I get asked this question a lot so I thought I would write about my choices to become vegan and how I got there. This post isn’t about regurgitating all these statistics to get you to change it is merely about my journey with it. If it does inspire you to try meatless Mondays or a challenge like Beyonce and Jay-Z did then awesome but that is not the intention!
I think everyone knows the joke: How do you know if someone is Vegan? Don’t worry they will tell you. Well in my case the hubs and I don’t really announce that we are – people just start to notice after eating out with us a few times! Being vegan is not how we identify ourselves it is just a choice we make. In fact most vegans are like that they just get a bad reputation for being pretentious but the ones I have met are actually really humble. I am sure there are vegans that throw it in your face but I would never hang around people like that vegan or not if you are an ass you are an ass!
I first went vegetarian in June or July 2011. To be honest I don’t really remember the exact date because I was thinking it wouldn’t last and would only be a week or month thing so it wasn’t important to me. The hubs was the first one that wanted to cut out meat. He is always the one that is ahead of the curve and I usually follow! I decided to support him and try it out plus it would be easier if we both ate the same. I was overweight battling an under active thyroid, high blood pressure, and was on meds. I wasn’t feeling well at all so why not try it and see if it helps…I had nothing to lose.
I remember thinking how hard it would be and how could I ever give up meat? At first, what kept me going for that first week was purely for health and weight loss reasons. You also start noticing how much meat is in everything when you stop eating it. In the beginning we did rely a lot on the fake meat products and had too many carbs and cheese but we eventually started getting more fruit, vegetables, and grains. I was starting to gain more energy after detoxing for that first week and starting to feel better.
We started watching documentaries to keep us inspired and the more I learned the more my reasons became ethical and environmental alongside with the health reasons. The following documentaries started my desire to research and learn more:
Forks Over Knives
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
Once I get into something I get into it! I was all about researching facts and learning everything I could about where our food comes from, how farms operate, and how animals are treated. I even got into scientific reports such as The China Study. I wanted to know the truth and I wanted to be informed. After I became aware it was seriously like a light bulb went on or taking the red pill in the Matrix! I felt like I just woke up and knew right away this was going to be a life change that I would never eat meat again. I couldn’t!
I also started thinking about how I wouldn’t be able to personally kill an animal myself. I love all animals and just because they come wrapped up in a pretty package and I don’t see what happened before doesn’t mean I should eat them. Sure if we were in a survival situation and had to kill an animal to live I probably would but I don’t think any of us are in a survival situation anymore. I don’t think it is necessary to take a life of a living creature in order to eat. All animals fight for their life when it is threatened just like we would. I also don’t think animals were put on this planet for human consumption – they are supposed to live out their days in harmony with us.
I used to think veganism was too extreme but after learning what we do to get meat and dairy, eating vegetables and fruit from the earth isn’t so extreme to me anymore. I have started to go vegan lately cutting out all animal products such as eggs, cheese, and milk simply because again I have become aware. I am about 90% vegan, I will occasionally have cheese or eggs when eating out or with family because of lack of choice but we do not purchase any animal products for our household. I used to think that eggs and milk were fine because the animals weren’t being killed for them but the facts are dairy cows and egg laying chickens are still treated pretty horribly.
I truly believe we are what we eat and I do not want to be a sick, mistreated, drugged up animal. I want to fill my body with as much natural nutrients it needs. I also believe that we vote with our dollar every single day of our lives. I choose not to support corporate industrailized farms that pollute the planet, abuse animals, and make us sick. I choose not to support the drug companies that sells us the latest pill because our food is killing us. I use my dollar to vote for family farms, organic produce, and compassionate vegan products. And when I see more and more vegan and vegetarian options in the stores I smile more because I see my vote is making a difference. If everyone cut meat out of their diet only once a week it would make a difference on the demand. For me, there are many more reasons not to eat meat. The only reason I have heard for eating meat thus far is that it tastes good.
After 2 years of no meat I am no longer on any meds I don’t even worry about my thyroid or have high blood pressure anymore. I have more energy and don’t have to take naps like I used to. I still have weight and fat to lose but I feel my body becoming leaner and healthier. After losing my dad to unseen heart disease and many other family members to cancer and diabetes I just made a decision right then and there that I needed to change and I needed to change my destiny. Do I miss meat? Not at all!
Thanks to my good friend Lenee for inspiring this post after our chat last night…love you girl!!