This is a heartfelt wish for a Happy 2011 to my Blog Pals, kindred spirits, fellow travelers, etc., out in the Blogosphere. May 2011 bring you lots of happiness and joy!
Actually, 2010 was - in so many ways - a year of encouraging developments.
Think about everything that has happened. More and more people are going vegan, and the movement is becoming more mainstream. Bill Clinton endorsed a vegan diet, which is actually quite a remarkable thing.
Think of all the other big-name vegans who were very out-in-the-open about their veganism in 2010: Russell Simmons, Natalie Portman, Mort Zuckerman. Steve Wynn, the wealthy and powerful real estate/casino developer in Las Vegas, went vegan in 2010 and announced his plans to have vegan cuisine at his establishments.
7-Eleven even started having vegan foods at selected locations. Sure they were mostly in New York, but at least the convenience store chain is slowly moving in the right direction.
All across North America, animal rights activists mobilized, protesting everything from animal testing to the seal hunt to whaling. On March 7, 2010, the documentary film The Cove won the Academy Award for Best Picture and drew attention to barbaric dolphin hunting practices in Japan. Meantime, the legendary documentary Earthlings, which converted so many people - including Ellen DeGeneres - to veganism, found even wider circulation on the Internet.
This isn't to say that 2010 was without discouraging moments. I don't need to say here that we have a long ways to go. A particularly horrifying - and very regular - occurrence in 2010 were the countless factory farm fires across North America, which killed hundreds of thousands - possibly more than a million - animals.
Then there was the horrific BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which has most likely damaged the fragile ecosystem in that region for generations.
But a lot of progress was made in 2010. And I suspect 2011 will be even better.
I loved 2010 because it was my first full year of being a vegan after a lifetime of omnivore living. I am happy with the lifestyle. It no longer seems to be such a novelty like it was about a year ago this time, around the time I first started. Now it just seems like what I do - the way I breathe, pay bills, run errands, etc.
The day will come, I hope, when all human beings embrace this way of living, and when the consumption of meat and other animal products is viewed as the custom of a bygone era.
May 2011 bring us another step closer to that reality.