THAT’S THE THING about going with easy. It’s well… too easy! The unavoidable truth is that to do what’s best is often far harder than doing what’s passible. We can be average all our lives and get away with it, but these days, we appear to have quite a few side effects from taking the easy way out, from cancer to obesity. We eventually have to pay the price for doing what’s easy rather than what’s good.
In my last article, I explored the concept of the 80/20 approach to eating raw vegan; essentially, that 80 percent of the benefits derived from a raw vegan diet can be yours if you’ll just eat 80 percent of your diet based on the raw vegan philosophy. Since writing that article I’ve had time to reflect on it, as well as my own struggles with diet and exercise. Why do I find it so hard to maintain diet and exercise, and at the same time keep up with the commitments and needs of family, work, and friends?
Anthony Robins (a person I manage to love and hate at the same time) said: “A person’s standards are a direct reflection of the expectations of their peers.” It’s an important point so I’ll say it again – “A person’s standards are a direct reflection of the expectations of their peers.” [Very annoying that Mr Robbins! To be able to so succinctly summarise all that’s right and wrong in our global society with a single sentence is somewhat infuriating.]
It’s a theory (and I would say that it’s also an undisputable law) that has stuck in my mind since I first heard it several years ago. So how does this relate to being a raw vegan?
Well, the simple truth is that if you surround yourself with likeminded people you’re far more likely to maintain a specific standard or course of action, than when you’re trying to go it alone. This is a truth in almost all aspects of life, be it diet, exercise, beliefs, hobbies, you name it. Doing it with friends to support and encourage you is always going to be more effective.
A mere 10, or even five years ago, saying you were a vegan when out for dinner or at a summer barbeque, was near cause for either raucous laughter or a public stoning. These days, the internet allows lone vegan warriors to feel as if they’re part of a global tribe regardless of their geographic locations. The rather maligned hipster culture (dare we call it a movement?) has also brought veganism and an awareness of food sources to the fore in popular blogs and mainstream cultural publications, along with tattoos, beards, and standing alone in the woods staring at trees. I’d go so far as to suggest that there has been no better time in the history of the planet than now to become a raw vegan.
So, what’s the point of all this? The point is that community is the key to making a vegan lifestyle an easy choice. By getting involved on websites such as Doctor Feelgood, sharing experiences, recipes and even ideas and philosophy, we expand the community and add to the combined resources, thus making everyone’s journey just that little bit easier.
If you’re a vegan or perhaps a vegan tourist, or are even only thinking about being a vegan, then get involved. Be the peer that helps someone have better standards, and in doing so you’ll in turn create a peer that will help you have better standards for yourself. If we all help and encourage each other, then all our lives will be for the better. BRUCE SHERMAN