Humans are predatory.
It's in our nature to dominate, to kill, to survive.
But what if we did not show our power in force, but in softness?
What if we gave as much respect to any other living being simply because the act of living is a brave one?
…and recognized in ourselves that same bravery?
As a devoted vegan, I would be remiss to share this image without reflecting on the almost 10 years I've dedicated myself to a more compassionate lifestyle. I know I'm just one person, but that has to be enough, because that's all I can be. I battle selfishness every day. It’s easier not to care.
I'm constantly struck by how much this topic triggers people. The word 'vegan' may as well be a battle cry for how people react. And I understand it, because we don't like to have our morals questioned, to have our way of living put down or devalued (even by way of learning someone else’s view, attack mounted or not). I was 25 when I became vegan, and up to that point I vehemently fought against it. I loved my way of life, I hated feeling judged. I didn't want to acknowledge the suffering I caused. I'm not better than anyone else for choosing this lifestyle, because I know that we all do what we can in our own ways, for different causes, and in our own time.
Here’s the point: we will all come up against ideas that challenge us...ideas that make us feel less than, and we will want to defend ourselves so as not to acknowledge the gap between what we *are* doing and what we *could* be doing. I have faced those ideas since, will face more. It is my duty to meet them with humility, knowing that I can always, always find a deeper place of connection to the world.
"Predatory" self-portrait, September 2021