Here it is another New Year's Eve. No idea how time has this funny little trick it plays where the older we get, the faster time goes.
This year has been typical in that it's had its share of ups and downs for us, and everyone we know. On a personal level, both of us happy vegans have had our limits tested, and reached new heights on education and skills, both through traditional schooling as well as through the amazing people we have met in 2012. On a business level, we have been tested beyond anything we could have expected. We hoped to have a big announcement in 2012, more than hoped.... expected and planned. It was not to be. We have had myriad additional obstacles thrown at us from any level you can imagine, much of it regulatory. Now, we aren't really ones who are completely against some regulations, there's reasons for laws and rules. What we DO have a problem with is ignorance and incompetence. We have encountered a lot of that this year with people who simply are incompetent with their jobs... people who are entrusted to some pretty important oversight of some pretty important things. So, this has left us having to undo some wrongs, and then re-do what had to be undone. Frustrating beyond words.
Regardless of general nincompoopage, we expect that 2013 is going to be absolutely marvelous and huge for Deer Run. We have passed a crossroads, and nothing will stop us now. You WILL be reading about our changes here in the coming year, they are fabulous.
I don't get too stuck in the "if only" or the "I wish" game too often. Doing so leads to regret, and that is non-productive. If I want something, I work hard to get it, same with the other happy vegan. The great Gandhi is attributed as saying "be the change you wish to see in the world." That is a very important sentence to me. Every day, for me it means when I see the suffering, filth, torment and violence in the world that animals endure, I am the one to work for change. It is me, and no one else.
Whether someone want to admit it or not, the food choices that so many people make, that so many people feel entitled to, are causing havoc. Our forests are ailing, our waters are ailing, our health is ailing, and our emotional health is ailing. I wasn't born being vegan, it has been a conscious choice. A choice I made not to ignore, not to deny, not to look away from that which is exceptionally difficult to learn. Choices that I have previously made have caused immense suffering to others. I had a complete disconnect between my choices, and animal suffering. Once I began to see, and understand, how could I continue to act the way I did... it would be my sanctioning torture, violence and suffering. No reasonable person can choose that in good conscience, in my opinion.
My wish for 2013 is for enlightenment in myself, and others. This includes the courage it takes to really learn the truth about the animals for food industry, and make appropriate and sustainable changes. Enlightenment to me also means compassion, unity and empathy.
I strive for many things on a daily basis, but more than anything I strive to make the world kinder... to show compassion towards the suffering. Animals suffer because of our choices; this is a fact. We must all work together to stop the madness in this world. It is not acceptable to live with violence towards animals, people or planet.
We take great pride in what Deer Run is about, and what we as people stand for. Our wish for the New Year is that you will no longer turn away, instead you will become part of the solution.
Happy New Year 2013. Go Veg.