For some completely insane reason, I, being the committment-phobe that I am, have signed myself up for Vegan MoFo (Vegan Month of Food). I have committed to writing a blog post every weekday for the month of October (sorry, with my yoga teacher training, weekends are off-limits). Why, oh why did I do this?! Mostly, since my blog is still a baby, I want to really work on building up my content. Also, the weather around here is changing fast, and I am dedicated to finding creative outlets for myself this winter (that don’t involve watching a billion hours of television or drinking too many pints). I have noticed that many people pick themes for Vegan MoFo (like Halloween or Breakfast), but since I am just beginning, I figured simply posting would be a good start, no pressure on the theme (and – duh – the theme is plant-based diets). I do have some tricks up my sleeve though, since my camera is still not available (i.e.: I totally lost the cord that goes from camera to computer…I’m sort of banking on yoga helping with my debilitating scatterbrained-ness) I thought I would start this MoFo off with a list, a simple list, a list about why I abstain from animal products:
- I love animals – I have had cats, dogs, hamsters, mice, rats, gerbils, a bird, rabbits, fish and our family currently owns 2 horses. I have worked on a farm where I fed chickens, raised 2 baby lambs and milked my wonderful cow Reenie twice a day (I promise a full farm-experience post and how it has added to my veganism in the near future). Why do we choose what type of animal to give our love to? Why do dogs win and cows lose? I’m an all or nothing kinda girl.
- I have always thought a lot about my food – I was a “picky” eater as a child, although I hate that label. I think I was just a discerning eater. I was very conscious of texture. There were the few simple things that I liked, but if I questioned what I was about to eat, I would not eat it. So I stuck to the basics, French fries, PB &J, Kraft Dinner. Anything with bones, cartilage, kinda-looks-like-blood gravy did not make the cut, even before I understood what vegetarian meant. I thought about the food going down my throat, I thought about it in my belly, I thought about leftovers going into landfills, I thought about what it felt like in my mouth.
- I sometimes feel helpless about all the problems in our world – Yes, I should donate to Amnesty International and adopt a child in Africa and buy a mile of Brazilian Rainforest and not use plastic EVER and I should bike to work instead of drive and I should wrap presents in old newspaper instead of buying fancy Holiday specific paper….I start to get overwhelmed by everything that I should be doing. It can make a person crazy. But this one thing: NOT EATING ANIMALS makes a huge difference, it is something tangible, and it is something small that I can do every day. Some days I do bike to work instead of driving, which is great, but I also know that EVERY DAY I am doing my part by not supporting the meat and dairy industries in any way.
- I can feel the difference – When I was just vegetarian (and I was what is defined as a “junk food” vegetarian, tons of cheese , bread and sugar) I didn’t feel any different than when I ate meat. I felt normal, often cranky, prone to getting bunned up, some acne, not in shape…you know, blah. When I stopped eating dairy, and cut way back on the bread and sugar, my life changed. I felt lighter, my body moved more easily, and I felt happier. Yep, I’m sure you’ve heard it before, FOOD AFFECTS MOOD! It was a startling discovery, even though it’s so obvious. Eating right makes me happy.
- I believe – My middle class life is rife with negativity, cynicism, and what I call an unhealthy sense of “reality”: you know, people were made to eat animals and sad or not, that is “reality”. I go with my husband’s family to church once a year because that is what is done, not because we believe in it. But since I have started down this rabbit hole of healthy eating, I find that I actually believe in something again. I have a passion for this lifestyle, not because I think I’m better than everyone else, or because I am self-righteous, but because I honestly think it’s true! We don’t need to eat animals. It is a revelation, and it is a relief! Phew! I don’t need to eat other beings! I believe in it so strongly that I want to tell the whole world about it. The tricky part is, knowing when others want to hear it. That is a work in progress.
I think those are my main “whys” for now. I could probably go on and on, but hopefully over the next month my blog will speak for itself. So tell me some of your reasons. Why are you interested in/currently following a plant-based lifestyle?
Upcoming posts (once this scatterbrain figures out how to get pictures from camera to computer):
- A vegan pizza recipe, because we will not be denied pizza!
- My green smoothy method
- My plant-based fast-food tricks
- more yoga thoughts
- Go to answers when people ask questions (you know, like, “Where do you get your protein?”)
- and so much more, there’s so much to talk about I’m getting flustered just thinking about it!