerable with my knowledge and personal experiences. The mental gap closed, and I was free from that lifelong disconnect.There are numerous scriptures in the Bible that show being vegan to be the ideal, and certainly to show compassion toward all creatures. The deeper I dug, the more and more it made sense on every level: nutritionally, environmentally, and morally.
“And God said, ‘Behold, I give you every plant that produces seeds upon the earth and every tree that has fruit with its seed inside of it: these shall be your food. And I give all green plants to every wild animal and to all the birds of the air and to all creatures that move upon the surface of the earth and that have the breath of life in them.’ And it was so.” —Genesis 1:29-30
“Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.” —Psalms 36:6
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you.” —Job 12:7
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight.” —Luke 12:6
The change then was simple to put into action; the slow part had been the process getting there. What I couldn’t have anticipated fully were deeper and deeper levels of freedom and consciousness: freedom from the conflict in my mind and awareness and connectedness to all living things.
If you’re considering vegetarian or vegan, I suggest small steps:
Find delicious vegan snacks you love. I love Dr. Schulze’s SuperFood Plus in a smoothy with plant protein, frozen fruit, nut butter, cacao nibs and almond milk. I also love simple snacks like fruit and vegan cheese, hummus and carrots, walnuts and raisins.
Don’t be afraid to look into the reality of factory farming. Don’t let fear keep you from the truth. You don’t have to watch every documentary ever made, but it’s important to be willing to see the reality. It may be enough. For me it was more than enough.
At least start thinking about it. Everything starts with a thought. I thought, prayed and meditated about it. It grew and things were revealed and I was guided.
At least switch to organic, grass fed, free range. Really make sure the company is legit because they can be very tricky on packaging. Yes it costs more, but the quality is better and it is really a big step in the right direction toward more compassion and less suffering.
Try one day a week. Meatless Mondays is a brilliant way to start. Great things are built by taking little steps. Never underestimate this power. I’ve done it with everything in life from training in boxing, bodybuilding, and mastering the piano.
Visit a place like The Gentle Barn. Be open to the heart filling surprises that come into your life by connecting with other living beings.
The first time I went vegan was great and I loved every minute of it, but keep in mind that was before Beyond Meat or Impossible Burger. There are now multiple brands of meatless patties, crumbles, and non-dairy cheeses. I really feel spoiled, and I’m grateful for so many options. Compared to back then, it’s a vegan cake walk.
— Dallas Malloy
OUT OF THE FIRE – BY DALLAS
I used to think freedom from the grind would only come when I had reached a certain financial level. But after hitting major burnout, this idea was shaken and transformed. The goal of financial freedom is still a great one, but I knew my peace of mind couldn’t be predicated on my bank account. I had to exist free from the never-ending hustle mentality. Writing this sounds obvious but it was very different to experience the realization in real time. I had been striving and grinding nonstop for years with no real break and no end in sight. So the new perspective was actually a relief although unexpected. The constant grind drove me into the ground. For a limited period of time it worked, but I tend to go to the max with everything I do and even with no end in sight, I persist. So the problem is it becomes a situation of diminishing returns. I had to pay for burning the candle at both ends.
Keeping a top level of health and fitness for many years and rarely getting ill, I am not accustomed to having to stop. But after ignoring urgent rest signals I was simply exhausted and mentally fed up. After getting the flu, then a severe sinus infection that kept me from recording, I had to rest. I was tired of endless hustle for work and the chipping away of the soul effect of being on social media. So I took a break, just stopped it all. If you don’t take a break, circumstances will give you one.
I’m a quick study so I took the lesson; I don’t need it to get any worse. Bad is bad enough. So I finally utilized some of the strategies I had in my tool belt but hadn’t employed i.e. limit social media to two times a day picking optimal times, and keeping it to business i.e. posting, managing profiles and comments. That’s mainly it. However, I have learned prior not to be too rigid about any rule because it can become legalistic and I will ultimately rebel against it. So if I linger on instagram to see some of my cat friend’s recent videos, that’s ok. I just reign it in so it doesn’t snowball into the previous setup-checking insta etc. throughout the day compulsively, letting every quiet moment unassigned with some other task or activity be hijacked with checking. Constant checking steals every moment if you let it. This is no way to live; it’s just not sustainable or synonymous with an enjoyable and satisfying full life. It’s compulsive, and I’ve had my share of that with alcoholism and drug addiction. Gratefully and with continual work, I’ve been free from those afflictions for many years. Because of those experiences I am sharply in tune to compulsion cropping up in other areas no matter the crafty disguise. I’m sensitive to the heat and learn quickly. After all, I’ve already been through the fire.
— Dallas Malloy
Dallas Piano Performance & Original Written Work
“Christmas in the City of Angels”
Dallas reading original work at Strong Words IV 4.21.12
“I was lucky enough to see Dallas read an excerpt from an autobiographical book she is working on. I was completely blown away by her writing. It is always difficult to avoid rambling when tapping into something that is that personal, but she did. Every passage offered a revelation on the subject of obsession and self discovery. Her ability to remain unpretensious, funny and rivetingly honest while sharing her remarkable life experience is astonishing. The material flowed from descriptive storytelling to elegant and dangerous detail with an effortless grace that made it an edge of your seat listening experience. It was my first time hearing her work but I can not wait to hear more from this gifted story teller.” –Michael Gans, Writer
Dallas reading original work at Strong Words III 3.25.12
“Dallas Malloy writes with the grace, precision, and elegant force of a fighter. Her sudden jabs of humor blended with raw, brutal insight and wisdom will have you up against the ropes, then down for the count.” –Steve Alden Nelson, Writer/Performer
COPYRIGHT DALLAS MALLOY 2012