The last wisps of 2012 are drifting into history. There is a cocky new year strutting around the globe, one time zone at a time, acting like it owns the place. People are calling it 2013 and there seems to be no stopping it.
I am happily watching the action from my trusty time zone map. It is a personal New Years Eve tradition that was meant to be a family tradition but it bores my poor family to tears so I mostly keep it to myself now.
Each New Years Eve I wake up and locate where on Earth it is already 2013 and I mark it on my map. I’m usually up and moving by the time Western Australia is setting off fireworks while riding kangaroos and great white sharks or what ever they do to celebrate. From there, I cross out the time zones every hour as I excitedly watch the new year circumnavigate the globe.
For me this is an annual event that reaffirms my decision to participate in a system used by the society I live in. My tradition signifies that I agree to be a part of measuring time using the Gregorian calendar and the 24 hour clock like most people on Earth. I don’t have to buy into this system though. The measurement of time is a human invention and can be accomplished in many different ways. I could create a very effective way to measure time using increments of 9 called Jason time. However, I consciously decide to use the standard time system. It is flawed but functional and it doesn’t really hurt anyone.
I think most omnivores blindly accept the standard diet the same way most people blindly accept the standard time system. I know that I did. When you grow up eating animals and animal products you don’t question it. It is what your family eats, your friends eat, your classmates, the people on TV and in movies, it’s on the menu and in the stores. It takes a lot of effort to step outside of the system and look at it critically. It is only after you realize that you don’t have to be a part of standard system that you can begin to make honest choices about which system you want to be a part of. For me, this meant seeing the reality of the system I was a part of and then consciously deciding to change- to rebuild my belief system and my palate.
There are many different ways that I could measure time- I know this and I accept the norm. There are many different ways to feed my body- I know this and I choose to be a herbivore. Knowing that you have a choice allows you to make a choice. I am not convinced that everyone knows they have a choice when it comes to the “normal” way society eats.
As 2013 marches closer and closer to my comfy chair in the Eastern Standard Time Zone, I am getting more and more excited about what the new year will bring. I am optimistically hoping that a large percentage of the world population will realize they have a choice in how they nourish their bodies and choose a compassionate way to do so.
Happy New Years Eve Veganauts!!