Monday, September 23, 2019

Why Vegan?

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Many people ask me “why I went vegan?” and I think it’s best illustrated as a story…

Imagine that one day you are being told that there is a possibility that they could amputate part of your calf. You are 30. Imagine that your diabetes is so out of control that you can barely get up in the morning, and sometimes you just wish you didn’t. Imagine that you have had to stop working because of an illness, that you have had to put your entire life on hold because of being sick.

Now imagine someone coming along and telling you “I can make that all go away, I promise”

That is where I was a year ago. Since then I have changed every single thing that I thought I knew about my body and about food. I’ve read countless books, journals, articles. I’ve talked to doctors, nutritionists and activists. I’ve learned about thousands who have healed diabetes, cancers, and other diseases, I’ve heard their stories.

In that same time I’ve met people who are making huge strides in saving the earth, ending poverty, ending animal cruelty. They are making huge long lasting changes not just for our generation, but for generations to come. They are in every way, changing the world.

And if you come across one of these people you might have different reactions to them. You might take their actions as being “Self Righteous” or “Know it all” you might think they are trying to guilt you into something, or scare you into something. And maybe a small percentage of them are, but I will tell you that for 95% of them it is not anything to do with you, or how you live your life, it is every thing to do with the way they live their life, and the hope, the excitement, the enthusiasm that happens when someone experiences something truly amazing.

When I first went plant based, it was very soon after that I was off of insulin. Five years on large doses of insulin, and it took about three weeks to come off of it. It wasn’t a magic pill, it wasn’t some outlandish theory, it was my actual body, and it was actual results. And I wasn’t just someone who was on a fast food and junk food diet before. I worked out 3-4 hours per day, I was on what every doctor would consider a healthy diet. And nothing ever worked. no doctors could figure it out, and more or less just gave me a death sentence over and over. Things would just keep getting worse, I’d just have to live with it.

And then all of a sudden I learn about my body, how it works, and I’m not looking at dying young anymore, I’m not looking at amputation, blindness, not being able to have children, literally every single thing that I knew changed in the matter of weeks. All of a sudden I had a shot at losing weight, at not being obese anymore, a shot at living my life.

So when I write about it, you can imagine that it’s with a tremendous amount of passion. Do I think that everyone can benefit from a plant based vegan lifestyle? Absolutely, 100% yes.

I think there are many who might take what I write, or what they see other vegans write as being condemning, but I assure you that it is not. I know this, because there are very few vegans who have been vegan their entire life. Most vegans were meat eaters at some point, and most probably didn’t really grasp every thing right away regarding being vegan. It usually only takes a small amount of hope to change the world. When you are talking to someone who is vegan or who eats a plant diet, it is important to remember that this way of living has for many very literally saved their lives, for others they have seen the first steps in saving the earth, saving starving children, and most importantly, saving the lives of millions of creatures. And if you don’t know it is all about passion, you might take that all the wrong way.

What people are hopeful about:

1. Disease.

There have been more and more books and studies coming out regarding plant based diets. I started by reading China Study and was astonished regarding some of the research and what they were finding. Clinics across the country are using plant based diets and the results have been amazing and ground breaking. As I mentioned, I meet people every day that have reversed diabetes, have won the obesity battle, cured heart disease. Not just numbers on pages, real live people. There are lives being saved, and with out millions of dollars in research and prescriptions. That’s exciting and world changing.

2. Health care.

All of this debate on health care.. A year ago I was terrified what would happen with out health care. I grew up in a family where my dad worked very hard, but couldn’t have health care and we as children, suffered a lot. What we could get on govt. assistance was hardly anything. I used to rely on prescriptions that WITH healthcare cost me 300 dollars a month, with out I would be looking at a couple of thousand. Combine that with 3-4 doctor visits a month and it gets really expensive. Since living this way I hardly ever go to a doctor (just check ups) and I am on no medication. I have tremendous hope for people, especially elderly people who could potentially not have to pay absurd doctor and prescription bills if there is a possibility of healing through the foods they eat.

3. Environment.

A quick understanding in what the production of livestock does to our environment, you will see how important a plant based diet is to the environment. There are huge strides happening every day, and there are people who can see a positive change happening, they are passionate and filled with hope that they will be the generation that starts to drastically improve the environment, treating the earth well, and taking care of it.

4. Poverty.

It costs a lot to raise millions of animals and then kill them. It costs a lot of clean water and grains and seeds to feed them. There are people making strides in being vegan to help with global hunger and dirty water.

5. Animals.

I did not go on a plant based diet because of animals, but it quickly became about that for me. I don’t know why I personally never made the connection that if I thought something like dog fighting, cock fighting or abusing a pet was wrong, that I was eating dead animals and animals that had been abused, tortured and killed. I started learning about animals, and found out there was no difference in my childhood pets and a pig. There are people who are so passionate about every living creature. They are passionate about sparing the lives of millions of living, breathing creatures, who have personalities who feel pain. They see animals as beautiful creatures. There are so many changes happening. Many are going vegan to end animal cruelty. We’ve seen an increase of vegan products, and products not tested on animals. The fashion industry continues to change, fur is no longer something that people find desirable, whereas a few decades ago, it was the norm. There is a tremendous passion about saving the lives of animals, and saving animals from unnecessary pain and suffering.

All of this to say, I’m so excited, I’m so hopeful. I would work 24 hours a day on all of this if it meant helping one person, or one animal. I am so hopeful for people, for the Earth, for creatures on this earth, that I could talk your ear off every day about it all and never grow tired about any of it. There is so much hope there is so much good that is happening. All of this has given me not just a way to physically live, but something to have tremendous passion for. It’s something that I will not apologize for, or feel bad if I come off the wrong way about. I wish that I could pass along a small amount of this hope that I have, just a tiny grain of sand, because it has made all of the difference in my life. Knowing that there are practical answers to so many problems, and those answers, in the end are not that hard, has ignited a passion in me that continues to grow stronger every day.

7 COMMENTS

  1. carrie

    i’m SO excited to have found your blog! I am JUST starting a vegan diet. I have been gluten free/casein free/soy free for several years due to food intolerances, but I now need to tackle high cholesterol and triglycerides. My doctor wants to put me on 3 different name brand cholesterol medications and I refuse to do it. Your site gives me great hope that I can make this transition to a vegan diet and live well and be healthy. I want to be healthy. Like you, I don’t want to follow my family history and be sick for the rest of my life and be miserable. Thank you so much for your words of hope! I look forward to reading your entire site!

  2. Gordon

    I not fully vegan, yet! Im slowing weaning off of meat and dairy. And with the help of a great Vegan friend, I am eating healthier than I have in my life. My blood pressure is lowest in three years and I have lost 8 pounds this month eating natural foods and eliminating meat and dairy from my diet!

    What is my vegan hope? that my new healthy and natural way of eating will allow me to see my kids grow to a very old age! That I will be able to run alongside and to chase my grand kids. That my wife and I will be able to enjoy the empty nest in out older years in the same way we enjoyed our newlywed years.

  3. Sarah

    My Vegan Hope is that one day everyone – vegans, vegetarians, omnis all – will be able to co-exist peacefully without feeling the need to “push” their moral beliefs onto others with violence or abuse. PETA’s attitude and smear campaigns, while they may be based in fact, completely negate the peaceful ethics of veganism itself. I wish that one day we will all be able to respect each other and their beliefs, and only punish those acts done with a willful intent of causing pain.

  4. Vegan feet

    I hope you don’t mind, buy I am SO printing this off & bookmarking it so whenever a meat eater comes along and says, “Being vegan will kill you and is stupid”, I will shove this article under their nose.

    And I agree with Sarah, my vegany hope is that one day vegans (and, sometimes, vegetarians) won’t have to defend themselves from anyone; and likewise, omnis won’t have to feel threatened and attacked by our beliefs just because we say the three (four?) magic words: “I am a Vegan”.

    And I hope you don’t mind that I hashtagged as well as posted. I’m just in a talkative mood and wanted to spread my message. Lawl.

  5. Ellen

    My vegan hope is that one day I will change the life of one person. I hope to inspire just one person to change the way they eat. If I can do that, then that one person can inspire one person, that person can inspire one person, and so on. My hope is that people stop eating meat “because it tastes good,” and do it for the planet and themselves. I hope that I can live a long, fruitful life and die gracefully, not painfully. I want to see my great-grandchildren be born. I hope one day that cows can roam free, and nature can take it’s course. I hope chickens can grow as big as nature intended, and no more. I hope I can have a baby pig. (Sorry, I just really want a baby potbelly to be my pet!) This is my vegan hope.

  6. Sara

    My vegan hope is that people realize they don’t have to wait for the doctor to tell them to go vegan. they can have the courage to do it on their own!

Nat
I went on a plant based diet after diabetes almost took my life. Now, almost 2 years later not only have I reduced my type 2 diabetes symptoms, I have lost close to 200 pounds (and still losing). This is a place where I write about my journey as I continue the quest for health, and living a good life for today, and long into the future. Get hold of me on nat@cleanseplan.com

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