I shared this with you a few days ago. I’ve expanded on the original concept a bit.

Even in the vegan food world, there is so much processed garbage available. It is sad how far we’ve come away from nature in the name of advancement. I saw a few otters frolicking in the river as I left the marina for my walk today. Due to a low phone battery, I decided to do my daily walk without headphones.

As I walked the mile-long, tree-lined suburbian-looking street from the marina to the grocery store, I listened to the birds and I thanked the trees. I felt the air in my lungs and the blood pumping to my legs and feet, propelling me forward. I realized that I didn’t have any idea what kind of animals live around me, what their names are, how long their ancestors have been here…

I felt guilty for being blind, for so often accepting the status quo, that animals are cute when they’re convenient, something to be memed about and petted….and when they’re not, they’re something to be killed, tortured, neglected, poisoned, relocated, or left to starve from habitat encroachment… and by my ignorance and tacit compliance in an antiquated and cruel system, I was sending them there.

My breath caught in my throat and pain caught in my ribcage, above that muscular organ which we all share in common.

Then and there, I promised the otters and the birds that I would open my eyes and never close them again.