It’s Not Where You Start It’s Where You Finish

finish line just ahead text on a green sign

I am a  recent resident in Sun City going on three years and I took an interest in going to Toastmasters. I had always been nervous about public speaking and wanted to conquer that fear. 

​​One of my favorite things to share about my life is how much I had gotten into a new way of looking at myself and all others in the world. I didn’t want to get stuck in my old ideas about everything and I decided to take the most important things that happened to me in my life and find a new way to look at those things. 

A new mindset brought about my new lifestyle.

Perhaps being a victim has led me to where I am today. Perhaps being a spiritual seeker has led me to where I am today. Perhaps being a highly sensitive person has led me to where I am today.

Although the road I traveled was not easy at times, I am thankful because I finally have grown to love myself, who I once thought was unlovable.

In my early childhood, I experienced my first encounter with abandonment. My mother had just given birth to my baby brother and when she came home with him, my two-year-old self wanted nothing to do with either of them. She told me this many years later. How could she or I have known this was to be the start of my abandonment issues?

During my formative years, feeling slighted by others became a repetitive pattern. In my first romantic relationship in my early twenties, I picked a man who took advantage of my low self-esteem and my co-dependent people-pleasing ways, abusing me mentally, physically, and emotionally, before abandoning me. This became a recurring cycle.

Thank goodness it’s not where you start it’s where you finish.

I had some good times as well traveling to 20 countries on 5 continents, hobnobbing with the rich and famous. Yet abandonment issues continued to plague me.

I always feared being left without notice or good reason. I didn’t realize that, until I learned to love myself, I was bound to attract men into my life who mirrored my own self-hatred.

After my boyfriend of ten years dumped me, l was on the verge of a nervous breakdown until a spiritual and psychological program known as “A Course in Miracles” started to heal my mind and open my heart.

I became a new person. A new self-loving me emerged, and I experienced an overwhelming feeling of unconditional, unifying love as I gained new insights that centered on the interconnectedness of all beings.

A short time later, I learned about animal vivisection, horrific pseudo-science experiments where animals are tortured and murdered. This touched me deeply because of my own feelings of being used and abandoned. I couldn’t fathom that innocent animals should be forced to endure this calculated cruelty.

As a victim myself, I wondered what could I do to help end this insanity? A universal compassion for all beings was welling up inside me, and I became interested in animal rights and with helping people understand that harming animals goes hand-in-hand with people harming other people.

Thank goodness it’s not where you start it’s where you finish.

I then started learning about other forms of animal enslavement. The most commonly overlooked and most massive of all oppression is society’s indoctrination that teaches us that we must eat animals and their secretions such as dairy, cheese and eggs.

I realized that at the same time I was being a terrified victim of the men in my life, I was victimizing terrified animals by purchasing platefuls of them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Being vegan now for the last 12 years I can proudly say I am no longer a victim of anyone, and as importantly not a victimizer of anyone either. I am passionate about educating people that animals should be freed from our cruel, self-centered ways.

It’s heartbreaking for me as a vegan educator to explain what happens in the animal agriculture industry. Life for these animals from their raped-induced birth to their brutal murder on the slaughterhouse kill floor is a kin to a horror film, but this isn’t a Hollywood movie production.

And to make it worse, this horrific industry tries to hide this normalized brutality from unconscious consumers.

As a peacemaker and lover of all life, I am passionate about spreading the word of harmlessness to all. I know from first-hand experience that until the war we wage against animals ends, the war between humans will continue as well. These beautiful animals, who endure such horrors, have become my heroes.

I long for the day when we choose to eat only foods that Mother Earth lovingly produces and no longer feast upon all the mother animals and their children, who are born not grown just as we are. I say world peace begins on our plates. As very young children we all instinctively loved animals even though our parents gave us no choice but to eat these animals they too were unquestionably taught to eat.

We have learned wrong but now we stubbornly refuse as adults to take animals off the menu. The richest most powerful corporations in the world are the meat, dairy and egg industries who changed our innocent love for animals as toddlers to the acquired love of tasting animals in our mouths which I think is such an odd place to find an animal.

So we love dogs, cats and horses and were taught to disrespect the lives of cows, pigs, lambs, chickens and fish because we love the taste of them only.

As Leo Tolstoy warned, “As long as there are slaughterhouses there will be battlefields.” I add to his wise words that world peace begins on our plates.

If we could all eat healthy, nutritious, delicious vegan food, where all life is honored, and no bodies are sacrificed why wouldn’t we?

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