Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Doing "The Vegan Thing" in 2013

I'll start this entry by saying that despite what my children and students may say, I DO NOT like to tell people what to do. That being said, I am going to share one of my commitments for the coming year along with some information just in case you are interested.

My goal is to "do the vegan thing" as a lifestyle, not as a trial-run anymore.  The upcoming info is "lifted" straight from Ellen's (as in Degeneres) website so I am making no claims to writing this.  Hey, it's New Year's Day.  Everybody deserves a break! 

In this short write up, Ellen presents some of the most compelling arguments for becoming vegan.  Beyond that, the medical evidence (not presented here) is hard to dispute.  Vegans are healthy people and can easily (really!) get the nutrients, protein and calcium that others who consume animal products get, minus all the yucky (my word, not the scientist’s and doctor’s) stuff.  For me, I never feel better than when I am eating a vegan diet, plus I can eat so much more!  (A huge benefit for a big eater such as myself.)
It's not usually a trial.  Really!

One of the most persuasive health-related arguments for not consuming animal products (aside from growing leaner) is that vegans seldom if ever have heart disease of any kind and their rates of cancer are much lower than meat eaters or even vegetarians.  
I have to say again that I hate proselytizing about anything, and I don't judge others much (unless "others" happen to be me or rabid Fox News watchers), but checking out the benefits of going vegan is worth looking into.  Just sayin'.
You can even enjoy some very yummy baking!

Without further ado (rambling), here's Ellen:

Living a Cruelty-free Lifestyle It is obvious that in order to eat meat, an animal had to be slaughtered, but the issues of cruelty go far beyond just the death of an animal. The lives of animals raised to be slaughtered are miserable. Often packed into close quarters, many animals are unable to lie down or turn around, and the hygiene is terrible. Many slaughter methods are imperfect and cause great suffering before death.
Even animals that are not raised for food are poorly treated. Chickens that provide eggs for consumption often spend their entire lives in a cage no bigger than a piece of notebook paper, and dairy cows face abuse and mistreatment in addition to being injected with hormones to facilitate milk production. A person who wishes to live a cruelty-free life chooses to remove him or herself from any participation in this process.

Help the Environment
 Farms used for meat and dairy production are incredible sources of waste and air pollution. One large farm can create more waste than the entire city of Los Angeles! The Environmental Protection Agency considers manure one of the top 10 pollutants, and US farms create 2 billion tons of it each year.
Reduce Famine
 More than 70% of grain produced in the US is fed to animals raised for slaughter. In order to get just one pound of meat, it takes a full 15 pounds of grain. If this grain were given directly to people, there would be enough food to feed everyone. Also, the land that the animals are raised on can be used to grow significantly more food than the land currently provides.

Save Water
 With drought-like conditions all across the country, water is getting more and more valuable. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce just one pound of meat, as opposed to just 25 gallons for one pound of grain.

It's Never Been Easier! 
Major supermarkets are carrying more vegan-friendly options than ever before, and thanks to the Internet, you can have food sent directly to your own home. It has never been easier to make the transition to being vegan, so why not now?

Thanks for that, Ellen.  Back to Leah:

Some really good sources:

                Anything by Kathy Freston (She is all about "easing into" eating vegan so there is definitely no judgment from her.)
                The China Study by Dr. Colin Campbell (He documents incredibly compelling, scientifically explained and justified medical studies about the benefits of going vegan.)
                I've been really enjoying recipes from The Happy Herbivore and also recipes from John McDougall (You can read his books or just google his name for great recipes from newsletters posted online.)
                Ellen’s website is also a wealth of information and further sources if you want to investigate further: http://www.ellentv.com/categories/going-vegan-with-ellen/

I am excited about a new start in 2013, but I look forward even more to a long, healthy life.  Lots of people say they'd rather eat what they want, enjoy their lives and die young.  I say "amen" to the first two things, but I have no intention of dying young.  I am aiming to live well past 100, and to do it having fun and in good health!
My sis and bro enjoying some of the wonderful produce of Thailand.

I know what I eat (and don't eat) when following a vegan diet affects my health, my longevity and helps me feel better about the way I'm treating myself AND the planet.  What we eat affects others.  It's not just about you and your body.  It may not always have been that way, but it is now.  

I've already been "easing in"  (ala Kathy Freston) for the better part of a year, but I’m ready to become a bit more consistent.  For 2013, I aim for a 95 to 100% vegan diet. (That means I don’t earn the title of “vegan” which is a good thing.  I don’t want to define myself by what I do or don’t eat.  I just want to be a person making choices that help me feel good physically and spiritually. Every little bit helps toward a healthy future for others and myself.)

Thanks for reading, folks. My new start everyday is to aim to make my day a vegan day.  One day at a time.
Even my parents are embracing a vegan lifestyle!
Here they are at their 50th wedding anniversary sharing a pickle!

No comments:

Post a Comment