Wednesday, May 25, 2011

End of Days

It may not be the end of the world after Saturday's failed rapture prediction but it is the end of World Vegetarian Week. Oblivious to both, I realized only after the fact and although I'm still here, today is WVW's last day. An annual challenge for the non-veg sector to give it up for seven days, this year's event was May 19th to May 25th. In the wake of the long weekend, I failed miserably to meet their goal and deadline, and raise awareness for the benefit of the event, the planet, and you.

I still managed to salvage four of the seven days just with my daily regimen, but I did eat meat almost every meal for the three offending days, mostly from takeout and tradition.

I won't fool myself into thinking I deserve any pats on the back for still accomplishing four days of meat-free meals - on the contrary. I know and should do better. As someone trying to set an example for others struggling with the move towards vegetarianism, I've done all of us a great injustice by missing out on this great week of celebration and support. But wallowing in guilt isn't my premise, persistence is - as I am committed to helping those struggling with the changes. Don't let the bad keep you from moving forward to more good.

So fear-not fellow foodies - WVW 2012 is only a year away, and there are plenty of opportunities to train for it.

The Toronto Vegetarian Association has an open invitation to Take the Veggie Challenge and go meat-free for one week. It's easy to sign up, and easier than you think, with a herd of volunteers and support.

Once you sign up with your name and e-mail address, you'll be prompted to a short survey, and soon after you'll receive your first of seven daily e-mails loaded with tips, tricks, recipes and resources from qualified motivators and nutritionists. And links on where to shop and eat. They'll also have answers for popular questions like - 'Where do you get your protein?' Response - 'where do animals get theirs?'

The site shines with stories of struggles and success, and you are invited to share your own experience. After the one week challenge, you can do it again, or sign up for phase 2 to continue three more weeks to round it off to an even month. If you're already a vegetarian, try being a vegan.

I like the TVA's challenge approach. Organizers say 'It's liberating,' not 'limiting,' with 'all the bases covered to have a successful challenge.' It's on an honour system, nobody's watching, and there are no hard and fast rules. Whether you're in it for the health of your own, the environment, or for others, that really isn't the focus. Your efforts towards challenge and change is gratefully recognized and supported, with a world of like-minded individuals cheering you on. And if you slip up, just keep trying your best but most of all, have fun with it. Invite family, and e-mail your friends.

I'll be signing up in the days to come, and will report on my daily progress, or lack of.

If a whole week seems daunting, then you might consider joining the Meatless Monday movement. Their focus is to reduce meat consumption by 15% by cutting meat out of your menu one day a week. It's modelled after effective strategies of the great wars to ration food supplies, and this time around they're fighting for the life of the planet by increasing health while reducing climate change and the carbon footprint.

Based on internalized behavioral studies, Monday seems to set the stage for fresh starts and successes during the week and if you miss your mark there's always another after the usual lax and lavish weekends. The Meatless Monday website is chock full of recipes, resources and support. Both Meatless Monday and Take the Veggie Challenge provide free motivation and promotional materials for groups and educators who want to raise awareness in their communities.

Point being made, life is made up of 'little victories' and if you do just one thing different, no matter how small it seems, the rewards will be big in how you feel, and how you move forward. It reminds me of something 80's motivational guru and life coach Anthony Robbins said about a 'Class-1' experience...

"It feels good. It's good for you. It's good for others - and it serves the greater good."

And if you slip up just try again tomorrow, or the next day, or next Monday, next week and next year. After all, it's not the end of the world.


  1. Thanks for linking up! Great post btw.

  2. Thank you. My pleasure. I'll be tackling the TVA challenge as well and it looks like they'll all be overlapping somewhat, so I'm not sure if that's cheating, or just more fuel for the fire. Either way, it's all good.
    Great to hear from you. Stay in touch!

  3. good post ..interesting ......

    your friend from the french country ..Nancy lol

  4. Hi Nancy. Thanx for following. Since writing this, I salvaged the last few days of the National Veggie Week in the U.K., one Meatless Monday, and signed up today for the TVA Veggie Challenge. I'll keep you posted on the progress and updated recipes.