Happy Anniversary to me!!!
This spring marks TEN YEARS without eating meat! That includes seafood as well. And I celebrate my choice every single day, and really, every meal.
People ask if it was hard, where do I get my protein, if I miss meat, and why I gave it up. To answer those loaded questions is a lengthy conversation, one I can carry on for probably ten years.
No, it was not hard. Even though I enjoyed the tastes when I was younger, I felt off about eating dead animals. Doing research, reading a few books, and simple online searches helped me drop the food group. For two weeks, I had to adjust, but since then it’s been easy. Life without meat makes so much sense.
America’s food proportions are out of control, especially concerning protein. Generally speaking, fiber needs more attention, not protein. People tend to eat way too much protein – well, the wrong protein. Plant-based proteins have natural fiber and provide what you need without the higher cholesterol, inflammation, and heart disease issues. I eat black beans, lentils, soybeans, nuts, nut-based yogurt, green beans, granola, and meat alternatives like vegan burgers, meatless balls, tempeh, tofu, and seitan. There are so many options to find protein these days! And having options with less fat, more fiber, and less issues is wonderful.
With all these alternatives, I do not miss animal meat. Honestly, I quickly become repulsed by the smells of cooking meat, the sights of meat in stores, and the thoughts of how it is processed. Even some substitutes are too similar to real meat, and I can’t eat them! Most of this is because I’m too aware of the abuse of animals (it’s there, whether you want to believe it or not) and how humans use them for pleasure. For many reasons, I will never eat or use animal products again, but the mistreatment of animals is the main reason I will never miss meat.
The reasons I became a vegetarian, and now vegan, are endless. A few explanations are above, but the list could go on and on.
Since going vegan – no animal products whatsoever – my eczema is almost gone! My asthma is just about non existent, so I don’t use a daily inhaler or emergency inhaler. My digestion is regular, I feel lighter and never grossly full, and I’m much more conscious about what’s hidden in foods. It’s incredible how so many issues have diminished or disappeared when I eliminated dairy. In addition to my health improving, I am reducing my carbon footprint on the earth! Not eating meat, or dairy, literally helps everyone! People, plants, trees, and animals!
Plant-based eating is proven to be the healthiest “diet.” Plant-based also means those are the main foods, but leaves room for a few meats if that is your choice. Vegan is different; veganism is a lifestyle. As a proactive vegan, I don’t use any animal products, refusing to wear wool, fur (HOW IS THIS STILL A THING?!), and leather. I stay away from honey and beeswax. It’s hard at times, but it’s the least I can do to follow Ahimsa.
I know going meat-free “it’s for everyone,” but I hope I am an example of how amazing it is. How life-changing and positive it is. That’s the least I can do for the environment, precious animals, and even the meat-eaters.
Animals are friends, not food.