I am just returning from a short but amazing solo kayak adventure in the Sechelt Inlet on the Sunshine Coast of BC. It was a spontaneous idea and one of my best in a long time. I spent three days and two nights staring out at distant mountains and a giant glacier while listening to the squawks of bald eagles and the gentle lapping waves of the big salty ocean.

One of the most incredible parts about my adventure was that because of where I’ve chosen to live I was able to put my kayak in the water from my backyard and within 4 hours I had left the buzz of humanity behind and I was in a natural paradise.

The paddle up the inlet was an adventure in itself as afternoon winds created quite an intense ride. I had to remain focused and paddle pretty hard at times to keep my little red kayak I’ve named “Reggie Starfish” heading in the right direction. When I arrived a my destination, a beautiful and rugged isolated beach with rustic camping spots I collapsed with exhaustion and thought – wow what a great adventure.

Over the next two days without a cellphone, computer, another human, or any other distraction I got very present with my surroundings. I spent hours enjoying the awe inspiring mountains around me and the ever changing ocean world of purple starfish, lazy jellyfish, curious seals and sideways wandering crabs playing in the tide. I thought about how not only was this a great adventure but indeed all of life is an adventure.

I am back with a tremendous surge of passion for my work, my message, the planet and for the animals. After almost a year and a half of feeling lost, confused and hurt after the death of my beloved father Reggie and beloved dog Jessie I feel like I just dropped back into myself with the fire and intensity that had previously defined me.

When I could focus in the last 18 months, my energy went into creating new recipes. Recipes that satisfy, promote veganism and good health. I will continue to do that because I love sharing that talent with you. I will be expanding what I share though and starting now, I will be sharing more of who I am with you.

My mission now is to inspire more caring, more kindness, more compassion in the one place I know best – FOOD. Caring because it is real, true and the essence of the human animal. Caring because it defines who we are in this world.

For years I hid the intensity of how much I cared about animals because it was scary to others, it was “over the top”, it was radical and somehow made me very different. I did not stop caring, I just put some of it in the closet so it would not be seen. That way I could still be part of the group, still go to family dinners and dinner parties and still be one of the gang.

The thing is, during those years my caring tore at me; it wanted to lead and I silenced it. I was inauthentic. I was too concerned about fitting in to answer the question “Do you mind if I order a steak” honestly, because the truth was I did mind. I was not prepared to tell my truth. This has all changed. Recently I listened to my partner’s inspiring Unplug Podcast interview with Steve Pavlina. He said that when someone asks him this question he now says that if they need to they should go ahead and order the steak, but the truth is it will make him sad. People need to know your truth, not so they will change, not so they will not order the steak, but just because it’s your truth. There is so much power in authenticity. I am going to take this approach out for a spin. I invite you to do the same.

In 15 years my great vegan adventure has taken me from an angry animal rights activist to a science based nutritionist and now I am allowing the truth to surface. The truth that was obvious to me 15 years ago when I said I could no longer participate in the exploitation of animals. I live a vegan lifestyle and I inspire others to do the same because I deeply care about animals and do not want to see them suffer for culinary preference. I love that veganism is gentle and healing for the planet and our bodies, but I did not have a clue about that when I made my declaration all those years ago.

Being vegan does not make me better than anyone. Being vegan makes me whole, real, authentic and congruent. Being vegan is who I am at my core; when all of the socially conditioned beliefs are removed. It’s then that I am truly authentic. I consumed animals because I was taught to consume animals. I was influenced by the beliefs of those around me. One day I woke up and my authentic nature emerged. It was then that I could cleary see the the incongruency of my daily actions. This inspired me to make kinder, more compassionate choices that were more aligned with my heart.

I am ready to fully claim the authentic place of love within me. I am no longer willing to be held hostage by the concerns of what others will think, instead I am aligning myself fulling with the deepest core essence of compassion within my heart for all life on this planet.

Science has proven that we get more than enough protein, iron and calcium and all the other nutrients from plants. Science has proven that heart disease is a food borne illness related to eating animal foods and cancer and eating animals are related. Science is not enough though. Science only goes so far and does not address who we are at the core.

Eating suffered flesh disconnects us from the truth within and serves only the beliefs that bully us. Our core values are much stronger, deeper and more authentic. They are our essence of who we are. Our values, if given the chance to lead the way, would never allow an animal to spend a life suffering only to be killed and packaged for our taste preference.

I invite you to walk with me as I share more of this great adventure of veganism. There is so much to be gained when we reclaim our true selves.

Eat from love, love what you eat.

Deb

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Showing 13 comments
  • Naomi

    Hi Deb,

    What a great blog post. Firstly, your kayak adventure and escape from technology/crazy pace of life sounds absolutely amazing – something I’ve wanted to do for such a long time! – I think we all know we live hectic lives deep down, but it’s just so difficult to escape it. Just reading your words reminded me of the serenity that can be achieved from stepping back from it all, even if just for a few days. It’s also great to read that it brought you some therapy and helped you find your way back to your true intentions with respect to veganism. Truly something to be proud of. All the best!

    • VeganWorld

      Thanks Naomi, you are so right, the serentity and peace of our true essence can get so glazed over and gummed up by the speed and intensity of our world. Sometimes just stopping to breath is such an amazing gift. All the best to you too!

  • Naomi Harris

    Lovely Deb; very well said. Thanks for sharing.
    And your recipes are wonderful!

    Blessings
    Naomi

    • VeganWorld

      Thank you Naomi, I truly appreciate your comment!

  • Rae Sikora

    You are the BEST. Love this piece. Wish I was with you on your solo adventure 🙂 Joint solo? I am inspired by this…it has been way too long since I have had a solo wilderness adventure. It is time.

    Love you

    • VeganWorld

      Rae, I would take you to this magical place in a heartbeat. I know you would truly appreciate the awesome beauty! I am glad I could inspire you because you have done a lot of that for me over the years. xo

  • Will Tuttle

    Thank you Deb for sharing your beautiful passion, and for honoring yourself and nature enough to get out there and connect with the beauty of our Earth and of animals! Sending gratitude and appreciation to you!!

    • VeganWorld

      Will, what a joy to find a comment from you on my post. I respect you and your work so much. Thank you for taking the time to write and share. Highlight of my day for sure!

  • Len Goldsmith

    Hi Deb,
    Thank you for writing this inspirational story. Your vegan recipes have helped me to reach my first year without eating animals – I’m a better person for it. I wish you a multitude of future fun and challenging adventures.

    • VeganWorld

      Len, its been a year already? Wow. Congratulations. I am glad I could be a part of it but really its all you! Sending love across the oceans to you both!

  • Jean

    Very inspiring, Deb. Both the solo kayak adventure, and the decision to “tell your truth” when someone eats a dead, tortured animal right in front of us. I also feel so sad, both for the animal and for the person eating this flesh, knowing that they are creating very bad karma for themselves. I feel particularly hurt (and very, very helpless) when one of my family members does this.

    • Deb Gleason

      Thanks Jean, it is so hard isn’t it. We have been conditioned to be “nice” when what our world needs is less “nice” and more “kind”. Having done it for years I realize now that not telling the truth about how we feel does not do a service to the animals or the person who may really benefit from a dose of the truth. I took an NLP program a few years ago and on the wall a poster stared at me for weeks. It simply said “Tell the Truth”.

  • Ruth Steinberg

    Hi Deb! I just read this post, although you had it up a week ago. So beautifully and lovingly expressed! Thank you for continuing to inspire me as I make my way back to full vegan eating and living. Namaste

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