This time last year If I was told I would be a Vegan in the near future, I would have laughed so hard. I would then make a derogatory comment about Vegans.
June 2018 I began taking a more open approach to everything about the world. Being opinionated is part of me that I am proud off. In the age of social media, we like to have an opinion about everything, even if it does not affect us.
A Scottish radio show I listen to regularly debates various topics. One day this show decided to debate a non “serious” topic. The debate was Cat or Dog. Interestingly people took it very seriously. On one hand I found it very funny how passionate, angry, and emotional people were becoming. However, on the other I was disturbed at the society we live in. For those wondering the dogs came out stronger in the debate so I pick dogs. Just kidding I love dogs and cats.
The vegan debate is one that I notice regularly, which people on both sides can get so aggressive putting their point forward. In this post I am sharing my vegan journey as someone who was so negative towards a plant based diet.
Planting the Seed
September I was in a coffee shop. Two good friends were talking about how they could understand the arguments for a plant based diet. I did the whole laughing and making derogatory comments that I did every time. I took in some of the arguments my friends were suggesting. After a couple of hours, I left feeling inspired to do more research. When home I opened my laptop and spent a few hours researching both sides. It was apparent was in fact uniformed on both sides of the argument. I was stuck in my ways of eating whatever I liked. Genuinely I thought the vegan movement was a fad and did not realise the whole environmental benefits of a plant based diet.
Watering the Seed
Still not fully convinced I decided I would attempt being one of those vegans for 1 month. When I started I was around 16 stone. My heaviest weight was 18 stone however I had recently lost weight while on a “diet”. My height is 6ft 1 inch.
A couple of weeks into the trial I noticed huge benefits. Turns out I had a dairy intolerance. Since high school I was sick every morning. I had asthma and was constantly clogged up with phlegm. My early adult life included many visits to the doctors with many health issues. Why the doctors did not test me for a dairy intolerance? I am amazed that I cannot answer that question but it was so obvious to everyone who knows me.
The month finished and I had dedicated more time into understanding the environmental benefits. I also learnt about the cruel farming methods the animals are victim to. However, the health benefits were enough to keep me as a vegan.
I am still vegan today and I don’t look back.
There have been challenges. I noticed the lack of certain nutrients I was consuming. Iron, and b12 were the main ones. However, these challenges have encouraged me to learn more about what I am putting into my body to ensure I am meeting my nutritional needs. B12 is the only vitamin I supplement due to non animal products lacking. My fitness pal allows me to monitor my nutritional goals. My fitness pal is an app I have used for “diets’ in the past. However, I would always focus on the calories and not all the other nutritional needs.
In the trial period I really only ate processed foods. A bit like before however this this time without the animal products. Now I eat a lot less processed food and I even cook quite a lot. I am now educated on my body and what it does and not agree with.
Today I am 12 stone 10 lbs. So I have lost 3 stone 4 lbs since September. I never intended on loosing weight on a plant based diet in fact I suspected the opposite. However, I cannot credit the removal of animal food products for my weight loss. The vegan lifestyle removed the health issue from my life. Without health issues, exercise is a big part of my life, just like when I was a child. Feeling fitter and happier about my life has allowed a huge reduction in the number of days I feel anxious. I can feel proud of what I achieve and excited to see where my achievement leads my life.
Looking to the Future
For those who are not vegan and those who say they will never become a vegan, that is fine but lets just let those who are vegan do as they wish. For those who are vegan a less forceful approach may be more encouraging to get the point across.
We are living in a world where we have a climate emergency. Yes I do believe farming has played a huge part in global warming. The vegan lifestyle will help improve the environment. We need corporations and governments to promote changes. I believe healthy debate is good but when we use horrible comments in debates all that does is increase the negativity towards the whole society.
In the future I do not see me including animal products into my diet. With the noticeable increase in artificial meats that are really good, I believe we may see people eating less meat. Why would a vegan want eat something that tastes like meat but isn’t meat? That is a comment I would make. I love the taste of meat. The smell of sausages and burgers on bbq’s makes me very tempted. I choose not to eat these products due to the environmental benefits. Not because I don’t enjoy eating these products. I chose not to eat dairy and eggs because of the health benefits I have noticed. Not because I don’t enjoy the taste.
I challenge every meat eater who is reading this to try the impossible burger or the beyond meat burger. Please comment with what you thought.