Friday, March 8, 2013

The Ups and Downs of Veganism

I grew up being a carnivore and really loving meat - I know, cray right? After years of ham and cheese sandwiches, chicken wings and pepperoni pizza, I didn't really know any differently.  My mom wasn't a vegetarian (at that time) and I surely never missed my Geena's meat loaf dinners with Poppa, so I was quite simply trapped in an ignorant bacon flavored bliss.

It wasn't until college and my the freshmen "book in common" reading list that I saw food differently.  When I read Fast Food Nation, I was pretty amazed at how gross our food really is.  From that moment on,  I started to think about animals, chemicals, my meals and made the connection.  So, that gorgeous big brown eyed cow grazing on the grass was in my burger?  And he didn't get there happily? Hmmm, something to think about.


Don't think that moment alone made me drop the Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita Crunch - it didn't and I was a starving student after all. I continued to eat meat, but at least the gears inside my head were turning and that was better than nothing.  One summer day following college, my high school/college BF Shell finally gave me the full run down of her vegetarian life, I was eager to listen.  I was sick... I mean SICK.  Could all she said really be true?  Nooo, no way.  People did that, to innocent animals?  Those horrible things to get that sweet cow to my plate, all that really happened?  And the impact that process took on the environment?  That was really happening? Now?  As I am eating this Hawaiian pizza? Nooo, that couldn't be true!  Shell was patient and kind and encouraged me to not just listen to her, but to educate myself.  I read some books, watched some movies and decided to take the first step... cut out beef, pork and chicken.


I asked her how I would survive without bacon, I mean I LOVED it so much!! She reminded me that there were plenty of "facon" items to help me adjust, but that I would be fine.  I had to start somewhere so I cut out the big three and decided to move from a full blown meat eater to a "pescatarian".  This new title meant that I stopped eating meat but was still allowing fish to make its way to my plate.

After a couple years of a fish only filled life, I was again "awoken" and had to cut that out.  Whew! I was now a full blown vegetarian, I never would have imagined.  But I felt so much better about my ingested choices.  I felt better about my impact on the environment.  I felt better about my meat free body!

Fast forward another year, enter 21-Day Quantum Wellness Cleanse and Forks Over KnivesNeedless to say, I again decided to change my diet and go full boar with the whole food plant based diet.  I did not want ANY animal product crossing into this holy temple of life, no way! But I didn't just want to embrace veganism, I wanted to embrace a chemical free diet as well.  So what to do?  Process or Purist?  Well, my answer is do what you want when you want.


I go up and down.  Sometime I am a hard core vegan, sometimes soft.  Sometimes (like right now) I am just a regular old vegetarian.  But, to be honest, I am ok with all of it.  As long as I feel good about what I am putting into my body and am aware of what those choices mean for the environment, then all is well as far as I am concerned. So, just do what feels good to you and honor what you believe... but be smart about it.  Being smart means making sure you are educating yourself to make good choices.  Start doing some research and enjoying healthy, nutrient rich natural foods!




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2 comments:

  1. I went vegetarian during my freshman year of college...and I never looked back. I was vegan for while, but it honestly became time consuming and expensive. However, now I would say I am 50% vegetarian, 50% vegan...haha. I don't wear any leather, but I still enjoy pizza on occasion. I love hearing about other people's journeys into vegetarianism!
    Tara
    Penniless Socialite

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    Replies
    1. Tara,

      I am glad to have a fellow soft core vegan in the house...I feel like we have discussed this before, am I right? Either way, more power to us! As long as I do what I feel is good and have the knowledge to back up my choices all is right with the world. Now I think I may throw a veggie pizza in the oven right now!

      Strive to thrive,
      Em

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