Sunday, March 13, 2011

Thank You! Yes, YOU!

Photo © Michael Bartelle
When I started Kiss Me, I'm Vegan back in 2008, it was out of a desire to share. 

So, I'm beginning a blog about my new adventures eating vegan (been doing this since the beginning of October). This has been a goal in the making for a while now- and since the holidays are nearing, I will definitely be veganizing all of my family's traditional classics- and here is the perfect place to share. There will be recipes, stories, and lots of etcs. Mostly, this will be a place where I hope people, vegan and non-vegan alike, can find a sense of connection. Whether you've been eating vegan since birth, new to veganism, or a compassionate omnivore, my hope is that you will be able to learn something new about food and life... and mostly, I'm just plain obsessed with food.

Since graduating from NYU in 2006, my life has had many twists and turns. I have had some awesome and exciting experiences, made mistakes, and learned so much. And in the midst of it all, I've made a huge realization- that I love animals very much. How I got to this point and where I will go from here is why I created this blog. I'm so freakin' excited. :)


- from my very first blog entry, "Oh Boy, What Have I Done?", November 21, 2008

A desire to share the joy I found in my newly vegan lifestyle. A desire to share my favorite recipes. A desire to share this new love I had found in wanting to help be a voice for animals. 

I was not prepared for the posts about veganism that would pour out of me on the roughest of days.

Photo © Joanna Wilson Photography
I think of the billions of cows, chickens, turkeys, geese, and pigs who are forced to live a daily hell in factory farms twenty-four hours a day. I think about the baby cows who are ripped from their mothers shortly after birth so that they can both become a part of what John Robbins so appropriately calls "The Food Machine".   I think of animals that do not possess the voice or physical power to stop what is being done to them. I think about their unending pain, their fear, their loneliness and desolation. And then I think about the factory workers who have no other choice than to be a part of such an abusive system. 

And when I think about all of that, it hits me. These animals need me to wake up each morning. They need my help. They need my voice. They need me. They don't need my selfishness. They don't need me to throw a pity party for myself, when they don't even so much as receive a moment to enjoy themselves.
 
- from "One Thing I Know for Sure", October 24, 2009

I was not prepared for the countless reasons to smile I would find as I spent each week advocating on behalf of animals and sharing it with this community.

1) I'm getting married in seven weeks.

2) Steve is officially vegetarian. Go Steve!

3) I just registered to participate in my first Walk for Farm Animals on October 3rd!

4) Yet another vegetarian restaurant has opened up in my area. Yay!

5) My cats are all healthy and happy (and lounging in the same room as me right now).
 6) Two lovely new cookbooks have entered my life: Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Vegan Brunch and Lauren Ulm's Vegan Yum Yum. Fabulous.
7) Christmas is only three months away (which makes this Christmas baby very happy indeed).
 
8) I finally have time to attend a Farm Sanctuary Activist Meeting (this is a year in the making).
9) Steve's mom bought us a Cake Maker set as a wedding shower gift, complete with a decoration kit. Domesticated bliss. :)
 
10) I have a roof over my head, food in my kitchen, clean running water, and a whole lot of love in my life.

- from one of my many "Reasons to Smile", September 23, 2009

I was not prepared for the dozens of interviews, stories, recipes, giveaways, and guest blogs I would be sharing as well. 

Veganism taught me a connection with food that did not exist before. It also got me on the path to caring about being a better person, being eco-conscious. and being the type of person who believes in making a difference in the world. It has completely shaped the person I’ve become and the one I’m continually trying to be.  
 
- from my interview with Rory Freedman, June 18th, 2010

I was not prepared to discover the deep down love I would find for animal activism.

In the few years that I've been doing this work, I've learned this much: the goal in the life of an animal activist is not only to share the information necessary for change, but to help generously bring a person to that first step of becoming enlightened. To allow that person to experience positive change firsthand, so that they can create room for change in their own lives and in others' lives. To be willing to stand nakedly in front of people with my own personal truth and experience, so that they may glean whatever necessary buds of awareness they can from what I've learned. To be willing to make this work deeply personal and deeply felt, but to also stand rooted, calm, tall, and strong when faced with opposition. To be still and listen to the animals of this world for knowledge and inspiration. To comfort others by showing them a better way, a more loving way, of existence. To find the peace and beauty in the the budding flowers and leaves amidst the chaos of factory farming, animal abuse, and the degradation of our earth. To know this deep down truth and to still want to spread my branches. This is the challenge of the animal activist, but this is also the beautiful reward. 

- from "As Tall As The Tallest Tree", October 16, 2010

I most definitely was not prepared to see 400 official supporters on the side of my blog last night. I am overfilled with so much humility, gratitude, and excitement about this little old blog's past, present, and future that I cannot contain myself. I am bliss on this beautiful Spring Forward Sunday morning in Los Angeles. 

First of all, I want to say - 
THANK YOU!

Thank you to each and every one of you - you have made my life, my work, and my passion for veganism a true gift. Your support, your encouragement, your comments and feedback, your love, and your loyalty to this blog, and ultimately, to compassion, inspires me in ways I can't even begin to describe.  I want to be a better blogger, a better activist, a better vegan, a better human being because of all of you. Thank you. 

Photo © Joanna Wilson Photography
In honor of what I feel is one bliss-filled milestone, I've decided that I will be sharing old posts on the blog from time to time this month, both to remind myself of where, why, and how I started this blog and to also share with all of you, longtime supporters and new alike, the moments that led me to this one today. 

I also value your ideas, your voices, and your stories, so please continue sharing with me all of the ways you want to contribute to the KMIV family through the comments on the blog and also by emailing me.

I will end with one of my favorite blog posts to date - a post that came to me one night when I wasn't expecting it - kind of like how veganism came to me back in 2008. May you have a beautiful, delicious, and compassionate Sunday, and even more so, may you celebrate yourselves today for being kiss-worthy activists, vegans, and vegans-to-be. You have filled my heart with more joy than I can stand, and if I could make a list of reasons to smile today, it would be filled with each and every one of your names. Thank you.

Glow.

Glow is what you have after learning to joyfully live in accordance with your values and beliefs. Glow is what I have been blissfully feeling ever since my two-year mark of veganism passed last month, and as I was cleaning a boatload of dishes and sipping some coffee tonight, it hit me. I'm really happy. And veganism is to blame. 

 Oh sure, I could blame this glee on a certain husband who I will be celebrating my one-year wedding anniversary with this weekend. Or I could blame it on the fact that I'm finally starting to love my animal advocacy job. But if I really take the time to think about it, living vegan is my biggest "reason to smile" lately - and for good reason too. Because of living vegan, I can finally look at any animal I pass during the day and know that I am doing all that I can to help them live a better life here. Because of living vegan, I can go to sleep each night feeling at peace with my body and mind, knowing that I'm feeding them both by acting as compassionately and positively as possible each day. Because of living vegan, I smile and laugh and swell with gratitude at this amazing gift that fell into my lap two years ago. Because of living vegan, I love more deeply, breathe more fully, and trust each and every instinct inside of me. Because of living vegan, I feel free - free to be my best self, free to be honest with what I really want in life, free to be as present as possible.

So, thank you, veganism, for helping me to shine and glow. I love you more than words can say, and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you.

xoxo,
Lindsay

- from "A Love Letter", November 10, 2010

8 comments:

dirtyduck said...

"Because of living vegan, I can go to sleep each night feeling at peace with my body and mind..."

love that line.

i enjoyed reading this post, its fun to go back in time:) look forward to more this month, what a great idea!!
as for suggestions for you blog, i wouldnt mind reading more about your job and what you do there. i think you are doing what a lot of us wish we were.

CurlyLocks said...

I'm so happy to see 402 followers of your blog!

About two and a half years ago, I remember thinking less than positive thoughts when my son told me that his fiancee had become vegan. Strange, unhealthy, and radical were words that came to mind. So... isn't it amazing that because of my now vegan son and daughter-in-law, I became a vegetarian last year and am now eating a vegan diet?

Love reading your Reasons to Smile!

Bridget said...

Beautifully put. I've been a vegan for several years now and came across your blog a few months back. Thank you for all you do for animals and for your inspiration!

Molly G said...

You always put a big fat smile on my face, even if I only get to see you through a digital page. For that, I am thankful. Your words come from your soul, and they are lovely to read.

tan said...

That was a lovely post!

Angela said...

A big THANK YOU to you, Lindsay, for sharing all these beautiful thoughts and for giving me a reason to smile. I think it would also be interesting to highlight some positive comments from past posts as well. Just an idea.
Shine on Lindsay, shine on...

Jeri@GodsDreamsForMe said...

You rock! and you know what? I totally remember your "glow" post. I'm so thankful for you & steve. God Bless You in all you do and all you both are.

Fran said...

Love your story!
I'm only just starting my vegan journey by going vegan for lent. Writing down my story here: http://vegansmarties.wordpress.com