Before I Was Introduced to Veganism
I was always an animal lover. At a young age, I spent a lot of my free time outside playing with stray cats, bringing them into my home, and trying to help animals in need as much as I could. I spent a lot of my younger days loading up on cheese and drinking glasses of milk with a lot of my meals (my grandparents told me it would make me strong).
It wasn’t until high school when I joined a group that taught us about eco-friendliness and where our food actually comes from, that I realized animal products weren’t for me, or for any of us on that matter.
That group taught me a lot. I seen a lot of things (graphic) that absolutely scarred me. I loved animals so much, and the things I learned left me sitting there wondering why I hadn’t made the connection sooner. I wouldn’t eat my cat, so why would I eat a chicken? Could I hug and kiss a chicken and eat it the very next day?
Veganism has changed my life in many ways. I now have a smaller carbon footprint than I ever have, I feel healthier, and I am much happier now when I eat a plate of food that didn’t harm any animals in the process.
“It’s my choice to eat meat.”
I hear this excuse a lot. “It’s my choice to eat meat”, they say.
Here’s the issue I have with that statement.
The animals you eat and allow to be slaughtered for your own personal pleasure didn’t have a choice to live or die. Someone chose that fate for them. With the harsh conditions these animals live in, and the humungous impact that factory farming has on this planet, how could it be a positive thing to keep doing it when we have the choice to make the switch?
Animals have voices, but a different language that is different from us humans. One thing is universal, we all can see when an animal is scared or in pain. Although you don’t see the behind the scenes, all animals feel fright and pain before and in the process of being slaughtered.
Animals are beaten, artificially-inseminated, torn from their mothers, and it is all because we support this idea that we need animal products to survive.
“Where would I get the nutrients I need to survive?”
This is another excuse I hear all too often.
Animals get their nutrients from plants, and once they are slaughtered, humans get those exact nutrients from that animal. Broken down nutrients, protein, and b12 supplements given by the farmer, are all given to the human who eats the animal product. So for this exact reason, it is better to eat plants and get the direct benefits, instead of getting the broken down version of all the cow, chicken, or pig ate.
When we are babies, our mothers produce milk for us to be able to eat and get the nutrients we need to become healthy toddlers. The same happens for calves and their mothers, but there IS a difference. In factory farming, baby calves aren’t able to get their mother’s milk that they need to become healthy. We take that milk and send it out to the countless grocery stores across the globe, but why? Are you a baby calf?
We are the ONLY species to drink milk after infancy. It just isn’t necessary.
“Animal products are good for you!”
Animals products are super rich in saturated fat and cholesterol which are two major contributors to heart disease and diabetes. Just to insert a quick fact here, the ONLY place you can find cholesterol is in animal products, so by eliminating both meat and animal products, you would stop your consumption of cholesterol altogether.
Vegans actually have lower rates of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimers, and even strokes! It is also said that for the most part, a well-balanced plant-based diet is more effective than medication when it comes to these diseases.
“How do I start my vegan diet?”
For me, it was easy to drop all animal products. I had seen so many videos of slaughterhouses, fur farms, and the health problems of livestock, that I just couldn’t eat one more animal product.
I understand that this may be different for a lot of you. It may be hard to cut down meat or dairy products. Maybe you really like honey in your green tea (Have you tried agave?).
I always think that simplicity is key. It’s best to stick to Whole Foods. Things like grains, hearty greens, fruit, and other veggies. If you are a person who loves both meat and cheese, hey, it’s 2018 and there are COUNTLESS substitutes for all animal products out there. Some alternatives are so crazily accurate that I have to double check the label!
Even if you don’t make the switch right away, it’s always a positive thing to cut down on your consumption of animals. That’s why meatless Mondays exist.
I always recommend people trying a thirty day vegan challenge and seeing how you feel after that period. I had a friend do it recently and guess who’s making the switch?
I would LOVE to hear if any of you found this article inspiring or if you are going to try to change anything about your diet.
With love, Kelly