My journey of becoming a vegetarian started only after I joined Tzu Chi in 2005. Having gotten used to the plant-based diet for some time, I plucked up the courage to tell my father of my wish to become a vegetarian. He readily agreed with my decision to do so.
It was only a few years ago that my father revealed that he had expected me to give up plant-based diet within 3 years. And that was the reason why he was so receptive to my decision initially. Looking back, I am really grateful for my strong conviction then and have unwittingly been a vegetarian for the last 12 years. My pure belief had greatly surprised him and he is even showing his support now by whipping up vegetarian dishes for me.
During the circuit breaker period, I started sharing photos of vegetarian food with my family and friends. I also encouraged my group of friends to have a go at vegetarianism by disseminating information on plant-based diet. Some had reciprocated by trying out for a day, three days and even up to a week. Under my influence, my mom would also proudly proclaim to me when she has gone vegetarian for a whole day!
Regardless of the outcome, the seedling of ‘Vegetarianism’ has been planted in them. As with the Jing Si Aphorisms, “It’s never too late, as long as the affinity is deep-rooted; It’s never too far, when you have found the way.”
Globally, there are 2,443 animals being killed every second, 210 million slaughtered in a day and 77 billion livestock that have lost their lives in a year. Why aren’t we treating all animals equal when we are filled with love for our pets? This is worth some reflection.
With that moment of pure thought, I welcome all of you to join me on this vegetarianism journey to spread love!