…I didn’t crack! It was a conscious decision. Honest! If anything is to blame it’s my lack of knowledge of physiology. See I’ve been feeling pretty low on energy these last few days and I haven’t been eating many green leafy veggies for Iron or any B12 supplements. Plus I have an important couple of days of work coming up and no time to shop so I figured a bit of red meat might fix me up nicely. 🙂 😦 :S
Having said that, I thought this would be a good time to post on my recent dietary changes. For the last year I’ve been giving myself vague names such as ‘mostly vegan’ or ‘kinda vegetarian’. The lack of a strict approach is due to my belief of a more holistic approach. Nothing to do with will power. This post should give you a proper insight into where I’m coming from and where I’m headed.
Now I’m not trying to convert ya’ll. I’m just writing for you reference since it comes up a lot in conversation. And I know a lot of you have differing opinions. Some of you may be better informed on me on certain aspects. But this is all a learning process for me. It’s about conscious progress not absolutism.
Here is my view in a nutshell:
“I want to minimise my consumption of animal-based foods while maintaining my health”
There are four main elements that comprise my stance. Ethics, Health, Environment and Spirituality (i know, I hate that word too but there isn’t a more suitable one). I think if we all had a vegan diet we would be healthier, more peaceful and would have much less negative impact on the environment.
Ethics: Male chicks minced alive because they can’t produce eggs. Cows artificially inseminated, seperated from their offspring and udder sucked dry of milk over and over again. Chicken’s de-beaked to stop them pecking each other in confined barns. Pigs trapped in cages with pain and fear. All these animals just being raised to die. If this isn’t hell then I don’t know what is.
Health: This is a tricky one because there are a lot of factors involved. Obviously you can have a shit vegan diet and a good non-vegetarian diet. But research these days points to a good vegan diet being much better than a good non-vegetarian diet. There is a lot of misinformation out there perpetuated by meat industries, media, tradition and outdated science that has lead us into believing that we neeeeed milk and chicken to get by. Fact is, animal-based foods are linked to increased cardiovascular disease, cancer and a whole lot more. Read ‘The China Study’ for a good starting point. Plant-based foods have A LOT of nutrients and are very good for you.
(Health again: Linking back to the start of this post. My claim to eat meat for health reasons is due to the fact that I’ve been slack these last few days and haven’t eaten well otherwise. I’m not quite there yet but I’m moving forward.)
Environment: It’s retarded. We use lots of land to grow lots of food. Then we feed that food to a cow then eat the cow. Why don’t we just eat the freakin’ food in the first place? Moving to a vegetarian diet is ridiculously good for the earth. It takes sooo much less water, oil, land and pollution to grow vegetarian foods. Worried about peak oil? Here’s a starting point.
Spirituality: (Warning: This is going to sound like a bunch of wank but it’s true) There is a certain inner value I gain from a reduced animal intake. It cultivates a sense of harmony with the rest of the earth. To me, peace doesn’t make sense if it doesn’t include animals and the earth as well.
There you have it. It’s a combination of these factors that have influenced my decision. I don’t think I will ever be completely vegan because traveling will not always permit it. I’m aware of the limitations of the world and hold my health in high importance. Now I’m going to end on a few tips I’ve learned for those interested in crossing the line into this realm.
1. Learn to cook a new vegan meal a week. For example, chick pea curry, mexican style pinto beans, dal (indian lentils), tofu stir fry, roasted white bean salad.
2. When you eat out, try ordering the vegetarian option. Get a falafel kebab instead of a lamb kebab, dal makhani instead of chicken tikka masala.
3. Don’t set goals. Just think about steady progress. Cut out a bit at a time.
4. Just think, are you too weak to make what you think is the right decision just because you like cookies too much? Are you going to let yourself be that controlled by your taste buds? The knowledge of what you are achieving should be much better than a few seconds of a sugary treat.
Anyway, feel free to comment. I’m going to redeem myself with a bean salad tonight and pasta with beans tomorrow. Oh ye-ah.