YaY…we’re on day seven of The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. A wonderfully insightful..collaborative and engaging challenge created by Colleen Patrick-Gourdreau.
I have been mostly vegetarian since the age of twelve. At the time, it was a compassionate decision. I just couldn’t wrap my head around eating anything that was once a breathing being. Now, I said MOSTLY vegetarian because I ate chicken and turkey and *gasp* hotdogs. Let me explain. I suffered from a sometimes debilitating phobia of birds. Ok…so I was never ACTUALLY debilitated. But I had a fear like no other. While I appreciated their beauty and was in awe of the fact that they can FLY…I lived in fear that they were out to get me…and that I would one day be attacked and dive bombed by the winged beasts. Think Alfred Hitchcock ~ Birds. All that changed ten or so years ago when I lived on the edge of the Rideau River. I spent time sitting…relaxing…gathering gratitude down by the river and when I first started showing up there I didn’t realize I would be sharing the space with a flock of DUCKS. I’m talking 20..30..50 sometimes more DUCKS. Year round…ducks…BIRDS. Oh and there were swans too. Swans gifted to ‘us’ by the Queen of England apparently. The swans didn’t really paralyze me. After all…I’m not sure they can even fly…so no dive bombing fear there. But the ducks. Most of the time, I was able to quietly share the space. Most of the time they did there thing (pecking at the ground and quacking around) but then there was the other times. The times when all of them…I mean ALL FIFTY or more of them would get spooked. And they took flight all at the same time. Honking and pounding their webbed feet as they ran to take flight and in one hurried WHOOSH they would be surrounding me…heading for the hills, or rather, heading for the safety of the river where they would settle into a float…likely kicking their gross feet egg beater style beneath the surface. It was THOSE times that I was forced to sink or swim…to fight or flight…to cower on the rock which I sat…or tuck and run…ORRRRR…sit still and remain calm and hope I didn’t get pooped on…or worse…picked up and carried away only to be dropped into the river and left there for the swans to eat. So…after many days of ‘ducking’ and running. I fell still. I made peace with the magnificent beast that once gave me nightmares. And THAT is my bird story.
I won’t tell you how I made peace with hotdogs…and decided to stop eating them. Cause there is not real story. Weenies roasted on an open fire are delicious. It’s a fact. But gawd…what the HELL are they? I have seen enough to know that whatever they are…I do NOT want to put them in my mouth. Ever. Again.
Tomorrow, I’m going to get even more vulnerable and share a bit about another phobia…another crippling food thing.
Until then…I will be making compassionate…intentional…courageous choices.