Be the Change.

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.”

Mohandas Gandhi

The world seems to be on the brink of destruction. News station reporting new mass shootings every week. ISIS beheading videos posted each month. Global climate change killing our ocean’s coral reefs and causing severe hurricanes. How do we keep sain? How do we live our lives with love in a world full of hate? That last question is a tricky one. We are actually living in the most peaceful time in human history! The difference is that our ancestors lived in small communities with little knowledge of events happening outside of their village let alone other countries. In a world of 24/7 news, we have become addicted to outrage, fear, and worry. We are not only what we eat. We become what we watch, listen, and pay attention too. So if we only watch the news, then it’s understandable why we have become fearful of the world. The internet is a medium of total human consciousness. Lots of random thoughts and ideas scattered throughout YouTube, blogs, and Facebook. Within the internet, there is a lot of fear, hatred, and worry. The internet is full of white noise. This white noise can distract us from living a meaningful life full of purpose, altruism, and growth.

Back to the purpose of this blog post, how can we change the world when we are just one small part of it? As Gandhi said, we must become the change we want to see in the world. This will keep our spirits high and keep us motivated on our path. You would be surprised at how much you can change the world with your diet, consumer choices, and by simply living your life in line with your values.

To begin our journey to living an intentional life we must be radically honest with our self. Radical honesty is saying what you truly mean without being mean. Many of us walk around being dishonest with our self. This leads to pain, suffering, and steals joy from our lives. We are fearful of the truth because it will make us uncomfortable. What we don’t realize is that our happiness is often found going through that discomfort. If we don’t face it, we often suffer in stagnation for the rest of life.

I now eat a whole food plant-based diet. Most of my life I was eating a standard meat & dairy diet all while claiming to love animals, environment, and my personal health. BUT my actions were not in line with what I was saying. I was being radically dishonest with myself. I knew the horrors of factory farming but still contributed to it. I was fearful of the discomfort of switching my diet and having to let go of a tradition. Through cognitive dissonance, I rationalized violence and unneeded suffering for my taste buds. I recommend watching “Cowspiracy”, “What the Health”, or “Forks over Knives” on Netflix.

Saying we are compassionate does not make the world more compassionate. To change the world into a more compassionate place we must take compassionate actions every day. Be the change.

We also can take action in the clothes we choose to buy. Many sweatshops make their employee’s work 16 hour days in unsanitary and deadly work conditions. They pay their employee’s extremely low wages so we as consumers can get cheap clothing and goods. “The True Cost” is a great documentary on Netflix about the problems of fast fashion in developing worlds. We can change the world by being more intentional with our dollar by choosing to buy used clothing or from companies that provide better working conditions and wages for their employees.

Do we want to be part of the solution or the pollution?

My intention is to never judge another for causing unneeded suffering in the world. I have caused plenty of pain and suffering in my life. My true intention is to empower myself and others to make healthier choices that cause less suffering in the world. Shaming rarely get’s other people to make long-lasting changes while empowering others energizes the spirit and keeps us strong for the long haul.

Here are some of the ways we can take action today to make the world a more peaceful place for all living beings.

-Transitioning to a 100% plant-based diet.

-Choosing fair trade.

-Organic produce.

-Buying ethical clothing.

-Not buying wool or leather.

-Reusable water bottles and containers.

-Less driving. More biking & walking.

-Buying locally.

-Cutting back on consumer goods.

-Buying used.

-Transitioning to solar energy.

We can take action right now to make the world a better place today, tomorrow, and for the coming generations. Let’s be the change we want to see in the world. In this way, we can preserve compassion, peace, and love in our hearts and minds. We will be living intentionally and authentically with our true self. We will be living our message with is much stronger than just speaking it.

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman

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Innocent Living Beings.

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By just being alive I will cause suffering in the world.

But I strive to negate as much as I can.

 

I vow to look at all living beings with compassion.

I vow to look at the suffering I cause in the world.

I vow to take action to alleviate suffering in all living beings.

 

Rape, torture, and death.

I see a tear go down a mother cows cheek.

I hear the last squeal of a suffering pig.

How we call ourselves peaceful while supporting such violence?

 

Blinded by industry lies.

Cold with apathy.

Myths.

Outdated traditions.

 

Wake up to compassion.

Wake up to peace.

Wake up to 2018.

A time of abundance.

A time where we don’t need animal products to survive.

 

 

There is another way.

A way of peace.

A way of compassion.

A way of love.

 

Will you join me?

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Buddha Nature: Awakening the Inner Child.

In Buddhism, there is the concept of Buddha Nature. Buddha Nature is a state of true compassion, peace, joy, and love for all living beings. Buddha Nature is something we are born with but lose sight of as society covers it with misconceptions, beliefs, myths, and fear.

Who did you want to be when you were a child? Before your family, friends, and your culture told you what to be? The photo above is me playing with Andy circa 1993.

Over the last couple months, I have dealt with old emotional wounds that lay deep inside me from childhood. It wasn’t easy but was much needed for my emotional health and to be at peace. In this difficult & turbulent time period, I also awakened to my inner child inside of me. I started remembering who I was at that time period and who I wanted to be as an adult.

As a small child, I remember envisioning myself to be a kind, strong, healthy, and compassionate adult who helped others. I idolized police officers, firemen, sports athletes, and ninjas for their strength, humility, and bravery. They were peaceful warriors to me who showed strength and compassion. Superheroes like Spiderman, Superman, and Batman emphasized strength, compassion, and humility. They protected the most vulnerable.

As a small child, I remember loving animals so much. I loved all different types of animals with full-hearted compassion. I never would want to hurt another life form. I still remember the day my parents told me what beef was and I was horrified that a cow died and that the juice was cows blood. The day I found out about factory farming was a traumatic experience. I couldn’t believe such a barbaric, inhumane, and unethical institution was allowed. I didn’t realize I could become a vegan to protect the most vulnerable until I was an adult. I suppressed this traumatic experience and continued to eat meat for the next 15 years. This post isn’t all about veganism but veganism is what sparked my transformation into diving deep into my inner child. By showing the most vulnerable (animals) true compassion by my actions I started the process of showing true compassion to myself, others, and the environment. Our true nature as children is to love animals. Society tries to turn that compassion into apathy and we are forced to accept that we have no control over the horrible things happening in the world.

Somewhere in my teens, I lost most of this inner child and I suffered tremendously for it.

I used to smile constantly, dance, be silly, and loved helping others. Around 10 years old, kids started making fun of me for smiling too much (smiley was my nickname) and adults (sports coaches) would shame me for smiling in serious situations. Soon I was taught that smiling, helping others, and being silly was feminine and weak. I started portraying myself more as a serious Mafioso than a fun loving child. My idols turned into Al Capone, Scarface, Charlie Sheen, Tupac, Lil Wayne, and Eminem. I suddenly didn’t smile much anymore, only grind danced, and didn’t help others because no one is helping me. I started not to give a f$%# about anymore, including myself. Eventually, this attitude led me down the path of infidelity, substance abuse, gambling addiction, and anxiety/depression. My inner child was buried under years of fear, judgment, hatred, and myths of masculinity.

As I awaken my inner-child, I feel more inner strength and confidence than I have ever felt before. I have smiled more in the last two months than the past 5 years. I have laughed, joked, and shown love to others. I feel more at peace with myself than I have ever felt. I have finally started my journey as a Peaceful Warrior. My weapons are compassion, empathy, love, and forgiveness. I will never have the strength of Superman or the Ninja Turtles, but I can show compassion and humility to the most vulnerable as they did.

Get back to what you loved to do as a child. Figure out what motivated you and made you happy. Be silly, smile, dance, laugh, and enjoy the simple things in life again. Be curious about the world again. Let go of the stories that hold you back from achieving peace, freedom, and enjoyment in life.

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman

 

 

 

Plant-Based Diet: The First Path to Alleviating Suffering.

My name is Johnny Hoffman and my mission is to alleviate suffering in all living beings. I used to be 40lbs overweight and eat fast food/bacon every day. I don’t judge those who consume meat and dairy nor do I wish to force my lifestyle on anyone. I only want to give you information that could alleviate suffering in yourself and the world.

I want to be part of the solution, not the pollution.

How did I become a vegan you might ask? It’s simple, the suffering of millions of cows, pigs, chickens etc are not inline with my values of peace, compassion, and love. The environmental damage is astonishing with the amount of greenhouse gas, animal fecal waste, and water consumed in animal agriculture. Our current agriculture system is highly unsustainable for the future. Humans survived because of our adaptability so there might be hope after all. Adopting a more whole food plant-based diet lowers your risk of cancer and heart disease.

My intention is to show compassion to all living beings.

Factory farms don’t just harm the animals though, with factory farm workers having high turnover rates (95-100%) and risk of disease/injury (50%). 38% of factory farm workers are undocumented immigrants and most work 10 hour days for very low wages. Imagine having to torture and watch thousands of animal die every day? The psychological damage seems unbearable.

( https://www.huffingtonpost.com/lucas-spangher/plight-of-factory-farm-workers_b_5662261.html) (https://www.texasobserver.org/ptsd-in-the-slaughterhouse/)

Millions of people suffer from diabetes, heart disease, and cancer due to eating a processed meat/dairy diet. Suffering doesn’t decompose with the tortured animals, it spreads to the man who ate bacon every day having a heart attack at 50, leaving his family in pain and suffering. I notice some animal rights activists forget that humans are suffering tremendously from factory farming. I want to show love and compassion to my meat eating brothers and sisters. Here are some facts.

-90% of meat consumed in America is from factory farms.

-20% of global Co2 emissions come from animal agriculture.

-440 million tons of animal feces in the United States alone. Most go into the ocean, causing “dead zones” where millions of fish die. Local towns near factory farms suffer tremendously from air and water pollution. Mostly effects poor African American communities.( https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/01/meat-industry-dead-zone-gulf-of-mexico-environment-pollution)

-Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction. 91% of Amazon deforestation due to animal agriculture. (http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/08/meat-eaters-may-speed-worldwide-species-extinction-study-warns)

-Processed meat listened as a Carcinogen in the IARC report for the World Health Organization. The IARC is the International Agency for Research on Cancer. (https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/world-health-organization-says-processed-meat-causes-cancer.html)

-In a study of 131,342 participants, High animal protein intake was positively associated with cardiovascular mortality and high plant protein intake was inversely associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, especially among individuals with at least 1 lifestyle risk factor. Substitution of plant protein for animal protein, especially that from processed red meat, was associated with lower mortality, suggesting the importance of protein source.

(https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2540540)

-Animal Products linked to higher inflammation. Inflammation is the leading cause of Cancer and premature aging.

(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5540319/)

-15,000 scientists from 184 countries sign a petition urging citizens to adopt a Plant-Based diet. UN report urges a global move to a plant-based diet.

(https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/jun/02/un-report-meat-free-diet)

-The former President of the American College of Cardiology Dr. Kim Williams stated that “There are only two types of Cardiologists, vegans and those who haven’t read the data”.

(http://www.richroll.com/podcast/kim-williams/)

Once we have the information, we can make an informed decision about the choices we make in our life. This blog post is my way of sharing that information that I have learned over the past 7 months. What you put in your body is your personal choice and not mine to judge or criticize. If you are interested in giving up or just consuming less meat and dairy I recommend watching Cowspiracy, Food Inc., or What the Health on Netflix. I also listen to the Rich Roll podcast, a vegan marathon runner.

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman