Our Future lies in Ahimsa

AHIMSA – Non-Harming, non-violence

The world has always been and will forever be a violent place to live, even if we go to live on Mars I trust that violence will ensue there too!  Why?  Why can’t human lives in peace?  Of all the steps on the path of yoga, the first one in a classical sense is Ahimsa.  In fact, you don’t get to skip this one and just carry on with yoga.  I have found that in our culture we like to disregard the parts that make us super uncomfortable or are asking us to change part of ourselves or our behavior.

Mother Nature has never screamed louder at humankind then she is right now!

Truth is she is enraged at our lack of respect for her oceans, forests, air, lands.  This time things are more critical.  The rainforest has always been considered the lungs of this planet, a belt of green that helps control the planets changing climate, providing us with oxygen and now it’s burning away as I type.  I’m worlds away up here in Canada but that is the mistake, to believe that what we do in another place doesn’t impact the entire planet.

You likely heard and if you haven’t then I’ve no problem being the person to explain why this is happening!  GREED mostly, money, corruption, power and specifically in the amazon …… Animal Agriculture!  The food on your plate is  fueling the flames.  This isn’t my opinion this is a fact and it’s one that if we don’t face right now, we will see more devastating consequences in the not so distant future.

This isn’t our first crisis, the bees have been dying by the millions for and without them we are in trouble, the water is full of plastic, without the oceans we are in trouble.  It’s so hard because everytime we turn around we see the devastation that is happening to earth all around us and it’s hard not to feel hopeless and give up, Swaha!  But you can’t, please, you must not turn away from this, you must act in a way that aligns with healing the earth.

Did you know that there’s a law in Brazil that if  you buy property there you must have livestock on your land, you must raise cattle?  The demand for meat, (although thankfully the Beyond Meat products have helped people choose plants over animals more)  has risen not decreased.  The fact is we can not sustain animal agriculture, we can’t!

Here’s a look at the current situation in Brazil – https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-49433767. Glad to see many countries including Canada releasing funds at the G7 Summit to help with fighting the fires.

What’s causing the fires? 

The Amazon Environmental Research Institute (Ipam) has stated the recent increase in the number of fires in the Amazon is directly related to deliberate deforestation.

While the exact scale of deforestation in the rainforest will only be certain when 2019 figures are published at the end of the year, preliminary data suggests a significant rise.

The National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) tracks suspected deforestation in real-time using satellite data, sending out alerts to flag areas that may have been cleared.

Over 10,000 alerts were sent out in July alone.

Deforestation was 278% higher in July 2019 than in July 2018

The resources it takes to make one burger is outstanding and deeply concerning.  It takes 18,000 Gallons of water to raise 1 pound of beef, that 100 days of showers, this is about the same for pork and poultry by the way, so choosing white meat over read isn’t really going to help here.

I also understand that in certain situations ingesting animal products are believed to be a positive addition to one’s health.  This is more rare than most people believe and many doctors are not recommending the removal of animal products due to their counter-productive impacts on health.  High cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and many more concerns can have a direct correlation on what you are feeding your body and the formation of disease, that is undeniable!

What is undeniable is that most people want to continue to eat for flavour, texture, experience, likes and disregard any direct connection to disease until something goes really wrong then maybe they start to consider their diet.  But for many reasons, cultural, socio-economical, personal believes many people seem to feel that having meat everyday at every meal is not a problem.  Maybe you get away with that when it comes to your health based on genetics or whatever but you need to understand that those choices are what started these fires to begin with.

Like many activists, i’m tired of wondering why people are not changing, posting things to at least get you curious about what you can do to help, the answer is….. stop buying meat and dairy.  That is the single most impactful thing you can do today, this is more important than your thoughts and prayers and maybe even monetary donations.  Don’t shoot the messenger, or direct your anger about someone questioning your eating habits!  This is not just my personal opinion, this is based on knowledge and  devastating outcomes to our planet because of the demand for meat.

I don’t think I am better or higher than any other person.  I became a vegetarian at 15 years old and I believe I was born that way.  Cutting out meat wasn’t a punishment for me at all.  When I got into yoga and learned about ahimsa I connected strongly to the concept of not harming others/animals.  I didn’t go vegan until many years later because “I loved cheese” (if I had a dollar for everytime I heard someone say that…. well you get the point.”  I get that too cheeze is almost as addictive as cocaine and you can dive into why you might feel that way and I’m certain you may be shocked to find out the real reason you feel that way about cheeze.

Ok here, check this out –

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelpellmanrowland/2017/06/26/cheese-addiction/#4582bc663583

If we put a cut scarf on her she looks more like a dog. Most people won’t eat dog!

“I just LOVE cheese so so so much!”

One book changed that for me and I read it a long time ago,  Kris Carr’s book called My Crazy Sexy Diet that came after her TV show My Crazy Sexy Cancer.  Her book did it for me and I’ve never looked back.  Here’s a link if you want to pick one up. – https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/crazy-sexy-diet-eat-your/9780762777938-item.html?ikwid=Kris+Carr&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

From my own health experience I feel great living on a gluten free (mostly) plant based diet.  Dairy caused me so many health issues that I denied for a long time.  One of the biggest ones was asthma.  My lungs always felt tight and it was always hard to breath.  A wine and cheese party had the power to send me to the ER with a serious asthma attack.  Once I cut out dairy, all my breathing issues cleared up.  I know I would not want to hear or act on that back in my “I love cheese days,” but it was undeniable given I haven’t needed and asthma puffer both ventolin and the steroid one since I went plant-based.

The personal story is to offer the other side here.  I feel better, I am healthier than I’ve ever been in my life and I feel that they way I live matters to this planet of ours.  I want to make this a better place for us and please please please for our kids!  Can you imagine what it will be like in 10, 20 or 30 years from now?

We must take action in the direction to stop the demand for animal products, today!

About Mindy

Mindy Willis-Menard is an international yoga teacher who's love of yoga, nature, adventurer and life inspire her to teach. A true adventurer of the heart Mindy is also a hooper, rock climber, snowboarder, runner, foodie and cyclist. Mindy teaches classes, workshops and retreats world-wide. Every other moment she spends with her husband and dog, Mrs. Betty Rox.

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