I remember when I initially slipped into a blackhole filled with information about veganism. I was astonished. Interested. Instantly, I had that feeling of having all of the information I needed plus more. I couldn’t wait to start. Partly because of my interests in the material but more so because I was tired of feeling … tired. Everyday, I would wake up STILL tired. I would think to myself “how am I always tired?”. I had trouble going to sleep and waking up. There were times when I intentionally went to bed at a descent time and still felt like it wasn’t enough. How can sleeping not be enough for a tired body? I didn’t like being cranky or moody all of time (which came as a frequent side effect of my lack of sleep). My quality of life started to decline and that made me (seriously) anxious. I knew I needed to do something to basically save my life. So, I switched to veganism.
Since making the switch, I talk about health without limits. I think about everything/one involved in the production of meat and dairy products. Just the other day, I thought long and hard about why most vegans are activist for animals when we don’t consume them. Then I remembered, that’s one of the many points of activism. Root for the underdog. Animals are just as oppressed as humans.. In many cases and countries, worse. When I say these things, people take offense. Why? It’s true. I don’t think many of these individuals are going out to hunt their own food. However there is comfort in not knowing. It’s so easy to say “oh, I didn’t know” and keep it moving. How do we truly know if animals are being treated according to how they are labeled? Like, can you look at a carton of eggs and see which ones are caged or “free range”? I remember when I consumed eggs. I literally thought I knew a free range egg from a caged one because it was bigger in size. This was long before I learned about injected hormones in relations to an animal’s size. I trusted labels because I’ve been trusting labels my entire life. I lived by the saying, “if it isn’t broke…don’t fix it.” Hmm.. How do we know when our bodies are broken or breaking though? Humans are animals. We are created to be instinctual. Americans on a Standard American Diet are growing more obese daily, cholesterol rates are through the roof and blood pressure is too. What happens when our diet impacts our abilities to be instinctual? We die.
My mother (who is not vegan), pointed out to me that she simply does not know most of the things that I am learning. That really was a clear indication that we don’t do “better” because we just don’t know. Growing up, my parents scrapped their money together to do whatever they could for us. This included keeping us in good health. My mother bought a mint plant and sat it by the door. I remember on our way to school, my siblings and I would carryout our morning routines. This included grabbing a mint leaf to refresh our breath (as instructed by mom). We ate more vegetables than any other children I knew and I was jealous. I wanted pizza and carryout but since my family was so huge (I lived with 7 other siblings), we rarely ordered out. Instead, my mother took her checks and bought seeds to plant food. This way was far more cheaper to feed a family of 10 (we had a dog name King too) and It probably saved our lives in more ways than one.
Why don’t we want to do better? Food is addicting. It is an actual addiction at this point. We don’t strategically plan what we are going to eat anymore. Instead, we fantasize. The phrase “hangry” is just another indication of Americans craving foods or facing symptoms of withdrawal. After doing extensive research of my own, I find it almost insulting that people really expect me to continue to speak on behalf of food that made me feel like shit. There’s no need to sugarcoat it either. The foods I use to eat were shitty. Alcohol was fun but it left my body feeling extremely dehydrated and hurt. I don’t know how I didn’t see how I was gaining weight and basically filling my life with misery one bite of food or sip of soda at a time.
There’s a crash course of how insane the mass production or industrialization of the modern food is in this documentary called “What the Health“. It’s so awesome and informative. I invite you to watch it yourself.
My mom decided to try out veganism with me when I partook on a more processed level. Honestly, she did not enjoy it. I enjoyed it (food wise) but it really didn’t do anything beneficial to my body. That made me sad. As I thought about veganism and all of it’s benefits. Then I did more research and saw that there are so many other vegan lifestyles to experiment with. This site did a great job with summarizing some of the types of veganism!
Personally, I needed more produce incorporated into my diet. At the time, I had no problems with gaining weight but I did have a hell of a hard time losing it. EVERY single thing seemed like it was going to be a challenge. Should I buy new clothes for my new size? Should I attempt to incorporate exercise into my life since I am making an effort to eat better? Then I just stopped thinking about doing it (because that’s all that was) and did it. I have yet to buy new clothes. In fact, I have found old clothes that I couldn’t wear in the past and started sporting them. I also haven’t started working out yet. I’m too inconsistent to devote my life to working out. So I am thankful for the fact that I don’t HAVE to do it all the time to remain a consistent, healthy size/weight lol. I keep saying this but I do plan on incorporating more yoga into my life too.
Besides my boyfriend, no one in my family is vegan. It’s disheartening for me to hear of my family members and friends (constantly) expressing pain or discomfort without offering a solution. Now, I have one. Of course, it’s my optional opinion. I look at me making those suggestions as me doing my part in offering the best gift there is to life, good health. I do not think of myself as above anyone else. At the end of the day, all initial judgements will be based on physical characteristics.. not me being vegan. I am simply a human who was blessed with an amazing opportunity to better myself from a random ex-coworker (Thanks Chris!). I am forever grateful for that and will use any opportunity I can to save as many humans and animals as I possibly can. I am here to save Mother Earth as much as I can. I can’t advocate for us doing better as inhabitants of the Earth by incorporating more acts of preservation and conservation, if I don’t address what’s in our bellies first.
We eat to sustain life. Our food is our fuel. My birthday was 3 days ago. I was riding on the highway with my best friend and we saw an enormous truck, filled with chickens packed in an extremely confined space. I knew they were on the way to a slaughter house and instantly felt uneasy. It isn’t right. How can we truly say that an animal is happy when they have no say about any aspect of their lives? Depending on the gender of certain species, they’re killed instantly.. greed. We as consumers, don’t eat nearly as many animals that are slaughtered and bred for our consumption. Have you thought about the fact that corporations still have to feed these animals or find a way to (barley) keep them alive until it’s time to cut their lives short? When an animal experience trauma aka the definition of a slaughter house, they release these hormones into their bloodstream. Not only does this influence the taste and texture of the meat itself but it impacts our health too. At this point, eating animal products is equivalent to basically eating PTSD. We don’t even eat animals for act of celebrating anymore. We just consume them, nonstop, without using all parts to our advantage. Throughout the years we have become more wasteful than ever, despite technological advances. Are we aware of how our actions influence the supply and demand within grocery stores? We ARE the supply and demand. Do you know how much water we use for animal agriculture? A LOT.
What we eat determines our abilities to fall short or conquer our day. If I am at my best, why wouldn’t I want my loved ones to be too? What’s a life without a variety of animals and fellow members of the human race? Basically “I Am Legend” lol. It’ll probably be worse without any plants, trees, clean water, and a degenerating ozone layer. I love me and I love life. I would love a life where we don’t have to enjoy ours at the hand(s) of another. We should consider changes. Especially when our bodies benefit the most from these changes. Just some food for thought.