The “plant” versus “animal” debate can get so nasty. Cruel. Vicious. Insert: any word that is defined by one human being showing the opposite of kindness to another.
I am proud to say that this attitude is not what my blog (or YouTube channel) promotes. It never will be. Not my style. And I realize that this often puts me in a bad spot, mostly with others who live a vegan lifestyle. These people feel you have to be all or nothing and I get that. Once you know what you know, you can’t un-know it. However, negativity doesn’t breed positivity. We cannot shove our lifestyle choices down the throat of another and expect them be sympathetic and understanding.
First, let’s define “vegan.”
Whereas a “Plant based diet” is defined as
“a diet based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products.”
I share that to say: a person can eat a “plant based diet” without being a “vegan.” Make sense? In fact, many people are. It is popular practice for a person to avoid eating animal product, but still choose to drive a car with leather seats or wear a fur coat.
Just wanted to get that out of the way before further discussing my choice because yes, it started as a dietary thing but it became so much more than that.
I’m not here to be preachy preachy and have you conform to my ways. If you learn a thing or two, phenomenal! But I’m not here for that bullying nonsense.
So in this video I share why I started on this path and what led me to continue with a plant based diet and a vegan lifestyle. If you’d like to skip straight to the bullet points without detailed information keep reading.
- Health – I grew up incredibly sick as a child. Lots of problems with my stomach and the way my body would react to foods. I never enjoyed meat growing up, and certainly didn’t enjoy the way it made me feel. Also, It never made sense to me that people would drink milk from an animal that was meant to provide nutrition to a baby calf that weighs more than 6 times our size at birth.
- Ethics – I began to realize that I was not comfortable exploiting animals, effecting their lives and wellbeing so that I could better my own. I wouldn’t feel comfortable walking outside my front door and shooting an animal, so it didn’t make sense for me to ask another individual to do the dirty work so I could have food on my plate. I have never seen an animal I didn’t love so disregarding the life of any animal became devastatingly painful.
- Environment – The agriculture industry has a massively catastrophic effect on our environment. From run off, to resources, to land that could be used to feed hundreds of thousands … as a parent, I want to reduce my carbon footprint as much as possible to provide my children with more opportunity to thrive and further life on earth.
At the end of the day, mass production in the agricultural industry has a deeply negative impact on our health, the environment, and the well-being of animals.
When I walk into my local Publix and see aisles packed full of meat, my mind immediately wanders to the neighboring store. Followed by all of the stores in my city. Then in the county, the state, the country, and the world …. ! The amount of resources that it takes to provide these products for ONE store is mind blowing. Expand that thought and it’s incomprehensible. Factor in the abuse of animals and you’ve got yourself a situation I want no part of.
Since I’ve now told you my feelings on the matter, hopefully in an uplifting manner, I figure why not leave you with some resources.
Here’s the thing. I don’t believe one thing to be the all encompassing truth. Like, ever. Every single piece of media we consume has a purpose. An agenda. But I never stop learning. I watch and I read and I listen and I take little bits and pieces from each resource.
I am going to leave you with three documentaries that you can watch that will tackle all aspects of a vegan lifestyle — health, environment, and ethics. It is up to you to pull from it what you believe to make sense. I encourage you to keep an open mind and become passionate about learning more. Not for me or my beliefs, but for you and your children and our planet.
What it all comes down to is this: the majority of us are just trying to do what we feel is best for our wellbeing. Despite many people in my life not understanding, degrading it often, or challenging my choice on the regular, a vegan lifestyle is the best choice for me. It is a choice that I am unapologetic and passionate about, and my hope is that you can say that about all of the choices you are making day-to-day. If not, then I think you will discover what needs to change in your life.
Keep doing you, swimming in your own lane.