One thing that sort of bothers me is the attitude of some newly converted vegans. They may have adopted the lifestyle only 6 months prior but suddenly they feel compelled to judge every other human being on earth who eats flesh. Some vegans are freaking craaazy having decided to go the militaristic route. I’ve deleted several of these people from my Instagram feed because, being VEGAN, I don’t want to see pictures of mutilated, but still living, cattle or pigs in a slaughterhouse.
If anyone thinks that this type of imagery or an accusatory manner will convert a flesh eater to veganism, they are very misguided. If someone had confronted me with these pictures or with a finger in my face, the seed of the idea of veganism would have never had a chance in my soul.
Luckily, my own conversion was the product of some serious, unexplainable voodoo that even today blows my mind.
Our family suffered a life-altering tragedy about 4 years ago. I am unable to talk about this but before that world-ending day, I was just like everyone else, happily buying my plastic wrapped chunks of bloody, chopped up, dead animals for my family to eat three meals a day. (I feel the need to explain here. It sounds like I’m being that vegan I don’t like with this language. I’m not that person, though. I’m trying to illustrate how the veil is lifted from ones eyes when they truly SEE what they’re participating in). I grew up poor and my dad hunted and fished and I was sheltered from none of this. I have been present when my dad was ‘dressing’ a deer, cleaning fish, shooting a hog and then cutting its throat. (Another interjection…my dad is a strong man. He’s always done what he needed to do but he also loves animals, as many, many flesh eaters do. I remember the horrible masks of disgust he wore as he carried out these tasks. Today, I see my father’s face as a confirmation to me that the human heart is not equipped to perform these horrific acts. It’s destined for much higher things.). In other words, I was totally immersed in the flesh-eating paradigm.
For the first two years after our tragedy occurred, eating habits did change dramatically. Everyone in my family has always been slender. I chalk this up to pure genetics because we all also love eating. But after that day, I started gaining weight on a daily basis. I’m only 5’3″ and weighed about 125 lbs. Within a year of that terrible day, I weighed about 150. Candy, fast food, sodas, lots of alcohol (and I’d never been a drinker), they all boosted my now non-existent seratonin levels, I believe.
But then something strange happened. I remember one day in particular, I opened the refrigerator door and there was a package of ‘hamburger’ that had sat there for a day or two. Blood had leaked out of it and had pooled on the shelf. No doubt, I had encountered this scenario a thousand times in my life but on that day, it revolted me to such an extent that I almost had a panic attack. It was like that ‘veil’ I spoke of lifted completely for a moment and I saw that ‘hamburger’ for what it really was. A blood-drenched mass of a murdered animal’s body. And that’s not all. In that instant, I saw the reality that there was NO DIFFERENCE in that disgusting, bloody mass of animal corpse than a bloody pile of ground-up human flesh.
Needless to say, after that day, I had a very difficult time cooking. I would get these images in my head of cooking humans and it was horrific and haunting. I also began to have these thoughts that we didn’t really know what was in those packages of meat. They told us it was cow or pig or chicken. But corporate earth is not known for its honest and forthright business practices. It’s known for being willing to do literally anything that will generate more money. For example, in the 70’s at least two dog and cat food companies were caught red-handed buying euthanized and otherwise dead dogs and cats from veterinarians and putting those corpses into…you got it…cat and dog food. Just as the practice ongoing today of feeding cattle the unusable byproducts of other cattle. This is the origin of mad cow disease, btw. They also use the corpses of cattle that died diseased or otherwise unfit for ‘direct’ human consumption. So you’ve got cattle eating diseased cattle eating diseased cattle and so on. Your first thought may be for yours and your family’s own well-being and health in relation to this practice but it’s horrifying to many vegans because cows are, by nature, herbivores.
I was not emotionally strong enough to do more in-depth research on the endless horrors of the meat industry although since that time, I’ve become, in some cases intuitively, aware of what’s really going on behind that lovely, neatly wrapped package of ‘beef’ filet.
Back to the story. So I got fat, got wise and then, since no one in my family seemed even remotely interested in trying the vegan lifestyle…and even I was daunted by the prospect of eating salad the rest of my life…we began to eat out 100% of the time. I had started having high blood pressure issues, strange aches and pains, shortness of breath and my depressive episodes were out of control. Even my teeth hurt. My triglycerides were almost three times what they should’ve been and my cholesterol was hovering around 250. Insomnia was making my life sort of hellish, frankly. My husband was suffering from some of the same issues.
About this time, my adult son met a girl. He’s a sweetheart and very handsome and girls have always liked him so this was nothing special or new…at first. Then, a couple months later when they were still seeing each other, I asked about her and he said ‘yeah, you know she’s vegan’.
Reeeeeeaaaaalllly. I’m sure that’s exactly how I said it.
At that time, my son had no inclination at all to convert. He is into body building and at that time was low-carb, gluten-free, verging on paleo. But about 6-7 months in, I walked into the kitchen to see him eating something that I can’t remember right now but it should have definitely had meat. I asked him if he’d decided to try veganism and he said, ‘Mom, I am not going to label this activity. I am just trying a way of eating, ok?’ Lol.
At that very moment I jumped on board with both feet and will NEVER look back. So did that son of ours and his 8 year old daughter with him. My husband jumped with me and our middle son, his wife and their 3 (soon to be 4) little daughters made the leap as well.
Since that time almost a year ago, major changes in our health have occurred. Within the first two months, I dropped 30 lbs and am now currently below my original weight at a steady 120 lbs. My blood pressure, which was hovering around 135-140/100 is now steady at 100/65. My husband’s cholesterol dropped from over 200 to 160 in just about 4 months. My insomnia, although not entirely out of the picture, has been so improved that I am getting a full night’s sleep at least 5 nights a week. And the depression? Not eating meat has made me feel as though I’ve been given a new brain…and heart. I feel strong emotionally. I find I have more patience, more understanding, more love for humanity in general.
What’s my bottom line on veganism? Frankly, I don’t believe human beings were created to kill and eat anything that carries the breath of life. Now if you want to get into the whole ‘plants are alive too’ argument because you want to feel justified in eating corpses, I’m not going there. Plants are scientifically proven to provide every nutrient necessary for the optimal function and maintenance of the human body. Certain plants have been shown to arrest, and sometimes reverse, serious human disease such as cancer and heart disease. Animal flesh, which contains arachidonic acid, has been repeatedly and consistently shown to CAUSE cancer, block arteries and otherwise wreak terrible havoc on most major systems and tissues in the body.
If you’d like to learn more, please consider the book How Not To Die by Dr. Michael Greger. This book is only about $16-17 in hardback brand new from Amazon. The thing to know about this man is that he does not receive one penny in profit from the sale of his book. Every cent is donated to charity and if you don’t have the money for the book, please visit http://www.nutrition facts.org . Every bit of information and scientific results that are in the book and more are available on that website which is 100% free.
This is a lifestyle change that is worth considering. It’s not a fad diet. It’s not a gimmick. It’s a compassionate movement to reduce suffering, not only for the animals that we all know that we love dearly, but for our brothers and sisters on this planet who are suffering and starving while the majority of agricultural products go to feed ‘meat’ animals in the global industrial meat production market.
One more thing…if you care about the environment and protecting our beautiful Mother Earth, and so many of us do today, please research the astounding, mind-boggling impact that industrial ‘meat’ production has on our land, water supply, air and global climate change. You’ll be shocked at how we can turn this around by simply eating plant-based.
Love to you all!