Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Why I'm Choosing to be Vegan

People are vegan for a few different reasons, of the people that I have met, these have been their reasons:

*they want to reduce their 'carbon footprint'
*concerned and passionate for animals, and their treatment
*health reasons, they realize the benefits of gaining their nutrients from plants
*it's 'cool' and 'different'

Now, I realize I may get into a bit of trouble with this post, but, as always, I want to be honest.  My first time even considering this idea was about two years ago.  I watched a documentary called 'Food, Inc.'  I realize that documentaries are slanted, and definitely pushing an agenda, but honestly, if even a quarter of what they say is true about the meat industry, it's a nasty, nasty business.  For the animals, for us, for the workers in those factories, it's quite honestly, pretty disturbing stuff.  But, when I watched it, I thought, well, I'm going to eat meat that is grass fed, cage free, etc.

Then, about a year or so ago, I watched another documentary called 'Forks Over Knives'.  What I liked about it, is that it really emphasized how HEALTHY it was to eat a plant based diet.  And this idea, really stuck with me.  So, I am one that I fall into the 'health reasons' category.  This was emphasized by reading books like 'Thrive' by Brendan Brazier, and, then, just finding out more and more ways that plants are just incredibly powerful for us to eat...it's amazing to me the benefits that I'm sure I will always continuously learn about plants.

Here is the problem with being vegan...you can TOTALLY justify eating a lot of crap because it's 'vegan'.  But really, because I do it for health reasons, I'm learning more and more about this.  For starters, I don't eat tofu, and if I come across a recipe that tells me to put it in there, I just replace it with a bean or something.  Tofu is just another processed food, that really, if you do your research, is quite horrible for you.  I know there are some that are better than others, but the way companies process soy can be JUST as disturbing as the way meat is often processed.

Do I miss meat?  Honestly, the meat wasn't a hard thing for me at all.  I've always been a carb lover, haha.  Pastas were my craving....so giving up meat was a cinch.  And honestly, milk wasn't hard either, which I thought it would be.  And cheese was easy too.  But eggs...oh eggs...how I love you!  So many ways to prepare them!  I have memories of eating eggs over easy with my Grandpa and dipping my toast in the yolk...and that has been my favorite Saturday morning breakfast for a long time.  So, that one has been a struggle!

So, here is where I stand with being vegan.  When I go to someone's house, I really struggle with the idea of being like 'oh, I don't eat that'.  I'm  not allergic to it, I don't have a medical condition.  I ate meat for 29 years and I'm still here to talk about it.  This is my CHOICE.  And I know people will disagree with me on this, but I can't think of a nice way to tell someone that.  So, I don't.  And to be honest, there is nothing that is more unattractive to me than someone who acts as though everyone else is horrible because they are not doing something that you agree with.  Lately, what I've done is invite people to my home, and give them a completely plant-based meal, and we can talk about it, the myths, the fact that the meal actually tastes good, and how it's possible.  THOSE are good conversations...not demeaning, not preachy, it's a preference.  And not everyone is going to choose it.  No matter what I'm talking about, I want to be respectful to the other person, otherwise, a conversation can go south pretty quickly, and then you've lost them completely.  So, being vegan is my choice, and I love talking to people about it, because it's not something I ever pictured for myself, and I have found that it has been such a fun and interesting journey for me.  I honestly have made meals that taste SO much better than anything I made with meat and dairy...I made a squash soup last night that would just knock your socks off ;)

Being vegan takes effort, but once you get the hang of it, it's such a great feeling.  I love not having stomach pains because I ate a big bowl of icecream, I love not feeling exhausted because I just gorged myself on some ridiculously large meal filled with grease, and I love that in general, I just feel better.  More energy, I don't feel 'foggy', less headaches....I just feel good!  That's why I choose to be vegan.
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1 comment:

  1. I agree, people get way too heated over the this way or that way. Though coming from people who were farmers I do tend to get pretty steamed at people who think that ALL farmers treat their animals like crap...really angers me and shows the ignorance of people.

    I honestly would never be able to do vegan. Paleo all the way for me. Lots of green stuff and I still get to eat meat. I have found because of my blood sugar issues I HAVE to have protien at every meal to keep my blood sugar stable. Meals lacking it are not filling to me either. Granted a lot can be done with beans but unfortunately a lot of people are allergic to beans/legumes and don't know it...just like a lot of the other stuff people eat they don't think they have an issue because they are so toxic they can't listen to what their body is telling them.
    I think everyone would benefit from more plants in their diet. The american culture is too focused on carbs and people do NOT eat enough veggies.

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