Saturday 1 April 2023

Being vegan

There is the saying: "How do you know if someone is a vegan? Don't worry they'll tell you."

Because of that I thought long and hard about writing this post. 

I have written a little about why I made this choice. Previous posts.

My intention is not to tell anyone what to do, just to say why I altered my lifestyle. Please research and reach your own conclusion. A caution I would add is that there are vested interests, and books to sell on both sides. So keep an open mind.

I had always been that person who said the line at the top of this page. I bought into the narrative that we need to eat meat, fish and dairy. A plant based diet couldn't provide everything I needed. Meat was the reason we had bigger brains, and developed the ability to run for long periods; to chase down prey. I now realise this may not be the case.

At the beginning of 2021 I watched Game Changers. Many will say it was the reason they changed. But not me. I didn't like the format. In my opinion it lacks substance. I was looking for persuasive info, I was disappointed. So I didn't change. Later I watched other documentaries: Seaspiracy and Cowspiracy were the first two. Others followed about the effects eating meat and dairy have on health, how animal agriculture damages our planet, and the terrible way animals are treated in food production. So I didn't become vegan until July of that year.

Most people become vegan because of the exploitation of animals. It is the definition of veganism. It wasn't my initial motivation. Now though I can say it's a primary reason along with the pollution it generates. I continue to become more informed about how unhealthy it is.

Fish are often left out of diet discussions. Most of the plastic and waste in our oceans is from the fishing industry. The methods used are incredibly damaging to the ecosystem, the quantity harvested is not sustainable, and the bycatch is incredible. So many dead animals are thrown back. Think about the cost to other species of that piece of seafood you're about to eat.

It's nearly two years now and I wouldn't go back. I did sort of missed meat at the beginning. Or was that just habit? I now can't imagine eating anything other than plant based.

Do I feel better, do I have more energy, am I free from disease, am I stronger? I can only say how it has affected me; your experience maybe different. I do feel better, I have reduced my exploitation of animals, and the burden I place on earth's resources. 

Energy is a difficult one to measure. Other parts of my life affect me and can make me feel low and unmotivated. I do generally feel more energetic.

I can only say at the moment I'm not aware of any diseases that are affecting me. 

I am in better shape than I've ever been. Is that just the food I eat, or the additional exercises I now do? Based on what I read and watch; being plant based reduces inflammation and improves my response to stress. I do feel I recovered very quickly from my crash last year. It's anecdotal I know; but feedback from my club mates suggests that I did. 

A recent blood test confirmed I am eating well. The only concern was low vitamin D, not uncommon this time of year.

This and everything on my blog is my opinion. I'm no expert. It's what I understand from personal experience and research. You can agree, ignore it, or disagree. But I would hope that it at least gave you a little incentive to find out more.

A few science based links that helped me.

World Health Organisation and a vegan diet. Will download a pdf.

Link 1

Link 2.

Search results for a vegan diet.