How I began
Being a vegan is appealing to me. The idea of living on plants and passing on all flesh feels good to me morally and spiritually. I have never had a real love for meat so giving it up is really no big deal to me. Also plants are an amazing source of various vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, fiber, and protein. They are the most complete foods that we can eat.
Ironically my vegan experiment began with gratitude at meal time. If I were eating carrots I would mentally be thankful- that they came from the earth, that someone picked them for me, that someone sold them to me, that they nourished my body. When I were eating a piece of chicken I would think the chicken giving its life for me… and I would stop there and just feel bad. It bothered me, I just can’t feel good about an animal getting killed for me to eat. I am in no way judging meat-lovers, we are all of a different mind; I can only speak for myself. After watching several documentaries about the food industry and veganism not only did I not feel good about eating meat, I did not feel safe eating meat. Especially meat sold in grocery stores that was raised on a corporate farm in America. I am not going to go into all that goes on regarding meat production, but I’ll bring up a few points, and cite a few documentaries on the subject for those interested in further research. We should all be paying attention to what is going into our mouth and where it comes from.
The chickens that are bought in grocery stores are genetically engineered to grow breasts that are unnaturally large; so large that most of the chickens are unable to walk. The chickens are also engineered to grow at a much faster rate than they normally would. So many chickens are raised in coops that they are literally standing on top of each other in piles of their own feces. The chickens are feed food full of antibiotics to keep them for dying or getting sick. And who knows what is done to the meat after the chickens are killed. These practices are not rare, this is how almost all the chicken we buy is raised unless you are buying organic, which I would recommend everyone do.
Cows are raised on acre after acre of “farm” land without a blade of grass in sight. They are right on top of one another standing in piles of their own feces. Cows are also feed antibiotics to keep them from getting sick. They are feed an unnatural diet that changes the quality of their meat. E coli is such a problem in the beef industry that over 70% of the hamburger sold in grocery stores is washed with ammonia to kill the bacteria…. yuck! Please check local farmers in your area and buy grass fed organic beef, not only to support moral meat production, but also for your own health.
Whenever possible buy from local farmers that raise organically. Not only will you be supporting your own community, you will be eating healthier, and supporting humane raising of animals. You will be saying no to these large corporations, that not only don’t care about the animals they are “raising”, they don’t care about the health of the consumer, and they want to put your local farmer out of business. It is common that farmers are sued or put out of business by other means. It is sad and wrong but we can do something about it. Buy local and/or organic whenever possible.
Here are a few documentaries that will go into more depth on these subjects if you are interested:
- – Food Inc.
- – Forks Over Knives
- – Food Matters
- – Vegucated
- – Ingredients
Needless to say I was shocked to learn about these horrific practices. I am amazed that this goes on without intervention and is accepted by the FDA and USDA. I immediately found out everything I could about becoming vegan and so my journey began. I have always worked out and read books regarding diet and exercise, so my main concern was protein. That was what had kept me a meat eater up until this point. The most obvious plant protein source is beans, but there are many others as well, including: quinoa, tempeh, tofu, nuts, and seeds to name a few. I have had digestive problems in the past with beans and some whole grains but I was wanted to become a true vegan, so I was hoping my body would cooperate.
It didn’t take long for me to see that my body really does not like beans or some whole grains. I could never convey in ink to the degree in which my body doesn’t like these foods, they are not my friends. I also have reservations about soy, there is a lot of conflicting information about whether or not soy is good for you, for this reason I was not willing to have soy as my main source of protein. Nuts and seeds are one of my favorite foods but they have a high fat content. After much trial and error I found that the Vegan way of eating just does not agree with my body. I really wish it did, but I can’t eat many of the plant protein sources.
As of right now I have gone back to eating eggs (organic only), whey protein (from organic grass-fed cows), and fish. I have sworn off all other meats and I feel good about that choice. I am grateful I learned about the background of the meat sold in stores so I can put cleaner foods into my body. I now always look for organic meats to feed my family, I do not want to contribute to what goes on behind closed doors in the meat industry. My food journey is far from over but for me this is a step in the right direction. I am sad I was unable to convert to veganism but I have to do what is right for my body. In the future I will experiment with this diet further and see if there is a way I can make it work for me. For now I am happy with the changes that I have made.