A Vegan Goes Back in the Deer Stand

It's been years since Carly was in a deer stand but this Saturday she went back out. After becoming vegan she thought she never would again but after her Dad invited to go she just couldn't pass it up. Listen to hear more about their day!

Please note, this episode has been transcribed by a computer, expect some typos!

Carly Puch

Welcome back to another episode of Consciously Clueless. I'm your host, Carly, and I'll be your guide on this journey from consciousness to cluelessness and back around again. Thanks for joining me for another Sunday solo episode, whether it's Sunday night and you're prepping for the week, it's Monday morning, you're on your way to work, or whatever day this podcast is found you and really glad you're here.

I have another yoga class review to read to you all, because they've been going over really well. And it's really fun to share. So today's review of a yoga class with me, states, Carly's classes made me feel welcome. I did not have any yoga experience. And she made me feel comfortable and at ease. She also made me move parts of my body I did not know were there. Her daily readings were lovely and helpful. I recommend Carly's yoga class to everyone. I love hearing when people who have not been in a yoga class, share their experience. That's always really, really fun to hear. So thank you. You can join me for a yoga class online through zoom by signing up for my newsletter on my website consciouslycarly.com or sending me a message on Instagram or something. And then you'll get the information about weekly classes. I'm hoping to add a morning class soon. And I will keep reading reviews from people who work with me or for the podcasts, just so you get a taste of what it's like.

So today, you're probably here because you read that title. And you're like, What is she talking about? So let me give you some backstory. I grew up in northern Minnesota born and raised. And I'm actually back in northern Minnesota. Now, when I was growing up, hunting and fishing were just a part of life, because that's what you do in northern Minnesota. And that was mostly spent with my dad, that was time that we always had together. So many funny memories, so many minutes spent in a deer stand or in a boat. Lots and lots of time together.

So as I started diving into this vegan world, I started to realize that hunting and fishing didn't fit with my ethical stance on things anymore. And hunting was really easy to give up the last time I went hunting. I remember feeling a little weird about it. Fishing was harder, because there's this cognitive dissonance that we have for fish, it's quite common to think of them as different. But turns out, you can look this up that fish actually feel pain and don't really love having hooks jammed through their lips, go figure. So I realized that hunting and fishing, we're going to no longer be a part of me and what I did. And what this really came down to was me realizing I did not have to do those activities to survive. That is not a part of my cultural need, or just to feed my family. I don't need to do that.

So for me, I don't want to kill as a sport, just because whether it's fishing or hunting or whatever. So I realized that for me, that wasn't a part of my story anymore. And it wasn't really hard for me to make that decision. What was harder was thinking about how sad My dad was going to be. Because I know how much he looks forward to spending that time with me. And he is in Florida now. So when I would go down there, we would always have a fishing trip planned even for a day or two. So I was actually more worried about him than I was for me. It wasn't a hard decision. And first he and I talked about how I wouldn't hunt anymore and he was fine with that.

I think he was a little more sad about fishing because that's something we were still actively doing until I decided that it didn't fit with how I wanted to show up in the world. And in one of the episodes where I interviewed honey Ella Bronx, she said It really well. And I'll paraphrase and just the summary is that that wasn't how I saw myself in the world. I don't see myself as someone who kills for sport. I don't see myself as someone who just takes and takes and takes in other situations. So I needed to match that up with my actions in this way too. So that's kind of where it stemmed from. And I think my dad was a little sad, but he is a very compassionate person. And the next time I went down to Florida, we went kayaking. He didn't bring the fishing poles and we just had a good day on the water. And it was really great. So then I did an interview with Jen Rivera bell. And she talked about how her husband grew up fishing and hunting with his dad. And when he went vegan, and then they had kids, his dad's so the kids grandfather was kind of worried, like, what am I going to teach them, I was really looking forward to this. And so Jen and her husband talked to him and just said, you can do all of the same things, we welcome you to teach our children the same things about the woods. because let me tell you, I know a lot of what I know about animals in the woods because of time spent with my dad. And it sounded like her husband had a similar experience. So they just told Grandpa, he can take the kids in the woods and teach them all the same things without having to kill anything.

And my dad listened to that episode. And he called me and mentioned the episode. And since he was coming to visit for the holidays, asked me, if I would go sit in the deer stand with him again. And I'm not gonna lie, my first reaction was a little bit like, does this guy know about the conversation we had. And once he mentioned that he had listened to the podcast episode with Jen, I knew where he was going. And I was really excited because he said, let's just go through the motions, let's get all bundled up, we'll get the binoculars, we'll go out. And we will sit and watch and see what we can get in the field. We will talk and joke because I mean, it's honestly a shock that anything comes into the field when my dad and I earn a stand together, because we're pretty much just joking and laughing the whole time. It's not the most quiet experience. But he asked me if I would go sit with him because that was such an important time to him, and that he wouldn't bring a weapon. And all we would do is shoot animals with our cameras. And I was actually really excited because I love being in the woods. I love hiking. I love this place where I got to grow up. It wasn't ever that that stopped me. So this seemed like a perfect place to meet in the middle.

So on Saturday, we got bundled up, it was actually pretty warm, so there wasn't too much bundling required. And we went out to the land where we used to hunt. We walked out to the field, we check some spots, we saw tracks, we got into the deer stand. And we just sat for a few hours, like we used to and watch the world go by. And it was really, really fun. Part of that is just because my dad and I are so ridiculous together. But the other part is that it felt like I was very much being seen by my dad and he was reaching me where I was at. And I'm really, really thankful for that because I know a lot of people don't have that experience with their families. For some reason being vegan can be quite divisive. And people get upset about it. When really All I'm trying to do is make the world a better place. But I digress. So we saw deer. We saw birds, I got yelled at by a squirrel. We saw a grouse. We saw I just realized how Minnesotan I'm sounding, naming these animals. But it was really, really fun. And we took good pictures. And we talked about life.

I mean, the deer stand and the canoe or the boat are places where my dad and I have had some of the most connecting conversations we probably ever have. And I always joke with him that he always tries to have these hard conversations with me. When we're in places where I can't bail. That's such a parent move, but it's so true. And we did that we had conversations We laughed, we didn't nap, which is really shocking. And we saw these beautiful animals. And at the end of the day, when the sun was going down, we got out of the stand. And we walked back. And that was it. And so, the point of me sharing this, there's a, there's a few points, one, there are ways to work around differences. There are ways to meet people where they're at. And that's gonna be a given take. Because, you know, I'm not going to, let's say, meet my dad, where he's at right now and want to hunt.

Again, that's just not ethically okay for me. But I'll go in the deer stand, and all get bundled up and all pack a bag, and I'll walk through the land and talk about the food plot, and whatever it is, and vice versa, he will do the same for me. So, I want to encourage you, especially if you are a parent, or a kid or a family member, that has someone in their life, who now is not going to do the things that maybe you did with them for years. One understand that they've probably made the choice to be vegan, because they're a pretty compassionate person. And I'm not just trying to pat myself on the back. But if you become vegan, there's a good chance that you're doing it for the environment or for animals or for health. And on some level, that gives you a certain awareness.

So one, count yourself lucky to have someone who's compassionate in your life. But also, you can still find ways to connect with them, my dad and I, I know for a fact, we'll still get on the water in the kayak in the canoe, whenever we can, we are just both water lovers. And that will always happen. And we don't need fishing poles to do that. We don't need a gun to go in the woods and to even sit in a deer stand. I never thought I would be back in a deer stand. But I mean, really, it's just a glorified tree house. Because we have a nice stand. And it was great, it was really great. And you can't be mad at sitting with your family member bonding for a few hours in a beautiful location with beautiful views and animals all around you like that's pretty ideal.

So just know that there's ways to work through that. And also know that you don't have to give up that time. Because I think at first, even though I knew my dad wasn't going to like disown me or anything, I was worried that he would be unsure of how to do those connecting things, because that was always included. But that doesn't have to happen. There are lots of ways to be creative. And so I guess if you are the person who is vegan listening to this, worrying about this situation with a family member come up with ideas when you tell them, you know, like Hey, Dad, this isn't something or Hey mom, or Hey, uncle or whatever, this isn't something I'm going to partake in in this way anymore. But here's all these other ways we can keep connecting, because that's what it really was about at the end of the day. Like Yeah, a lot of my memories are of fishing and or hunting.

But honestly, what I remember the most are the conversations we had the laughs We had, where we were like the beautiful places we would be on a lake in Canada or wherever we were. That's the stuff you remember not necessarily killing the animal. And know that it's okay, if that was in your past to be vegan. That's okay too. Because at first, I felt really guilty for having done those things. But one guilt doesn't do anything because they've happened and they're just a part of your story. They're a part of your learning. They're a part of you. And that's just a part of the process. As we learn and we grow, we will look back on things and our first instinct might to be to wish that they were different or that we would have done things differently. But that's not necessarily helpful. It's really what you can do to move forward and make them different.

And also, I just have to throw this out there because I'm really tired of this lately. being vegan doesn't make you weak. It just doesn't. And I had someone say to me, oh, you'll get used to it. You know this hunting being around you and blah blah blah. I'm used to it, let me reiterate that I grew up in northern Minnesota, I have shot deer, I have killed many fish, I have dragged them out of the woods. I mean, I won't go into the details, because this podcast is generally a lot of vegan podcast information, but I can handle it. It's not that I can't actually on the contrary, I did quite well. But it's just that I choose not to do that anymore. And that doesn't make me weak, in my opinion, and how I have felt in my life, it's actually made me feel a lot stronger, because that's something I could do. And I could give in to the pressure to, but I am choosing not to, because it doesn't align any more with my morals or my values. So it doesn't make you weak. It just doesn't. I just want to dispel that myth.

And I will continue to say that, because the internet really loves making fun of weak vegans. And I never really understood that. Again, I digress. But the point here, I guess the point is really to just keep finding ways of connecting no matter the differences. And sometimes that can be really hard. I know how lucky I am, that my dad was still interested in finding ways to spend time without the activities that we used to do. So I know, I'm really lucky. But it's possible. It's so possible. And if you are curious about this, or need help guiding that conversation, please, please, please reach out to me. I would love to help I know how hard it can be to feel like you're going to disappoint someone that you really care about because that's what I struggle with. I don't want to disappoint people that I care about. But you can only live your truth and other people can respond in the way they're going to respond. And that's all you can do. And that's okay.

Thanks for listening to another episode of consciously clueless. If you're enjoying this podcast and hit subscribe, wherever you're listening. If you want to get this into the ears of more listeners, I would so appreciate that, send it to a friend text it to a family members share on social media and tag me because I love seeing that. And you could really help me out by heading to Apple podcasts and leaving a review of the podcast and then you could be read on air on a Sunday solo episode. Thanks so much for listening. Until next time.