1. I care about animals.
And it’s too much work pretending that I don’t. It’s too hard to disconnect from my food to the point where I feel comfortable eating animal products. It’s impossible to convince myself that it’s okay to eat animal byproducts just because I’m not eating the actual animal. Let’s be real. Would you rather be killed, or exploited and then killed?
If you think vegetarianism is much better than an omnivorous diet, you’re lying to yourself. I’m tired of lying to myself.
2. I like earth.
And I hope that future generations will like it too. Eating low on the food chain is more energy efficient and impacts the environment less.
3. The China Study
I recommend this book. It’s extremely important.
4. My health is important.
I’m convinced that animal products are unhealthy foods to consume. Even if you’re not convinced of this, you probably agree that plants are the most nutrient dense food, and therefore more healthy to eat than animal food.
I’ll acknowledge the flack I’m going to get about plant-based nutrition right away.
There is calcium in plant food.
Here is a table of the calcium content in some plant foods. For reference, 1 cup of skim milk contains about 316mg of calcium. That’s less than a cup of cooked collard greens. On top of that, the very high protein content of dairy products makes the blood acidic. The calcium from bones is then used to neutralize the acid. Sounds a little counterproductive, doesn’t it?
There is protein in pretty much everything.
Most notably, beans, nuts, tofu, and tempeh are great plant-based protein sources. But fruits, grains, and vegetables contain protein too!
I’m not Vitamin B12 deficient.
Here it is, in a nutshell, the way I understand it. First of all, B12 comes from bacteria. It’s not actually manufactured in animal foods. Second, the daily vitamin B12 requirement is incredibly low. As in, single digit micrograms (not milligrams). I am not deficient in vitamin B12, and I never have been. People who are deficient are not necessarily vegans. As I move back towards a completely plant-based diet, I’ll do what I’ve always done: have blood work done to make sure I’m not deficient. If it ever becomes an issue, I’ll take a supplement.
5. A plant based diet of whole foods makes eating joyful.
What a wonderful experience it is when you’re eating beautiful, colorful, delicious food that is good for your body, easy on the earth, and harmful to no one.
Two months ago, we had to put our cat to sleep. I feel that I can honor the life of my dear friend through an animal-free diet.
7. I have experienced exactly zero health benefits related to reintroducing dairy and eggs into my diet.
My cholesterol and blood pressure increased, I weigh 5 pounds more than I did before reintroduction, and I’m still deficient in vitamin D, in spite of the fact that so many dairy products are fortified.
8. Consuming a plant based diet of whole foods makes me feel good about myself and my life.
By removing animal products from my diet, I’m removing a huge source of conflict with myself. I feel both peaceful and energized, and I’m happier and more confident in all areas of my life. That may sound profound, and it is.
9. Plant-based cooking is like an exciting adventure.
Animal-free cooking involves an incredible array of colors, textures, and flavors that I find very inspiring. It’s fun to experiment with the chemistry of vegan baking and find creative ways to imitate some qualities of animal based foods.
10. The reasons not to eat a plant based diet aren’t real reasons.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone make a comment like “I could never give up my meat” or “Veganism is too extreme”, I would be living above the poverty threshold!
It seems that the main reason people don’t choose a plant based diet is that they’re put out by the idea of not having something they want. Sometimes they give reasons related to nutrition that don’t really make sense (like the protein and calcium issues). When it comes down to it, most people would rather eat their meat/cheese/eggs and remain (often willfully) ignorant of the consequences.
I don’t understand what’s so extreme about a diet that makes so much sense, nor do I understand how anyone can be so disconnected and so distracted that they continue to indulge in ways that are cruel to animals and detrimental to their own health.
Certainly more to come on this subject. Your thoughts, opinions, criticisms, and anything else are, as always, encouraged and appreciated.