My son is currently 19 and a half months old. The memories of my pregnancy are just a blur now. It’s true what they say; you really do forget! Yet there’s one thing that stands out. During my pregnancy, I was challenged to be compassionate. It’s difficult to describe; it was as if Lionel was nudging me from inside my belly saying, “Be kind.” Lionel’s soft reminders made me re-evaluate how I interacted with people and how I treated them. I also became increasingly sensitive towards animals and their welfare.
I’ve always loved animals, and I consider our doberman, Linus, a family member. However, I still didn’t make the connection that my lifestyle was harming animals.
About 6 months after Lionel was born, I came across a documentary called, Vegan: Everyday Stories. It really did me in. I wept through the entire thing. That day after my husband returned home from work, I recall telling him, “I’m going vegan. I don’t want to hurt animals anymore.”
By that point, I had already cut dairy out from my diet (for fear that Lionel might become gassy via my breast milk) and consumed meat occasionally. Thus, it wasn’t a big jump to veganism from a dietary standpoint. With the exception of cage-free eggs, Lionel and I enjoy a plant-based diet. We’re both flourishing and sparing animal lives.
Around this time, I felt like Lionel was nudging me yet again to examine my lifestyle choices. I was standing up for animals, but what else could I do and change to stand up for others who didn’t have a voice?
It was then that I discovered Dressember and became an advocate to help end modern day slavery by wearing a dress every day in December. Being a part of this movement opened by eyes to the “who” behind everything I purchased. Whenever possible, the items we purchase are cruelty-free, vegan, fair trade, and/or secondhand.
Becoming a parent truly turned my world upside down and has led me toward a more compassionate lifestyle. I have my baby boy to thank for that.