Coral’s Healing Room at Coralsblog.com 505-269-9242 iwritetohealmyself@gmail.com I rise early. I go to bed early. If you need me, I will make myself available to you.

Five years ago, I stopped eating my friends.

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.

My name is Coral and I am five years vegan tomorrow!

I am sitting here in the studio with Nahko on Shawn’s Birthday, and I was remembering that the last time I ate my friends. Tomorrow is my five year veganversary! It was March 9th 2014 and My mom made my brothers favorite meal…my mom made her famous enchiladas. My last non-vegan meal was my moms ground beef enchiladas, smothered in cheese. My brothers birthday meal was my very last non-vegan meal. Five years ago something shifted for me and I want to write about that this afternoon. I didn’t stop eating animals because I didn’t fancy the taste of those enchiladas. If you ever had my moms enchiladas, you know what I am saying. They were the best enchiladas I have EVER eaten! And her birthday cakes…I didn’t stop eating those because I didn’t like how they tasted. I have to tell you that I stopped eating animals because I finally realized that I was eating animals.

My name is Coral and I am vegan. This is my story and I hope it teaches you a thing or two, as my life has taught me, a thing or two. I was so fucking disassociated that I truthfully had not made the connection, that I was eating a once living, breathing sentient being. Ground beef enchiladas did not equal our beautiful cows, Karuna or Ahimsa to me. We didn’t have Karuna or Ahimsa back then. Chicken fajitas weren’t Piñon. Lisa and Janet and Negro weren’t chicken tacos. Bacon wasn’t Sidney. The pork chops that I ate were not named Jenny Sue or Brixen. Namaste wasn’t a slab of ham on my plate and I wasn’t eating the ovulation of Lisa and calling it my breakfast. I wasn’t waiting to slaughter Samuel and Duncan for Thanksgiving dinner. I wasn’t stroking my lucky rabbits foot and making a wish. I wasn’t eating goat cheese on my crackers. I hadn’t made the correlation that all lives matter. I didn’t get that the lives of the sentient beings on my plate mattered at all. I thought they came here for me. I was so fucking ignorant that I believed that these beings came here for my gratification…to satisfy my tastes and my hunger. Five years ago I did not know that my food was actually the Caracas of my dead friends. I was eating dead flesh. I was drinking the bodily secretions meant for baby cows. I was eating the period of a fucking chicken for breakfast every day, with a side of crispy Tombstone. I was fucking asleep! And the worst part was that I had absolutely no idea that I was asleep. Only a couple of months sober from alcohol, I was definitely a hot fucking mess back then. I was so asleep and tuned out that I was about to be on an adventure like no other. I was beginning the journey of waking up…becoming conscious and aware and concerned. I had no fucking idea then…I was about to be transformed! I had no idea that I was so asleep. I could not have known how disconnected I truly was.

Five years later and I will tell you this, I will never not be vegan. I will never eat my friends again. I will never not know what I have come to know. I have come to know that their lives matter. Every single one of their lives matter. There are more carcinogens in the food that many of you eat than there are in the cigarettes that some of you smoke. Did you know that? Cigarettes have warning labels. The 40 pounds of raw chicken that you just bought is going to kill you quicker than the cigarettes are going to kill the Marlboro man next door, peering at you over his oxygen tank. Don’t believe me? Do your research. And now that we are outsourcing our food supply, so you really think what you are eating is safe? The disconnect is real. That 40 pound tray of chicken that you just bought…those chickens were someone. They were someone. All hacked up on a slab of styrofoam and shrink wrapped, slapped with a price per pound sticker and thrown in your cart. We are so disconnected.

We are raising children. We are teaching classes. We are in leadership roles and in animal rescue. We stand in pulpits and we preach peace. How can we rescue dogs and cats and eat cows, pigs and chickens? Your fucking bologna did have a first name. How do we preach peace when we eat the slaughtered remains of sentient beings? We are disconnected my friends. We are so disconnected.

Five years ago, I began to connect the dots. I began to question things that seemed wrong to me. I began to give a shit about someone other than myself. I set down my carne adovada burrito and I ate my last poached egg. I stopped buying leather and I made different choices. I started to give a shit and I mean really give a shit about other beings on this planet. Five years ago I stopped eating animals because I came to know that they are not mine to eat or to wear or to exploit.

As my brothers birthday lunch came to a close five years ago, I could never have foreseen how drastically our lives would shift. I could not have known that I would never eat another animal again. I could not have known that my mom would get cancer in a few months and die. I could not have known that our dining room would occupy another family that they wouldn’t welcome us. We don’t sit at that table as a family anymore. We are not a family anymore. I could not have known that I would be giving up some things and others would be taken from me. I gave up eating my friends. I lost my mom to cancer and my dad to someone and someplace far, far away from me. As I cleared those dirty dishes and washed the carcass of my friends into the trash, one last time…I could not possibly have known how my life was about to change. As I kissed my mom goodbye and hugged my dad under the garage door…as I hugged Shawn and JiSan “goodbye” and I drove away on that day…I could not have known all that would come to be of my life. We never truly do know what life has in store for us. We do run out of time. We do. People feel better somehow if we don’t run out of time…and so they say that we don’t. I am here to tell you that we actually do run out of time. So, make it count. Your time…your decisions…make them count. Be mindful of what you put into your body. If it shits, don’t eat it. Truly. For me, that was an easy gauge. I hope the simplicity of this helps you also, because it is that simple. If it has a face and it shits, it’s not yours to eat.

I am blessed to have learned that animals have just as much right to be here as I do. I am grateful to live in Sanctuary with so many beautiful and sentient beings. You may be astounded to know that I can eat whatever you eat and I can eat it vegan. If it’s not vegan, I won’t eat it at all.

My depression fucks with me a lot lately. I am struggling to stay afloat. Being vegan beings me some peace, as I know I have changed the world for some of them. I will spend the rest of my life fighting for the rest of them. For you see, we are all someone, not something. We each have every right to be here. If my depression takes me, at least it wasn’t someone else deciding that I was food, not friend. Truly, when did we decide that we got to decide for everyone, how things are? We have dominion over…we do not have control or reign or power over those without voices. Who told us that we had the right to crucify species after species after species for our own consumption and convenience? We did. We decided that we have no rules and they have no economic value…so fuck it…we decide. Look at us, deciding and shit. Egotistical, ignorant, insensitive and greedy as fuck…is the mentality that my appetite is more important than your life, isn’t it? I mean truly…that is some entitled and ignorant and ass backwards thinking and we are wrong. Plain and simple. We are wrong to slaughter millions of sentient beings for our own gratification…for sport…for our hunger and our taste in clothing and furniture. We cannot make this right…we just can’t. Excuses abound and generations pile, one on top of the other…doing it the way we have always fucking done it. Let me ask you something…How is the way we’ve always done it actually working for us? How is this entitlement and this superiority working out for us and our human counterparts? All you have to do is look around you to see that this isn’t working at all.

You will never catch me competing with you. Every single day though, you will see me fight like hell to be better than I was yesterday. From whom much is given, much is expected. I owe a great debt to the powers that be for my existence here, for my place and my peace and my work here. The debt can only ever be payed forward and it cannot ever be paid with the life of someone else. We each get what we get when we get it. Five years ago, I got it and I am forever changed. Go vegan. Truly…for yourself, for your health, for the planet…for each other…for your kids. I was pretty ignorant and naive…fuck, I still am…I would like to think that I have made a difference though, for someone, by being here.

Living a compassionate lifestyle includes more than eating a vegan diet, just as being sober means more than abstaining from drinking alcohol. When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. Friends, not food. Five years not eating my friends has softened my heart and I am so thankful. Five years of learning about the sentient beings in my life and cohabiting them…I cannot imagine how I was ever so thoughtless and reckless and careless. Being more connected now, I shudder at my own disconnect, for I knew not then what I have come to know now.

My life is blessed. I am blessed. I hurt, a lot. Depression keeps me struggling, until it doesn’t. I miss my mom. I miss my dad. Sometimes, I wish I were riding my bike around the block with my little brother, for hours and days on end…going everywhere and nowhere at all. Some days I really do miss my little family so, so much that it throws me into the abyss that swallows me for days. Depression seems to be the one thing I can’t just fucking quit…and every single day, until the day I don’t, I will battle it out. Being vegan has given me a lot of someone’s to fight for and so as best as I can, I stay. As much as I am able, when the calls come and I am needed, I answer. Getting out of me is the only thing that seems to save me at all, in times where I can’t get myself out of the abyss.

Five years ago, I started speaking for them and fighting for them and loving them like a verb. With the love and compassion and guidance of the most amazing vegan I know, I have learned so much. Thank you Tamara for loving me into compassionate space and for helping me to make more compassionate choices. Five years ago my life changed forever. My name is Coral and I am five years vegan tomorrow! For your soul, I encourage you to think about being vegan too. You will not know why you waited so long to assume a lifestyle that does not harm others. Your body will look and feel better. Your heart will open up. You will be better able to look in the mirror…I mean to really look in the mirror. Best of all, no one gets hurt for your appetite. Anyway, that’s all I’ve got today on being vegan. Inspired by my five year veganversary tomorrow…A post for us all to wake up and soften our hearts. Don’t trust me. Go out and try it for yourself! I love you! Have a beautiful day!

Thank you for inspiring me…I am going to pass it on!

 

7FD55698-B2D6-4C0A-956A-2F4CEB4E146F.jpegGood morning everyone! I need some inspiration today, so we are going to focus on what inspires me.

On this day I am inspired by my friends son, who decided to be vegetarian after he came to the Sanctuary a few weeks ago. On Monday, he made the commitment to go vegan, and I am fucking inspired! Since Santuario de Karuna opened its gates, I have been constantly inspired, by stories of transformation.

We get what we get when we get it, don’t we? We don’t get it one moment sooner, than when we get it. For me, once I get it…once I know it, I cannot not know it ever again.

Namaste would have been bacon. Brixen and Sidney, although not bred to be slaughter pigs like their sister Namaste, could easily have been a pork chop or a sausage patty.  Karuna, born defective for the dairy industry, and branded for slaughter, would have been steak. Our precious ducks and our goose, quite possibly would have been Foie gras. Here’s a bit of info which you cannot not know:

Foie gras (/ˌfwɑːˈɡrɑː/ (About this sound listen), French for “fat liver”) is a luxury food product made of the liverof a duck or goose that has been specially fattened. By French law,[1] foie gras is defined as the liver of a duck or goose fattened by force-feeding corn with a feeding tube, a process also known as gavage. In Spain[2] and other countries, it is occasionally produced using natural feeding.[3] Ducks are force-fed twice a day for 12.5 days and geese three times a day for around 17 days. Ducks are typically slaughtered at 100 days and geese at 112 days.[4]

Our birds, all of our precious lady birds would have been hacked up into pieces…breasts, thighs, wings and drumsticks. Our roosters would have been, have already been, turned out and thrown away because they aren’t worth anything at all. Our beloved goats, all five of them are male and their fate awaited them at the blunt end of a hammer to the skull. Being of  no economic value, to goat milk farmers, 40,000 male goats are slaughtered at birth in the UK alone. Slaughtered at birth, simply because they are born male.

Samuel and Duncan, our two male turkeys…Thanksgiving feasts, the two of them…only ever here for us to hack up on our plates on Thanksgiving, as we give thanks for all of our many blessings.

Our rabbit and all of the rabbits that inhabit the Sanctuary, great rabbit fur for coats, great and more disposable than Easter chocolate for your kids.

What about Hondo, our Mammoth donkey? Where would Hondo be if he weren’t brought into Sanctuary? Hondo is old and his teeth have been busted out of his head, so Hondo isn’t even worth his keep anymore.

These are the realities that people have been desensitized to, for lifetimes and generations. The packaged chicken breast that you just threw into your grocery cart for dinner,  is my friend Piñon, my girl Neagro. The T-Bone steak, right next to your porterhouse, that is my friend Karuna. The bacon strips and pork chops, one of Namaste’s people gave their life for your to have that with your eggs…The ovulation of my 14 year old chickens.

We can go pull our down comforters over our heads so that we don’t have to see the reality of what we are doing to our planet.  In fact, to be honest with you, that is exactly what I did do for 40 of my 44 years on this planet.

I did what I had always done, what I grew up knowing to do, as my parents before me and their parents before them had always done. I ate what was on my plate and I wore what I was taught to wear. I sat on our leather couches and when I moved out on my own and saved enough money, I bought a leather couch too.

I celebrated my Birthday dinner with crab legs and T-bone steak, finished off with cake and ice cream, because that is how we did it. That is how we always did it. My family are cattle ranchers and dairy farmers…and we have always done it how we always did it, until I decided that I wasn’t going to do it this way anymore.

I didn’t try not to eat animals anymore. I committed to never eating another living being again, ever. I didn’t try to go vegan, I made up my mind, my heart was made up decades ago, and I went vegan.

I hear people tell me a lot how difficult it is for them, to give up eating meat, to give up dairy, and I hear you. I just come from a different place that I came from, and easy or not, for me, it was the right thing, the only thing to do. For me, the difficulty washed away as soon as I understood that they are not ours. The Question to do or not to do was no longer a choice for me, because I had come to know what I could no longer not know.

I am a firm believer in meeting people right where they are at, and accepting them for all that they are and for all that they are not. I am not here to judge you. I am here to help you, if you want help in knowing what I’ve come to know.

We are all just walking each other home and we on different paths. We all get what we get when we get it and I’m just thankful that I got it, while I’ve still got my music in me, so that I can share it with you.

Tamara and I have been blessed and called to be stewards to this most amazing piece of land. We don’t claim it for our own, we care for it and nurture it and give thanks for all that it provides for us. We have been gifted the privilege and the honor of caring for these amazing beings and we are so thankful. We are just walking each other home next to some of the most beautiful and amazing beings on this planet.

We invite you here and welcome you here, to our little piece of tranquility and peace and Sanctuary. We invite you to meet who you eat, and we have no judgement as to what that looks like for you. I won’t lie though, when we get a story like the story of our friends son, deciding on his own, to be vegan, our hearts are full.

I will say again that I am in competition with no one. I only ever want to be, better than I was yesterday. If there is ever anything that I can do to help you to do the same, you are always welcome to reach out to me.

I’ve no judgement, truly. I am here to learn and grow and love. I love you, right where you are at, no matter what.

I learned to eat animals and to wear them and  to lounge on their hides. I learned that they came for that purpose, for me to indulge on their carcasses. I lived as I was raised, by parents who were raised by parents who taught what we learned…do as I do…be as I am…live as I live…

I have come to realize that people are watching me. People are listening to me. People are imitating me and mimicking my behaviors, just as I did my parents behaviors. If you’re going to take anything from what I put out there, I want it to be the love. I want you to take from me, the good stuff and leave the rest.

You do you and I do me. I love you just the way you are…I really do. Do you, love yourself, just the way you are? That truly is the question…do you love you? Are you making decisions in alignment with your highest good? If you are, great, keep doing what you’re doing. If you are not making decisions that honor who your heart tells you that you are, it’s never too late. No matter what anyone ever tells you, it is not to late to live in alignment with the highest and brightest, best and most authentic, beautiful and wondrous version of yourself!