I’m sure I’ll post a lot more about this topic throughout the 2 years, so this one will be the first of a few…
Earlier this week there was a funeral in a village that we have lessons in. In preparation for the funeral the village slaughtered a cow and two pigs to eat at a feast.
When I pulled up to the school house I looked out the window of the mini bus and saw a cow getting cut into pieces. Then while sitting in the classroom we heard pigs squealing loudly and then there was silence.
I haven’t been vegetarian my whole life, but I have been an animal lover my whole life.
In America the animals are killed behind closed doors, but in Fiji they’re killed in broad day light. It is so easy to distance yourself from the killing of animals in America… but is one way better than the other? What makes some mammals ok to eat over others? Is there a good way and a bad way to kill animals? What about hunting? … just food for thought (no pun), these were a few thoughts that were running through my mind.
Coming home from class that day I was still thinking about the cow and pigs and wondered if I should share this with my host family or just ignore it.
I came back from class and my Na prepared a veggie stir fry with rice. She’s been preparing vegetarian meals for the whole family. #BestFamilyInFiji
I was just about to tell Ta and Na about the slaughtered animals and how it made me feel, but before I said anything Ta starts talking about how he likes eating meat. “Of all days” I thought to myself. I kept listening and he then starts talking about the new vegetarian meals. He says how he is enjoying the vegetarian meals and how he feels healthier and more energized since eating them.
I was so excited and delighted to hear this!
I asked Na how she feels eating the vegetarian meals and she says that she also feels healthier and better! I was so excited! I talked more about the health benefits of eating more veggies and why I choose to be a vegetarian.
I’m vegetarian for a few reasons; but to make it short, I love animals, I feel healthier when I don’t eat meat, and I want to be as eco friendly as I can.
My goal in the Peace Corps is not to turn everyone into a vegetarian. One of my goals is to empower people to live healthier lives and to do this by sharing knowledge and leading by example. And if that means more people adapting to a more plant based diet, I couldn’t be happier.
This small win taught me a lot about the power of leading by example. As silly as it sounds, this small gesture of my host family strengthened my confidence in my ability to make a difference. One person can make a difference. No matter how big or small.
However, this is not the end all story and now the whole fam hopped on the plant based bandwagon, this is the beginning of something amazing. The beginning of trying new recipes, eating new veggies, feeling healthier, and so much more…
So much love,