It’s my six month vegan anniversary! I drank the vegan Kool-Aid in September and I’m loving it. To celebrate, I decided to have a vegan week. Maybe you’ve been hearing about the benefits of a plant based diet and are vegan curious. Maybe you watched how Oprah and 300 of her staff went vegan for a week and thought about giving it a try. Maybe you think veganism is an extremist movement and I’m a crack pot.
This week I’m going to talk about why I went vegan, the benefits I’ve seen from it, and try to dispel some of the misconceptions that are out there about veganism. I’ll also answer any questions any one has. Leave them in the comments or e-mail me if you’d rather. If I get enough questions and interest, I might do a post answering them all. Hope you enjoy this week’s theme.
Why I Went Vegan
Truth be told, it was a whim. Now, that’s not saying I had never thought about going vegan before. I know some vegans. They rave about how wonderful it is. Frankly, I thought they were extremist hippie crack pots.
Sure, when I was ten I wanted to go vegetarian to save all the cows with their big, brown eyes. But I didn’t. Eventually, I stopped worrying about the cows. I figured they were livestock with the sole purpose of being or producing food. I even rationalized if everyone stopped eating beef, cows would go extinct. Think about it. There aren’t a lot of wild, free roaming cow herds in the world.
I kind of forgot about it really. But, over the years, I got into green living. I started learning about how cows are major contributors to green house gases. They produce more than all the cars we drive. And I started learning about how the majority of cows in this country are fed grain, not their natural diets of grass and how that has major environmental impacts. From large amounts of farmland being used to produce food for cows instead of people to all the run off that feedlots create, it’s not a good thing.
So I went 5 day a week vegetarian and made sure all beef I bought was organic and grass fed. I ate fish once a week and sometimes chicken, sometimes beef another day. And I was happy and felt I was doing well for myself and the planet and teaching my kids well.
Then Jen, over at Lita’s World, posted about the 21-day vegan kickstart program just as Penny was turning 9 months old. I headed over the the website, thought the plan looked realistic, and it was good timing for me, so I signed up. A whim that I was primed for, but a whim nonetheless.
I decided to give it a try. I figured I could do just about anything for three weeks. I’d given being an omnivore thirty-five years, I could give a plant based diet a few weeks. Plus, I could quit if I wanted. At the end of three weeks, I figured I’d not be too impressed and go back to a 5 day a week vegetarian. Then I could honestly say those vegans were a bunch of extremist hippie crack pots, with authority and proof. (I am a scientist, after all.)
Well, it stuck. In three weeks I noticed huge changes in the way I felt physically. I also noticed my attitude toward food was shifting and that was a good thing. In three weeks, I learned how much food was controlling my life and how much better I felt when I stopped having to think about calories and the labels “good” foods versus “bad” foods. I learned that veganism is a life style and one, that for me, is easy to stick with.
Tomorrow I’m going to be talking about the top benefits I’ve noticed since going vegan.
Are you vegan curious? Would you ever consider giving vegan eating a try?
If you’re interested and wondering how to start, the 21 day program is now available as a book, 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart. I have a copy of the book I got as part of the Goodreads first reads program. It is the identical program as the online version with a great opening section that talks about all the reasons a plant based diet is good for you and answers a lot of questions about veganism.