It’s Time For A Change

As you might have read from a previous post, I went a whole month eating a strictly vegan diet.  Having been a long-time vegetarian (9+ years), this was not as challenging as I anticipated.  Not only did I survive the month, but I’ve decided…drum roll please…to make the full transition to being vegan.

Patty
Animal Place / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
                          This is not me but I love pigs and hope to adopt one, one day

As you know, vegans abstain from eating or using anything that came from an animal, alive or dead (so no meat, dairy, eggs, wool clothing or even honey).   I support anyone’s lifestyle choice when it comes to nutrition as long as they are happy and healthy, but I felt like it may benefit some to understand why I would commit to such an “extreme” lifestyle change.

For me, being vegetarian had been more of an ethical choice than a health one.  Simply put, I don’t think I should eat anything I couldn’t kill and since I do not kill animals, I don’t eat meat.  I respect those that hunt, kill, and clean their meat, taking the time to make sure every part of the animal is put to good use.  Again, not something I could do but power to those that do.  However, the reasons for transitioning to veganism comes from a deeper place than my vegetarian sentiment.

My Health 

My health reasons for switching to a vegan diet started with my food allergy test.  Basically, my food allergy tests showed me as highly reactive to eggs as well as reactive to soy and dairy, meaning cheese, milk, and (sigh…) ice cream. Since adding meat back into my diet to replace the removed protein was out of the question for me, I had to find adequate sources of plant protein.  I have gone back and forth with being strict about my food allergies, probably leaning more heavily on the not strict side of things.  But this time around, just after a few weeks of being vigilant, I noticed profound changes.  I have more mental clarity, significantly less congestion, less acne, my submandibular glands (the glands underneath where your jaw angle) have reduced to half their previous size, and I just feel “lighter”.  I haven’t actually lost any weight (not all vegans have to be skinny minnies) but I don’t feel bloated or weighed down after a meal.  With such noticeable differences, I can’t begin to imagine how it’s positively affecting all those invisible things my body does on a daily basis to keep me alive that I’m not consciously aware of!

Animal Liberation

So, not only am I going to maintain my vegan diet, but I plan on making the full transition over the next several months in lifestyle as well, for a few reasons.  A) It is much easier to say “I’m vegan” and actually mean it than to say “Well, I eat a vegan diet but I don’t follow the lifestyle of a vegan”.  B) I’ve been reading Animal Liberation by Peter Singer and boy, does that book make some poignant points that hit me right in my core. C) It’s much more eco-friendly to find a vegan replacements for things as I run out of them instead of getting rid of everything right now just so I can call myself a vegan.  And much kinder on the wallet as well. 😉

Be Kind

To me, veganism is one way that a person shows respect for all living things.  It’s not definitely not the only way but it’s a way that works for me.  So it amazes me how vegans can have so much respect for animals yet can be downright hateful to their fellow humans.  Having a holier-than-thou attitude and trying to guilt people to live in accordance with your personal moral beliefs only creates more opposition, and rightly so.  Why not respect other people’s belief system and meet them where they’re at?  Is that too crazy?  Let’s usher forth a new era of tolerance (and yes vegans, I’m talking to you) and show compassion to our fellow human.  We must remember to “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”.

But enough of my philosophical rant, I want to hear from you!  What was something you were hesitant to try and then once you did, you never looked back?

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