August 05, 2019
We jumped on Bus number 33, taking us from school to the city centre. It was spring, and the air felt warm, we could even throw off our jackets! After a long and dark winter...Freedom!
Standing in the crowded bus, which took us down the street Hantverkargatan and passed the City Hall with Riddarfjärden in full sight, we chatted away about everything and nothing.
After about ten minutes we arrived at Sergels Torg, a big square in the middle of Stockholm. There’s always something going on there: demonstrations, musicians, markets, speeches and other legal and not-so-legal activities.
This was the end of the 80s, and as you might remember, the fashion was perhaps, not the most attractive. I cringe when I think of my awful hairstyle. I had a huge tuliped fringe with tons of hairspray in it, coupled with clown-like make-up.
But something about this day actually makes me cringe even more than my fashion choices.
How can I say this?
When we were crossing the big square (Sergels Torg), one of the groups present caught my attention; it was the religious group, Hare Krishna. They sang and danced in their familiar orange robes, and for us, they were very exotic.
I also knew they were following a vegetarian diet, about which we began a discussion. I don’t remember everything, but I specifically remember making the following critical comment: “One thing I don’t understand is why there are sausages and steaks made of vegetables. If you want sausage, you should eat the real thing!”
When I think of this I cringe at the fact that those words could have come out of my mouth?
At that point in my life, I was very much an omnivore and didn’t even think about the animals I ate even though I have always been an animal lover.
The wall of social conditioning to eat meat and drink milk is so thick, and it took many, many years for me to penetrate and understand the connection between my habits and my conditioning.
It was years before I understood the connection between the meat on my plate, the once living and feeling pig, cow, chicken, or fish with a life of her own.
I didn’t see that the animal I was eating was birthed by someone who was raped (artificial insemination) regularly, just to have her children taken away from her. I didn’t think about the someone who never saw the sun or smelled the fresh air until the ride to the slaughterhouse.
I had no idea how many are born into a life of being deprived of everything that was important to them, feeling constant angst, sadness and despair.
Now, I think it’s our right as humans to know what is going on around us and that includes how animals live and how they are being treated behind walls.
And I am so pleased to see that more and more people make these same connections as well.
Make it easy
These days I think that the so-called substitute sausages and steaks made of vegetables, grain, lupine or soy – the same ones that I made fun of in the 80s - are an excellent choice for those who still want to have a sausage, but don’t want to eat meat.
Yes, processed food is not suggested by a nutritionist of course, but these substitutes can help someone make the transition to a plant-based diet, or they can fill in when you are short on time or need something to throw on the barbecue!
The variety of plant-based steaks, sausages, and burgers is enormous. It’s not at all like it was in the 80s when I said those ignorant words (while sporting an idiotic hairstyle).
You can find them in the bigger supermarkets, in bio-laden and online shops.
You can also do make yourself which is much healthier, but more time-consuming.
Also, many vegetables and fruits are super delicious grilled, and they go fast as well if you are short on time.
We are heading into the last phase of the summer, so why not spend as much time as possible outside while you can?
Even though you’re back at work, get the grill out in the evening and enjoy a delicious plant-based evening around the BBQ.
Have a look at this video and get inspired by these crazy people.
And here are some more tips and tricks to an easy-going barbecue evening.
Did I already know?
I wonder why I so clearly remember what I said on that sunny day, at the end of the 80s on Sergels Torg watching Hare Krishnas.
I think I remember because I knew deep down in my conscious how wrong and disconnected I was. I wanted to defend myself and my actions and used the fight mode.
I think we all know deep down that what we do to all these billions of animals in factory farms is not right. Give yourself the chance to listen to your inner voice and be true to your compassion towards others.
You couldn’t do yourself (and the world!) a bigger favour.
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