Thursday, October 28, 2010

Elisa Camahort Page, BlogHer: How I Have Fun, Do Good

 World Go Vegan Week (October 24-31, 2010) seems like a perfect time to highlight the sixth contributor to my series of guest posts by bloggers talking about how they have fun and do good.

Elisa Camahort Page is the co-founder and COO of BlogHer Inc, the largest community of women who blog, and the future of women's lifestyle programming...where women actively participate and can integrate their perspectives on everything from parenting to politics, food to finance. Elisa has seven (sorely neglected) blogs of her own, including Veggie Goes Vegan. The best ways to follow her are via Twitter (@ElisaC) and by all the headline feeds found in her BlogHer profile.

Elisa Camahort Page, BlogHer: How I Have Fun, Do Good

Vegan meal from Candle 79 in New York City
The single most important way I have fun and do good is all about what I don’t do: I don’t consume animal products. Starting in 1989 I became a vegetarian. No fish, no escargot, no chocolate covered ants. Then I became what I liked to call “vegan outside my body” meaning: no wool, no silk, no leather or suede. And finally, 17 years after going vegetarian, I finally lived up to my own ideals and became a vegan.

When people ask why, as they inevitably do while we're eating a meal, and they're eating a big hunk of meat, I always tell this story:

It started with a donation to the ASPCA in NYC. That got me on every animal organization mailing list. (We're talking snail mail here...the Dark Ages.) I started getting lots of information about animal right issues. And I became galvanized. I’ve always been a voter, but you vote most often with your wallet. As I learned more, I realized I didn’t want my hard-earned money going certain places or supporting certain industries.

One day, as I walked through my neighborhood, I started looking at the butcher shops. They typically hung the animals in the window, with slits up their bellies. Not pretty. Then I walked by one unloading a delivery, and there were buckets of some kind of gross, meat-oriented stuff on the sidewalk and they were literally hosing off the blood running down the sidewalk.

It seemed like a sign, and I thought: "I haven't eaten meat today...let's see how it goes. If I can't keep it up? Well, at least I tried." That was 21 years ago. It turned out to be not that difficult.

Of course now conscious eating is much more in vogue. We’ve all heard a lot about why veg*nism is better for your health and for the planet, let alone for the animals. But back in 1989 people weren’t talking about it very much. So my goal has always been to just be a happy, healthy, well-adjusted and non-deprivation oriented veg*n role model for people flirting with the idea.

I’m a believer in starting with a step. The more you take, the better, but no one takes every step. You do what you can, until you can do better. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of better. Even the Dalai Lama probably gets annoyed at drivers who don’t use turn signals, no?

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1 comment:

  1. I highly recommend having fun & eating plenty of whole juicy fruits & lots of dark green veggies. As much as you care for! It will keep you on the path. :) You'll be content & full. Full of bliss!

    Wishing you plenty of love & juicy fruits.



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