Today is monumental for me, as today is my five year vegan anniversary! Of all of the things I have done in my life…being vegan has definitely gifted me ten-fold and changed me forever. Being vegan is one thing that I do that I know makes a difference and I am so thankful. Today and every day, I am so, so thankful to be vegan!
My name is Coral and I am the Co-Founder of Santuario de Karuna, a vegan farm animal sanctuary in Tijeras, New Mexico. For the last five years, my life has been dedicated to the animals we hold dominion over, on this beautiful land. My life…my purpose…my loyalty…all right here, in this place that I call home. Santuario de Karuna has 44 residents, including Tamara and Myself and countless residents without official living quarters here. Our home is their home and we love and live and heal here in harmony and in Sanctuary. My life’s work combined and scattered as it has been, has led me here…to my home on the mountain. Tamara and I are sober, vegan women who have a dream. Every day, without fail, we get up and live the dream. All days are not easy. Every single day is worth it though! Tamara and I realize that each of our roommates have dreams too. Our beautiful chickens dream of lying in the sun and catching an egg that a raven drops in flight. Hondo dreams of the day that the gate will open and he can free-range upon his mountain yard once again. Sidney dreams of food. Jenny Sue dreams of Brixen. Every single one of us here is living the dream!
Having spent over forty years not being vegan, I will suffice to say that I have learned a lot. I could not live long enough to make amends to the animals that I have disregarded in my life. I could not eat enough tofu in my lifetime to be sorry enough for all of the carcasses I have feasted upon. I humble myself before these amazing beings every day and learn more about how naive and ignorant I was.
Being vegan has softened my heart a great deal. I am a work in progress for sure. I am on the same journey as you are…every day striving to be better than I was yesterday. I fuck up…every day. I learn…every day. Being vegan gives me one thing to know that my heart has allowed me to do right, without any exceptions or excuses. Not being vegan is no longer a choice for me.
For 1825 days, animals have not been on my plate. That may not seem substantial to some people. To me though…to them though…every single time you choose compassion, it is substantial. Every time you make a compassionate choice about what you put in your mouth, to feed your appetite, you make a substantial choice. Did it ever occur to you, as you are driving alone in your car, past pasture after pasture, after pasture, that these beings live and shit and eat and hurt bleed and cry and breathe, just like you and I do? Do you know that their lives do matter? Like I said, I’m learning a lot. At first, being vegan was very overwhelming to me. It really was. I was pretty fucking sure that I would “do it wrong”. Hell, I still do it wrong sometimes. I can’t see a damn thing without my readers on and I bring home something every now and again without seeing all of the ingredients. Fuck, an egg here…milk there…for no reason at all, and we don’t eat it. I just feel a little sad that I wasn’t more careful. I just contributed to their suffering by buying my dead friends. I say a prayer and promise to be more mindful. I am so sorry when I mess up and don’t slow down and honk of them more than I think of me when I shop.
I won’t lie, I wasn’t vegan before I was vegan because I encountered some pretty intolerant and exclusive vegans. They were twats actually. Pretentious and snarky and “better than”….and I ate meat to spite them, if nothing else. Fuck them and their pretentious bullshit! I will just eat another dead carcass and fuck them! Ya, I was pretty un-evolved. I was fucking asleep and full of blame. I will tell you that there’s not a pretentious, snarky, holier than thou, twat in this world that could keep me from being vegan now. My blame about not being vegan sooner is simply because I was not ready. That’s it. Plain and simple. I had not arrived at a point yet where I understood and empathized with the suffering of the sentient beings in my cart and in my living room. I still know some of those vegans. I’m sure you know them too. And we can suffice to say, just “wow”, can’t we? I mean, their circus, their clowns, right? Who gives a fuck what the clowns in someone else’s circus have to say about you my friend? Fuck those clowns man! This is your circus and you are the clown in charge! Own your circus man! Own your circus and set everyone else’s circus down! I am learning this and it helps, and so I pass it on to you.
Being vegan is my choice. Only mine. Nothing you do or say or don’t do or don’t say, changes that. Truly. I’ve not judgement of your journey. You do you and I’ll do me. My journey though…I share it to give you an opportunity to learn what it took me so long to come to know. They are not ours. I will leave you with that. They are not ours.
Have a beautiful day and if you have any questions about what it is to be vegan, please hit me up! I didn’t know until I knew and I was so blessed to have Tamara to ask all of my questions to. There are no stupid questions, only the ones you do or ask. Live compassionately my friends. And remember, if you are the dad, the mom, the breadwinner, the cook, the one paying the bills and buying groceries, you do make the decisions as to what is consumed in your household. Don’t tell me that your kids don’t want to be vegan. Don’t tell me that your husband won’t eat tofu. Don’t tell me that you can’t quit cheese. Bullshit. All of it. It’s bullshit and you know it. “But Coral…I grew up on a ranch.” Okay…you grew up on a ranch, and? You cannot be vegan because you grew up slaughtering animals? And I cannot, not, be a sexual predator then? Right? I mean, if you can’t be vegan because of how you grew up then I am so super fucked, aren’t I? Nope, I’m not fucked because that is a bullshit excuse, just like the rest of them. “My husband won’t eat tofu Coral.” Do you expect me to believe, for one single solitary second, that your husband tells you what to do about anything? Ever? “My wife has to have her iron Coral.” Well, then you better start seeing what is high in iron that doesn’t shit and have a fucking face my friend. “My kids would never be vegan Coral.” May I ask you who is running your household? You or your kids? I do not recall ever, telling my mother what I would and would not eat. Handle your business sweetie. Handle your business. And for those of you who have doctors who have told you to eat eggs and cheese and whatever other bodily secretions and puss and infection and ovulation, For whatever ails you…I will just ask you this…where in the fuck is your second opinion? Truly, don’t act like you aren’t smart enough to question bullshit like that. Don’t make excuses to not be compassionate…Rather, return to the place in yourself that knows right from wrong and step back into alignment with yourself. And my favorite…”Coral, being vegan costs too much.” Being vegan costs too much for whom? For you? Oh…I’m sorry, when you spoke of costs, I assumed you were talking about the 40 pounds of chicken in your shopping cart. I thought you had a bout of consciousness about what your appetite costed them. “Being vegan costs more” is bullshit. Being compassionate will never cost anyone more than living half asleep and unconscious costs us all.
So, to those of you who cannot bake without eggs, don’t think you’ll get enough protein…need cheese…can’t sway your family…I am going to ask you an honest question. What is this really about? For you, what are all of these excuses not to be compassionate really about? If we each start here, we can begin to make conscious choices for ourselves, our families and the people we love the most, the animals, the planet and for our children. Going vegan five years ago is the single most important thing I have ever done to soften my heart. Being vegan is my biggest contribution to the planet I live on. Being vegan changed me for the better and I am so thankful. Today, for five years of compassionate living, with all of my heart, I say thank you. Thank you. Thank you.