Today, I’m writing about everyone’s favorite topic: a Vegan talking about Veganism! How refreshing huh? I wanted to write this because anytime someone asks me about my choice to eat this way, I always freeze up and say some dumb ass answer that makes me want to go crawl in a hole and hide forever. Disclaimer: If you aren’t into this lifestyle, I get it 100% and my goal is not to covert you or change you AT ALL. This is simply the reason behind why I chose this path..
There are pretty much three standard pillars behind WHY a person chooses this lifestyle. Those pillars are: the environment, health, and animal cruelty.
This is a huge seller for a ton of people (for good reason) but it is not one of my main reasons for choosing this lifestyle. In fact, I am actually not-all-that educated on this aspect so it’s not my area to speak on. There are TONS and TONS of information on this online- on forums/websites/videos/documentaries etc so if this interests you, do some research!
I’m no dietitian so I can’t vouch that a plant based diet is the key to health. In fact, I think that a person can be healthy and still consume animal products in moderation. For me, eating this way has made a positive impact on my health for the sole reason that it forces me to consume more vegetables. Obvious huh? So in that respect, I think that a meat-eater who consciously consumes a ton of vegetables can be healthy too. To make things easy on myself, I meal prep ONE TIME per month and freeze everything. The only weekly groceries that I buy are avocados and lettuce. Every single day, all I have to do is thaw a few meals and warm them up and I have a cheap and healthy bfast/lunch/dinner that keep me satisfied and on track with my goals and beliefs. If you’re not great in the kitchen or simply don’t have the time, I am more than happy to help you. I have done it for friends in the past and it’s no trouble at all as I love to cook! Message me for details. 🙂 The main area that I really feel eating plant based has helped me out with is having a healthy relationship with food. Not everyone has this problem, but for me (and many women I’ve come into contact with), weight becomes an obsession- a cycle where we over-eat then under-eat repeatedly which then spirals us into a cycle of hating our bodies and comparing ourselves to everyone around us. My weight has fluctuated about 40 pounds throughout the last few years all due to me gorging and starving and calorie counting and crash dieting. The magic of a plant based diet is that you can have the freedom of eating plentifully while maintaining (or losing) weight. Counting calories has no place when everything you are putting into your body is pure and good. Your body will naturally get to the weight it is meant to be at with no added effort from you. This has been the most mentally healthy thing of this entire process for me- gone are the days of feeling hungry and then getting mad at myself for indulging. I can now eat freely and feel good, and not even question the calories I’ve consumed because almost everything I am putting into my body is wholesome and nutritious. Speaking of calories, look up The China Study. Chinese people weigh incredibly less than Americans, but eat an average of 30 percent more calories than Americans daily. The difference? They are eating QUALITY natural foods, not processed bullshit like we are advertised left and right. Our food system in America is SO corrupt, it’s almost impressive that they have called the shots as long as they have under the guise that they have our best interests at heart. SO many studies support the idea that over-consumption of processed food and animal products (i.e. the typical American diet) are leading causes in cancer and heart disease yet they are the most common food in our society. With that being said, it is important to look at WHO is funding what studies and whether or not they were manipulated to appear a certain way (on both sides). That’s why I choose to look at studies that happen organically rather than in a lab. Look up The Blue Zones. For me, it speaks volumes. The whole premise is looking at the world and the areas in which people live the longest, happiest, healthiest lives. You can’t deny the facts when they are presented to you that way- 5 places in totally different parts of the world that just so happen to do the same things equal out to them being all around healthier. Among other factors, a predominantly plant based diet was consistent in all 5 places. It saddens me that the number 1 killer of people in America is heart disease- something that can be avoided in almost all cases by eating a healthy diet, yet nothing substantial has been done in our society to make it easier to avoid that fate. In fact, the opposite has been done with all the fast and unhealthy food available being marketed to us everywhere we look. So the cause of this mass casualty of American people is actually being encouraged within our society…? That fact alone is just a scratch at the surface of corruption in the food industry. I think the most important thing to take away from this is that we as people need to be questioning everything… what mainstream society has shown us to be right isn’t always so.
THIS is the driving force behind my interest in this lifestyle. I’m not going to get into detail about what exactly goes on at slaughter houses, etc. but I will say that it is absolutely surprising how little to no laws are in place to protect animals or at least stream line the process of harvesting them for food. In fact, there are NO LAWS in place for the killing of birds (i.e. chicken). Use your imagination there but it ain’t pretty. If you want to know more, read the book Skinny Bitch or watch the last 15 minutes of Gary Yourofsky’s speech “The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear”. Both of those resources altered my path significantly, along with adopting three pets in the last year. Once I had these animals of my own, I got to know their little personalities and grew to love each of them SO incredibly much. I could see depth behind their eyes.. I know when they’re happy and sad, when they’re stressed, when they’re feeling rebellious, when they’re feeling extra loving.. I guess for me, seeing the capabilities that these animals have to feel real and genuine emotion, to develop their own sense of self and relationships with each other, to feel pain… I just couldn’t not make the connection that all animals are this way- the ones in the meat section of our local grocery stores had thoughts and feelings and were capable of experiencing the emotions of fear and pain and loss. Making that connection is what made this lifestyle both easy to adopt and maintain. There are so many alternatives to what I like to eat that don’t involve me supporting a cruel and inhumane industry.
With all of this being said, there are tons of resources for you to look at if you think that this a sentiment you could get behind- I’ll link some that spoke to me below. But in any case, I absolutely don’t think that anyone needs to identify as 100% anything. Even if you aim for one plant based meal a day, or just a recipe here or there, it’s still an awesome step in a direction that positively impacts you and the world around you! If you do decide to take the leap, living this way doesn’t have to be crazy difficult or extreme. I was a HUGE cheese burger and chicken wing lover before I chose this lifestyle and I literally cannot tell you how simple and easy the transition can really be- we live at a time where there are vegan options everywhere you go, and they aren’t just boring salads. There are SO many things you can eat that are both filling and delicious and countless substitutes for the things you love most. In addition, there are incredibly affordable ways to take part in this lifestyle- many times my groceries are actually cheaper than they were when I consumed animal products. Don’t be scared off by extremists- they are not representative of all of us and this really can be an easily attainable (and sustainable) way to exist in this world.
If you’re interested.. Resources:
What The Health (a bit biased but you can find truth in anything)