Holidays, Happiness, and Being Vegan
Vegan Lifestyle Articles From All-Creatures.org

Vegan lifestyle articles that discuss ways of living in peace with humans, animals, and the environment.


FROM

Victoria Moran, Main Street Vegan
December 2014

Being vegan means that some of the seasonal foods I eat are different from those of Christmases long ago, but thatís just part of the celebration. These days, when I put up my manger scene and unwrap the cow and the sheep and the little goats after their year in tissue paper, I think of the farmed animal sanctuaries Iíve visited and support, and how positive it is that at least a few animals have been rescued and more can be spared.

Victoria MoranWith December upon us, Iím in holiday mode. We did an all-out Thanksgiving, starting with my son-in-law, Nick, appearing in the Macyís parade (he was a toy soldier), and having over for dinner a gentleman named Stan who is, well, letís just say, closely acquainted with the Big Guy from the North Pole. We watched Miracle on 34th Street (the 1947 black-and-white original, of course) and when Kris Kringle said, ďChristmas isnít just a day: itís a state of mind,Ē Stan and I both responded with ďYes!Ē in a duet so synchronized youíd have thought it was rehearsed.

At this time of year, I automatically access a childlike sense of wonder. Itís interesting to me because I didnít have a Norman Rockwell childhood, but Christmas was somehow exempt from the various dramas that went on the rest of the time. Iím so grateful for that, and I believe itís why I can slip so easily into effortless happiness with the first Christmas tree stand that goes up on Broadway. Being vegan means that some of the seasonal foods I eat are different from those of Christmases long ago, but thatís just part of the celebration. These days, when I put up my manger scene and unwrap the cow and the sheep and the little goats after their year in tissue paper, I think of the farmed animal sanctuaries Iíve visited and support, and how positive it is that at least a few animals have been rescued and more can be spared. It will only take more chipping away of old ideas, old prejudices, and old fears.

Victoria MoranMy commitment for Holiday Season 2014 is to give it a priority. You never know how many Christmases a life is going to have and I donít want to miss anything, even when I canít see the bottom of the email in-box keeping on top of all that seems immensely important. Hereís my plan: William and I will start the month with a 3-day juice cleanse. Thatís not much for veteran juicers but itís a little gift to the digestive system, none the less.

On the 8th, a smart and funny friend, Cathryn Michon, will be in town with her new feature film, Muffin Top: A Love Story, about one womanís relationship with her midsection. Itís not a Christmas thing like tinsel and candy canes, but itís very Christmas-y to me to celebrate splendors, and knowing that someone in my world has written, starred in, and raised the money for a feature film is incredibly inspiring. It helps me remember that all things are possible and makes me grateful that Christmas comes just before New Yearís visioning and goal-setting and stretching for more and better.

On the 15th, Iíll be bursting with pride as I attend the holiday fundraising dinner for Urban Utopia Wildlife, the center my daughter and two of her wildlife-rehabber colleagues have established to tend to sick and injured wild mammals. My little girl, who always excelled at theater and writing and creative pursuits, has grown into a woman keeping track of 501(c)3 organizational stuff, as well as getting up in the night to feed to the last of the fallís orphaned baby squirrels. Adair is the only vegan in this fledgling organization and sheís convinced the other decision-makers to keep this, their second fundraiser, vegan, as was their party last summer. Itís such a curious thing: we vegans are a minority. We can push our agenda on the people around us, but if the food is great and the conversation stimulating, itís not pushing an agenda anymore, itís broadening a horizon.

And this year more than any season before, I want to have people over. New York City is funny that way. In Manhattan at least, few people have really big places for grand entertaining, and the rest of us tend to socialize at restaurants. But Iím going to have parties because itís Christmas and Iíll have decked the halls (well, the living room) and it is my vegan duty to share with others that animal-free feasting and fÍting can be delicious and elegant.

Finally, I intend to hold onto this Christmas state of mind through December, at least, and maybe longer. Itís hard to stay in wonder and possibility when you know how the animals suffer. Itís hard to hold onto hope when youíve watched Cowspiracy or read Comfortably Unaware [Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won't Work - Dr. Richard Oppenlander] to be upbeat and enthusiastic when someone you love is sick with a condition that eating plants could turn around, and theyíre not interested. But if it were easy to live that wonderful, childlike sense that life is somehow magical despite everything, weíd have it all the time and weíd be saints with halos. I donít know any saints, but I know some amazing, committed, powerful people, and some of them are reading this post.

My advice to myself, and to you if youíd like it is: enjoy this festive season. Give yourself a present. Fill yourself up (and not only on Silk Nog and vegan fudge). Then take the energy you got from all that love and laughter and celebration out into the world and make it better. Heck, you might even might some part of it downright merry.


Victoria Moran is the author of twelve books, including Creating a Charmed Life, Shelter for the Spirit, and Main Street Vegan. Her next book, The Good Karma Diet: Eat Gently,Feel Amazing, Age in Slow Motion, will be published in May and is available now for pre-order on BN.com and Amazon.com. She is the founder and director of MainStreet Vegan Academy, the cover model for the current issue of La Fashionista Compassionista (subscribe to this online fashion mag for free at www.lafcnyc.com), and the brand ambassador for vegan dress designer, LoisEastlund.com. Please follow Victoria on Twitter @Victoria_Moran,on Instagram @MainStreetVegan, and like her Facebook page, Main Street Vegan.


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