Happy Friday! I’m here to talk about a veggie lifestyle, whether vegetarian or vegan. As you know, I’ve been a vegan (save for the occasional allowance of non-soy cheese if I’m at a restaurant or in someone’s home) for over three years now, and it was a no-brainer for me after just a few weeks. My motivation had zero to do with health, and was spurned on by a series of eye-opening videos and pamphlets (of which I’ll spare our readers, unless they specifically request links), but over time the benefits have proven themselves, an effect I noticed within a mere week of cutting out meat products, and foods prepared via meat (spanish rice boiled in chicken stock, refried beans made with lard, et al).
My biggest fear in cutting out meat was that I’d be in a constant state of hunger, and even more, that’d I’d have to spend mass-amounts of time preparing special meals; in fact, the first grocery-run I made in order to prepare for the seemingly-bold decision I’d made cost me $300 alone for about 2 weeks’ worth of food, because I wasn’t sure what I’d need on-hand, and also felt that meat-replacements (soy chicken strips, black bean veggie burgers, soy chorizo, soy barbeque ribs, et cetera) would be a necessity in order to replace the “need” I erroneously anticipated.
However, after a few weeks of making the switch, I noticed that not only did I not ever crave or need the meat replacements, but I also began to taste food in a way I hadn’t since being a child; fruits and vegetables had more flavour, and seemed so much more edifying. After the first week alone I felt “clean” inside – all my circulation seemed so much more unhindered and robust, and I no longer felt weighted down and groggy after meals, an effect I knew had been the result of meats being broken down in my digestive system, a much-more complex process than with simple vegetables, nuts, beans, and fruits.
Hold on…I’m eating a burger while I type….YUM! Just kidding. I know what you mean actually. I was vegan for a while and my whole body really did function better. I had more energy and was less grumpy. I remember reading an article that said that it takes meat about 72 hours or three days to completely get out of our system which is such a long time for how long our intestines are. Animals like tigers, lions, etc. who are natural carnivores, have very short intestines whereas animals who are herbivores, like horses, have long intestines. Humans have long intestines. When we eat meat it can actually become a “toxin” in our bodies causing discomfort, etc., while our bodies try to digest it.
People always asked me the “protein-question”. How do you get enough protein without meat? You can’t possibly live without it! There are plenty of places to get protein! Beans have tons of protein! So do nuts. There are a lot of body builders who are vegetarian or vegan. Do you think they look like they’re unhealthy and sick?
Absolutely not! Just consider Michael Clarke-Duncan in the poster at the top of this post – proteins can be found in so many yummy non-meat sources, and more calcium can be found in broccoli than in a glass of milk, not to mention that almond milk has even more as in its cow-nterpart.
Haha! Aren’t you “punny”? The bottom line is that people just need to pay attention to what they’re putting into their bodies. If you want to eat meat, ok. If you don’t, ok. Just be sure that you actually know what you’re consuming, and how it makes your body feel. I have seen vegan and veggies criticize and look down on meat-eaters and I have seen meat-eaters give the third degree to those who choose a different way. Why do we do this? Do we think there is always a right and a wrong? People have agency. I believe they should be allowed to use it. Damon is vegan. He gets a veggie burger and I don’t. We can still enjoy each others company at a restaurant. He doesn’t make it a big deal. He just goes wherever the crowd is going and eats according to his beliefs. It’s very low maintenance. I eat vegetarian meals all the time because I like them and I feel good when I do. That doesn’t mean I don’t ever eat meat…I just pay attention to how I feel.
I’m so glad you bring up the point of vegetarianism (or veganism) being extremely low-maintenance. Every restaurant these days (with the exception of the local Braum‘s chain), has menu items that are veggie and vegan-friendly (Google the menu beforehand with keyword relating to vegan or vegetarian to have a heads-up before you arrive with your group). As far as fast-food goes, Burger King is one of the real leaders in this arena.
I wanted to go into a brief history of the reasons why I chose veganism, but in the end it doesn’t really matter – you either consume meat products (including the use of leather and fur) or you don’t; the issue here is how it affects your body either way, how low-maintenance it is to choose to be in the growing population of vegetarians, and lastly, how judgment shouldn’t factor into either camp; people are free to be who they are and want to be, but our understanding of those choices is key!
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