MY VEGAN STORY
On October 17th, 2011, after educating myself on the conditions in factory farms from documentaries like Food Inc. and learning about all of the wonderful health benefits of a plant based diet from Forks Over Knives, I decided to remove all animal products from my plate, my clothing, as well as my face & body care products. So why did I make such an "extreme" lifestyle change? I made the connection that for every dollar I spent on animal products, I was funding cruelty towards animals and I no longer wanted to be a direct part of someone else's suffering. After all, I called myself an animal lover. No matter how we justify it, there is no way to humanely kill another living being that does not want to die. How ironic that the most sustainable and compassionate diet is also the most healthy and healing for humans? Keep reading to learn more about my journey and veganism.
Click on an image below
So far I've lived almost 8 wonderful years as a vegan and not only am I still alive, I'm thriving! My blood test results are perfect and I have healed many of my past health issues completely naturally. No protein or nutrient deficiencies either... just more energy, improved health as well as contributing to more & more animal lives saved! So how do I save animals? I choose not to purchase products that use animals for experiments or exploit and kill them for their eggs, flesh or bodily secretions. I believe that the less we purchase and consume animal products, the less demand there will be to breed animals into existence for the sole purpose of dying, which in turn saves animal lives.
The current US agricultural system uses 47% of its soy and 60% of its corn for livestock consumption, yet we have 16 million American children who struggle with hunger each year. We are already growing enough food for 10 billion people, ironically we still cannot end world hunger. Hunger is caused by poverty and inequality, not necessarily scarcity. To fix this issue, I believe we need to reduce our consumption of animals, redirect the food grown for the animals we eat, then redistribute the food (which is mostly corn and soy) to the people who are in great need. Animal agriculture not only impacts the precious lives of animals, it impacts the health of our bodies and the environment of our planet, especially future generations. Back in 2011 when I went vegan, only 1% of the US population reported eating a vegetarian or vegan diet. Now we are up to 6% and growing since many people are waking up to the ethical and environmental impacts of animal agriculture. How ironic that women make up 79% of that number too.
myths about veganism
Humans are omnivores
If humans descended from omnivores (nonetheless carnivores), then we would have paws and claws and walk on all fours. Our super sharp canines would tear through raw flesh easily killing our prey. Our urine would be acidic (instead of alkaline) and the size of our intestines would only be 1 1/2 to 3 times our body length. Unlike these animals, humans walk upright and have prehensile hands. Our mouths are smaller than our carnivore and omnivore counterparts. We have rudimentary blunt canines and flatted molars which makes it easy to chew fruit and vegetation and our intestines are 25 feet in length. Our physiological features are far more similar to frugivorous animals than of carnivorous/omnivorous animals. Even omnivores like bears consume a diet that consists of grasses, roots, berries, and insects. They will also eat fish and other mammals but the majority of its diet will come from plants or from human foods and garbage. If our #1 killer is heart disease which is heavily influenced by saturated fat and cholesterol and is 100% preventable then how come we don't see lions (carnivores) or bears (omnivores) getting heart disease in nature? We get disease because we are simply not eating our species specific diet.
If you are able to watch this entire video and salivate, then you might be an omnivore.
Warning: Graphic content for children and those adults who are not willing to face what happens to the animals they eat.
But cavemen and our ancestors ate meat
This is an appeal to tradition fallacy. Eating meat just because your ancestors ate meat means you should also live in a cave and no longer use wifi. Regardless of what our ancestors did in the past with less, it is completely unnecessary in our day in age to live how they lived. Consider the Roman gladiators, also known as hordearii, (which translates directly as “The Barley Men”). These men owed their peak physical condition to a predominately vegan diet of beans and barley. Their low fat carbohydrate rich diet improved their blood flow and cardiovascular health, while also providing more than enough protein to build enormously powerful physiques. Modern day vegan athletes have proven conclusively that a low fat high carb vegan diet is an ideal source of nutrients for those wishing to maximize athletic performance. World record holding strongmen, world record holding Olympic track runners, and world record holding ultra-marathon runners, all show us that a low fat high carb vegan diet does not result in fat bodies, but rather exceptional health, strength and endurance.
A vegan diet isn't healthy
A low fat, whole foods, plant based diet is the only diet that has been shown to halt and reverse life threatening conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Vegetarians and vegan populations have much lower rates of heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity compared to populations who include animal proteins. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Association states that, “Appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes." This is coming from the worlds largest organization of nutritional professionals.
Veganism is expensive
Have you priced the cost of meat lately? Beans, rice, potatoes, pasta, and many fruits & vegetables are some of the cheapest foods on the planet costing no more than $1-2 per pound. Even vegans who buy costlier products like imitation meats and nondairy products can still spend less than people who load up on beef, chicken, and fish. Meat and dairy products not only cost more money but can run up your health care costs long term since highly acidic foods are associated with disease. In summary, plant foods are the cheapest calorie sources on the planet. Click here to learn how to eat healthy on $5 a day!
We need milk and dairy products for calcium and strong bones
The National Dairy Council tells us that dairy is safe and healthy so we can build strong bones, yet there is no scientific unbiased evidence proving this to be is true. In fact, hip fracture rates (an indicator of osteoporosis) are actually highest in countries with the highest intakes of dairy products and animal protein. Click on the video below from Erin Janus explaining how truly scary dairy is.
Dairy isn't a cruel industry
Regardless of the health consequences to dairy, every time we eat or drink products that contain dairy, a baby calf isn't getting the nourishment it needs. The only way to produce cow’s milk is by getting a cow pregnant (by artificial insemination). When a baby male calf is born, it is immediately taken away from its mother shortly after birth and sold off to the veal industry where it is held in a tiny cage (calf crates) where it cannot move around so its meat will be tender when consumed by humans. Instead of drinking its mother’s milk, these innocent babies are fed milk replacer so humans can drink the fluid intended for calfs. There are so many delicious dairy free alternatives out there that are healthier for humans and more compassionate to the animals of this earth.
My 85-year old grandma (or uncle, friend, etc.) eats meat and they are alive and healthy
When looking at large populations (and not specific individuals), research shows us that the longest living populations in the world (Okinawans) thrive on plant-centered diets. Click here to see what healthy long term vegans and raw vegans look like.
BOTH women ARE 73 YEARS OLD in this photo
Can you guess which one is a vegan and which one isn't?
A plant-based diet is extreme
"Some people think plant-based diet, whole foods diet is extreme. Half a million people a year will have their chests opened up and a vein taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery. Some people would call that extreme." -Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
debunking veganism/questions to ask yourself
Inspired by EARTHLING ED
But I like eating meat, it's tasty
Do you value your taste buds over the life of another animal? A few moments of pleasure for you is essentially a life cut short for an animal who just wanted to live.
It's my personal choice to eat animals
If you apply this same logic to a different situation then shouldn't we respect serial killers or rapists for their personal choices that harm others? Where do you draw the line when it comes to morality? What is socially acceptable?
Morality is subjective
What's the difference between horse meat and cow meat? Dog meat or pig flesh? How do you define right from wrong? By what’s culturally acceptable?
Certain cultures eat meat because it's tradition
Certain cultures also oppress genders, mutilate their body parts, eat dogs and slaughter dolphins. Should "culture" dictate what's "moral"?
Eating meat is a natural part of the food chain
Selectively breeding, artificially inseminating, mutilation, imprisonment, separating young from their mother immediately after birth, exploiting an animal for their milk, flesh or eggs, slaughtering, hanging upside down to drain out its blood all maintains the natural ecology of our food chain? Just because humans have invented a process to kill animals doesn't mean its natural or necessary.
Killing animals doesn't have to be cruel if done humanely
How do you kill an animal humanely that tries its best to avoid pain and that does not want to die?
Animals eat other animals
Are you eating animals out of survival or do you have the choice to choose healthy and affordable plant foods at your local grocery store instead?
Animals cannot talk
If babies or a deaf person cannot talk does that mean we can decide what’s moral them?
Human rights are more important than animals rights
Aren't humans animals too? If we are not, then we shouldn’t be compared to carnivores or omnivores in nature either.
Our ancestors ate animals so we evolved eating animals
Our ancestors also used to live in caves and had a much lower life expectancy. They didn't have access to grocery stores with thousands of food choices or WiFi to look up information on a computer or cell phone. How is what our ancestors did a fair justification to kill animals when it is unnecessary to do so in our day in age. This is simply an appeal to tradition fallacy.
It's my personal choice to eat meat
Does your personal choice involve a victim or do you personally have the choice to eat something else?
EYE OPENING SPEECH BY EARTHLING ED
can you face how we treat animals?
When watching these videos, ask yourself... does seeing this make me hungry, angry or sad?