The biopsy results came back negative! I was to be retested again later in the year. I breathed a sigh of relief and continued to chant and read. I wasn’t switching back to Standard American Diet (SAD, it really is sad!) now that I knew the things that I knew. My eyes have been opened and in a way I am glad that the whole incident happened. It caused me to really delve into my being, to learn and discover things that I was not aware of, important things that every person should know so that they can make educated decisions about their health. By April, after a month of closely following the system I finally overcame a three week “cold” that I was having, lost 18 pounds (I went a little faster than was suggested when switching, thus creating a sped up process of detoxification), going back to my high school weight and had loads of energy to run in circles if I wanted to. My stomach problems that tormented me on almost daily basis were gone, the allergies, and with them constant sneezing and sinus headaches, were nonexistent.
After the initial key switch to eat more naturally, I continued experimenting with foods that were still on the menu and eliminated a few more. By June, I was vegan (except for honey) and proud! I wanted to stop eating meat for the longest time, ever since I became a Buddhist. Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism doesn’t have a requirement for people to be vegetarians, it is something that each one of us has to come to realize on our own, but I always knew that one day I will do it. I love animals and eating flesh disturbs and disgusts me. Any time that I ate meat in the past, I had to pretend that it wasn’t a piece of an animal that I had in my mouth. I have to admit that some of it, clean boneless stakes and white chicken meat, tasted good, as long as the thought of what it was that I was eating didn’t cross my mind. Sometimes it did and I then I had to urgently search for a napkin to spit the food out before it caused me to gag.
Just like my ex-husband dismissed my interest in Buddhism as another one of my unfinished projects, my boyfriend didn’t think that the whole “I don’t eat meat anymore” streak would last. Well, I have been chanting for almost eight years and have no intention of ever stopping. The same goes for being vegan. Just because something is new doesn’t mean that it isn’t serious! Besides, there isn’t one reason for me to come back to eating meat. Innocent animals live a life of suffering, get tortured and then get killed so that humans can have some food on their plates that they can’t even digest properly because their bodies aren’t made for assimilating animal protein. Growing stock for meat consumption majorly contributes to pollution of our environment. It isn’t good for my health and even the idea of tasting it is repelling. There is no more pretending that the stake is not some poor cow dissected in pieces. I can see its sad eyes looking at me with horror as it is being jolted by a shock of electricity. I want to weep for it. I want to beg its forgiveness for my greedy selfish appetite of the past, for other people who don’t know any better and for those who just don’t give a damn. Humans have been rewarded with independence, intelligence and creativity. But we, misunderstanding the gift announced that we are superior to all and let our egos grow out of proportion. Instead of fulfilling our roles as the protectors of the Earth, we selfishly proceed to mow everything that stands in the way of getting what we want.