I have been vegan for three months now. I know I am not perfect, I know I have made mistakes, but I have been doing the best that I can.
Veganism has been on my radar since high school when one of my friends started a vegan diet. She claimed she was doing it for health reasons, but I quickly saw just how unhealthy she was while doing it, barely getting any of the nutrients she needed, and I thought she was absolutely crazy for attempting it. Just a few years later, I came to college and I joined the rock climbing team; suddenly, I knew many people that were vegans. These people were nothing like my friend in high school; they were strong and healthy, I frequently saw them eating nuts, fruits, and vegetables while I snacked on potato chips and candy. They weren’t doing the diet for health reasons, they were doing it for environmental and moral reasons. At first, I was incredulous; how could anyone cut all animal products from their diet? That meant no pizza, no cupcakes, no milkshakes! My favorite foods were macaroni and cheese and tacos, and I knew I could never lose those things. I had heard of vegan cheese and other substitutes, but I was wary. Those crazy vegans claimed that their food was just as good, but I knew that couldn’t possibly be true.
Halloween is in two days! While in America along with other countries, we celebrate by wearing costumes and passing out candy to children, the holiday did not originally start this way. Here is the origin of Halloween and a look at how other countries celebrate their passed loved ones.
The word Halloween originates from the phrase “Hallows’ Eve” meaning the night before All Saints’ Day. The holiday was founded by Pope Gregory III to honor the men and women who had high degrees of holiness or faithfulness. Catholics today still celebrate this holiday by holding a vigil the night before and going to mass on November first. Somewhere between the 12th and 15th century, the practice of dressing up as a favorite saint became popular. This is one of the many reasons we now use costumes during Halloween. Today Halloween has changed from being a religious holiday to honor the dead into a festive night to wear costumes, scare each other, and eat candy.
Dia de Los Muertos, Mexico
Cemeteries are decorated with flowers and candles.
Families keep watch over the graves all night long.
Contrary to popular belief, Dia de Los Muertos is not a Mexican Halloween. The holiday was first introduced by the Catholic Spanish as All Souls’ Day, a day in which all the faithful departed are prayed for and their lives celebrated. The indigenous people of Mexico were already celebrating their dead in their own summer ritual. According to their traditions mourning was seen as disrespectful, so they honored their ancestors by festivities and dancing. After the country converted into a Catholic culture, these Aztec traditions were included. Continue reading “How We Celebrate the Dead”→