GUEST POST: embarking toward veganism and spirituality

Veganism and spirituality might sound like a discombobulated association. One involves food, the other…not so much.
However, I see the two having an interesting connection that could draw out the best attributes of each. Spirituality allows for a more intimate relationship with fellow living beings, promoting universal love and compassion. Veganism thus seems like an obvious choice for someone purporting such qualities.

I’m not the only one who’s passionate for both veganism and spirituality. That’s why I ecstatically introduce today’s guest writer Kat Frappolli, better known for her Instagram @karmic_kat and CEO of her own conscious clothing shop on Etsy. She’s also a certified Reiki practitioner and Intuitive, offering many client services for all your spiritual needs. (Cool stuff, right?!)
Obviously, this gal seems like she has all her zen together, but we all start somewhere. Through veganism and spirituality, she found her path and purpose. She humbly shares her story and personal journey today. I hope it inspires you like it did me.

from fettuccine alfredo to sweet potato.

Growing up and eating homemade Italian foods on the regular wasn’t ideal for me. When I ate certain foods, I didn’t feel good. Bloated, lethargic, and irritated were all too common symptoms.
I thought it was normal, as Uncle John would constantly complain after our Thanksgiving feast that he couldn’t move. It was almost a contest to see who could eat the most. Even if you didn’t want seconds, well, you were expected to. I started connecting eating food with feeling uncomfortable, and it wasn’t the greatest relationship.
One night when I was on Facebook, and I saw a friend of mine publicly announce she was going vegan.
Vegan? Aren’t those the skinny weird people that only eat alfalfa sprouts?

So, naturally, I did some research. Much to my surprise, I stumbled upon hundreds of articles promoting veganism and how it aids in weight loss, digestion, and overall functionality of the body. I’m a very open-minded person, so from that day forward, I too was going to be vegan.

not without struggle.

My road hasn’t always been easy. Many of my family members didn’t believe it was healthy. They constantly bombarded me with the question of how I was going to get enough protein (which is the most obnoxious one, any vegan will tell you that). My own mom even thought my veganism was “just a phase.”
Veganism saved me. It saved me from feeling bloated, from feeling guilty after eating certain foods, and it saved me from Ed, my eating disorder. Ed was always there from a young age, telling me I should look a certain way. Or questioning why I had a rounder stomach while other girls had flat ones. Ed made me question my sense of self, my self-esteem, and told me if I ate certain foods, it wouldn’t be without consequence.
Going vegan shut Ed up. Not eating meat or dairy made me feel healthier, helped me perform better workouts, and helped my rounder tummy be a little less round. Ed started to shift to the background, and my passion came forward.

veganism beyond food.

I learned that not only being vegan helped myself, but it had many other beneficial impacts. Veganism incited my animal activism, as I was saving hundreds of animals lives by choosing to leave them off my plate. I discovered that eating less meat decreased my carbon footprint and helped the environment immensely. I was blown away by the change I was enacting on a daily basis, all by simply choosing what I put on my plate each day.
My veganism journey helped me to find my spirituality. By becoming vegan I realized that my life shouldn’t just revolve around myself, my ego, and it expanded my consciousness to being aware of all living beings.
I started meditating, reading Eckhart Tolle, doing yoga, saging, burning incense, learning about Reiki, to name a few. It was my wake up call. I began to surround myself with like-minded people (which was a nice change as you start to feel like you’re crazy radicalist), and to help those still “sleeping.” I became the president of my animal rights club at school, I held peaceful protests, and I began using Facebook as a platform for sharing my newfound spiritual philosophy.
Swimming upstream isn’t easy. Going to restaurants and asking for no cheese incites a certain response (because everyone loves cheese, right?). Or realizing my grandma will never understand that being vegan means I can’t eat her homemade chocolate chip cookies, no matter how delicious they look.

love is key.

It’s so important to practice mindfulness and wellness practices. Our world desperately needs a wake-up call. We need to love one another, the species living on this earth with us, and, most importantly, we need to love ourselves.
Being spiritual is now an integral part of my life, in conjunction with the food I put into my body. I believe they go hand in hand, as I choose not to support practices that hurt other species. I feel free. Free of guilt, irritation, Ed, my ego, and most importantly, my self-doubt. I still have my crummy days, but in life we need contrast and balance! Nobody’s perfect. I’m always working for my and our common good.
I found my spirituality by becoming vegan. I am eternally grateful for finding veganism, as it’s a constant reminder to not only love other beings, but to love myself.

the power of veganism and spirituality.

From struggle comes strength and clarity. We must face adversity to appreciate what provides light.
Like Kat’s experiences, many journeys toward veganism and spirituality start from difficult beginnings. Treating yourself well means opening your mind beyond what you know and live. We have the choice to stay stagnant, even if it means being uncomfortable, or dig deeper into what truly resonates with us in mind, body, and soul. Where do you want to be?
You don’t have to jump in with both feet at once. Simply ask questions: What do I believe? How do I feel? Could I feel better living differently? Am I nourishing my entire being?
Knowledge is power. Power leads to action. Action invigorates passion and purpose. You have immense potential; all it takes is enveloping yourself with the love you deserve.
What relationship do you see between veganism and spirituality? Is this an idea you’ve considered before? Let’s start a conversation in the comments section below.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie
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