"I took a 365 day vow of silence as I travelled around the nation
to promote the abolition of animal exploitation."
As the clock struck midnight and 2014 began, I commenced a vow of silence for 365 days. What this meant is I voluntarily sacrificed my ability to speak for an entire year! I love to talk and it was a serious challenge! While undertaking the vow of silence I travelled around Australia in a campervan writing a blog about the people I met, places I visited, things I learned, and what it was like to remain voiceless for 365 days.
I did this to raise awareness for the voiceless victims of this planet. I did it for the animals.
When I was 18, I became a personal trainer after winning my battle with cancer and being inspired by a man who helped me lose 25kg's and regain my health and fitness.
After 7 years working passionately in helping others become happier and healthier, I scored a job working on a cruise ship. We sailed around the world and I gave seminars on health and taught the fitness classes.
Where Did This Idea Come From?
While working on the ship, an elderly, Indian man approached me and we struck up a strange yet profound conversation. He talked about patterns in nature and different aspects of the Universe.
He spoke with clarity and made perfect sense as each of his observations were intrinsically connected to the last, and finally pieced together like a jig-saw puzzle.
We spoke every day for 2 weeks and on our final meeting he said something that changed my life forever. "Eating animals is bad karma."
When I asked him where all his insights had come from his answer was simply “Meditation”.
I decided to book in a 10 day silent meditation retreated called Vipassana. I also decided to go vegetarian for a 7 day experiment.
The Vegetarian Experiment
On September 7th, 2012 I began an experiment on myself by eating a vegetarian diet for 7 days to see what, if any, changes I would notice. Almost immediately, there was an obvious increase in my energy levels and I felt less bloated and more comfortable after meals. I also felt happier.
I was intrigued so I started researching to see what the future would hold if I continued this way of eating. Would I get weak and lose my muscle? Would I have a lower immunity and get sick all the time? I needed answers.
The amount of information that supported cutting flesh from my diet for its many health benefits completely shocked me! How could this have slipped by me? I’d been in the health industry for 7 years. I gave advice on nutrition every day!
I suppose I had never been open to the idea of cutting meat from my diet so anything that came my way supporting this lifestyle I simply ignored. It opened my eyes to a whole new way of living that was more closely aligned with the respectful, kind person I strive to be.
If Slaughterhouse Walls Could Talk
Once I was convinced I was making a positive decision for my health, I started looking into the animal suffering and slaughter issue as it had come up many times during the researching. Of course I knew that animals were abused and slaughtered for food but it just never dawned on me what that actually meant.
I became more informed through reading books and watching documentaries which showed what animals go through because of humans use of them.
I read arguments and watched debates for and against animal exploitation. The more I thought about it, the easier the decision became; no longer would I be a mindless participant in cruelty and mistreatment towards my fellow Earthlings.
10 Days of Silence
On January 1st, 2013 I arrived at the meditation centre in Blackheath, Sydney. For the next 10 days I would start meditating at 4.30am and finish at 9pm, with only a few breaks in between. This totalled 10-11 hours of meditation every day.
It was one of the most confronting, liberating, life-changing experiences I’ve ever had!
An Idea Is Born
During the 5th day, I experienced an overwhelming sensation that I’d never felt before, as if something inside me was trying to burst out! I realised that the feeling was a compulsion to speak as I hadn't said a word in 5 long days.
I thought to myself “Wow, this is the longest I’ve ever gone without talking. I wonder how long I could keep this up? Imagine trying to do this for an entire year! Could that be done? Possibly, but you would need a good reason! What would be a good enough reason for me?”
“Maybe I could do it as a way to raise awareness for something I care about... BINGO!”