After returning from a trip to New York earlier in March, I had some deep realizations about the food I ingested and how it made me feel. My love for beings other than humans also helped build my bridge to veganism. Though I was vegetarian for a short period of time it came to an end due the lack of support and self will. In more recent years, I realized I had an intolerance for dairy and still never really craved eating meats. You can probably say that I could be a server’s worst nightmare when eating in a restaurant what isn’t fully plant-based. I cook for myself pretty religiously, which can take a good amount of time out of my day. However, referring back to my previous post about the art of planning, you just have to make time.
My lifestyle transition to vegansim has been one beautiful experience. I’ve become more intrigued about the nutritional benefits of different plants and more about exploring the endless plant-based recipes. On the other hand I didn’t really educate myself more about the different aspects of animal cruelty.
This past July I had taken an trip to San Diego with a dear friend of mine. We did the per usual beach trip, visited some restaurants, and had some night life excursions. On our last day, the plan was to head to the Del Mar Horse Race tracks. I had never seen or attended one but all I knew was there were horses and people that would probably be wearing nice hats. Entering the stadium it felt like a cross between a fair and and a fashion show. Various food vendors, play areas for the little ones, ladies and gents dressed in their cutest Summer outfits, etc.
I quickly learned that main event was all about betting which horse would dash to the finish line the fastest. No harm in that right ? Then second race in, I saw one of the horses freak which caused the jockey to fall off his horse. The gate keeper furiously tugging on the horse as it screeched its “nays”. It was that “ah ha” moment when I realized horse racing is just another form of animal cruelty. I sunk so deep in my seat with disgust and contemplative embarrassment. Questions going through my head like;
“How did you not know that horse racing is like this?!”
“Why are you even here?!”
“How can I get out of here?!”
I expressed to my friend about how I felt, but he tried to reassure me that it was not the case. That uncomfortable feeling was imbedded so deep I was nearly at a loss for words up until we went back to Los Angeles to meet with other friends. Sharing my experience with them I think they were confused as to why my thought process was such. Which in all transparency made me feel pretty idiotic.
The weekend came to an end and I had some time to reflect in solitude. I came to a conclusion that what I don’t know is what I don’t know. I didn’t grow up watching movies like ‘Seabiscuit’ or spend my time in farms, let alone be around animals really. I’ve watched a couple videos on animal cruelty, but were more regarding the meat and dairy industry.
The biggest aspect of why I write to you about this life experience is that there is an importance to be kind to yourself. Initially, I was extremely hard on myself for my lack of knowledge that I ended up shaming myself instead of taking that experience as something I can learn and grow from. We are all students of life and all have the capabilities to create impacts.Without these stumbles we won’t be able to find our own tempos of our copacetic beings.