There is a difference between knowing what is right and actually believing in it. There is a difference between knowing what is right and actually doing it. Up until that point I fully believed that I was doing the right thing. I knew veganism was the right choice. I knew that the animals were suffering needlessly in factory farms and slaughter house due to cruel and negligent workers, extreme conditions and other atrocities. But there were these burning doubts in my mind, specifically about nutrition. At that point I full believed that I was going to drop dead from lacking essential nutrients. I had bought into the industry hype about protein and fell right in line with the information I learned in school about the four basic food groups, not yet realizing that the USDA was stacked full of corporate shills. (Side note, look at this).
So the question I had was more than just whether or not I was going to throw out my possibly contaminated lunch, it was a fundamental question about just knowing what is right or actually fully accepting it as a reality. After some careful thought I realized that I had just been afraid. Afraid of what others might think of me. Afraid that I was alienating myself. Afraid that I wasn't getting the right nutrients. Afraid that my bones were slowly going to chip away. I decided, in that moment, that even if my choice to be vegan killed me, I was going to do it anyways. I accepted my fate and fully embraced what I knew in my heart to be right.
Fast forward 12 years - I now realize that it was just mother culture pushing back and that my fears were just stemmed from actually seeing the truth for what it is. The "wool" has been pulled over our eyes and we've been blindly lead down such a destructive path. I had this qualm before I really had much access to information. It was just at the dawn of the internet so the host of readily available videos, studies, facts and figures just didn't exist at the time. I didn't realize that we have just been lied to about anything and everything regarding health and nutrition and that meat and dairy were not only cruel but also extremely unhealthy and destructive when consumed how our culture pushes us to consume them. I know that deep down all of us know that animal abuse is wrong, that our destructive culture is unhealthy for the planet and that our lifestyles will ultimately do us in, but do we actually accept that as the reality and act accordingly or do we just let our fears and doubts keep us passive?
For me, those doubts in my mind kept what I knew in my heart from becoming my reality. Once I made that leap, I finally understood what I was doing and why I was doing it. I opened myself up to new ideas, found answers to my questions and made the journey down the rabbit hole that previously, I wasn't allowing myself to make. Our fears act as internal regulators, just as speed caps on cars work. Once you hit 75, the regulator kicks in and you automatically slow back down. The regulator doesn't let you go any faster. In our case, our regulator doesn't let us progress. Doesn't let us reach our goals or pursue our dreams. These "Well, what if?" type questions always keep us at bay, often causing us to live more fully in our 20/20 hindsight visions, reflecting about the things we should have or could have done, never fully acting on the potential at hand.
The truth is, we have to train ourselves to think this way. We need to know when we're just responding to these regulators and find out how to turn them off or override them. My fears about malnutrition were completely unfounded and misguided. I know now that I never would have found that out had I succumbed to my doubts and fears. If I would have remained blinded by those internal regulators, I never would have continued on that path. And this is applied to every aspect of our lives. From work to school, from friends to family, from trying to surf or snowboard for the first time or just make that initial leap into whatever project you're working on.
It's one thing to just know something, it's another to actually believe it. Don't be afraid, your life and future may very well depend on it.