I’m not going to lie, but this post is a little hard for me to write. And the reason why it’s hard is because this is a pretty big transition for me. Transitioning from shopping at fast fashion stores is a piece of cake compared to completely changing your diet. If you know me, then you know I LOVE burgers, tacos, and Peruvian food, which is mainly meat. I never once thought I would give up meat, not in a million years, until I started watching documentaries on Netflix. Damn, Netflix!
All jokes aside, watching Forks over Knives and Vegucated were true eye-openers. I, and everyone I know, had always thought we needed meat for protein and dairy for calcium. All whole based plant foods contain protein such as quinoa, spinach and beans. Calcium, like other minerals, is found in the soil where it is absorbed into the roots of plants. Animals get calcium by consuming the mineral abundant plants. So in other words, we don’t need to eat animal products to get sufficient nutrients.
Below are three reasons why I’m going Vegan:
1. Animal products are high in fat and cholesterol and have been linked to the world’s biggest health issues like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Not to mention, cattle and chicken now have an abundance of added hormones and steroids to help them breed more, stay alive in inhumane conditions and grow larger. Since factory farms are so minimally regulated, food-borne illnesses spread rampantly and the use of antibiotics is used more frequently. An overuse of antibiotics can fuel the growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria and this vicious cycle is detrimental to our health.
2. Since there is such a large demand for meat products, factory farming has become the norm and let me tell you, the conditions of these farms are HORRIFIC. There are several clips in Vegucated that show how awful factory farms are to animals. I was on the verge of tears seeing animals cry because of how much pain they endure just because we like the taste of meat and dairy. Male chicks and male calves are killed at a premature age because they are deemed unnecessary since they don’t produce milk. They are killed in pretty gruesome ways that involve still being alive and a machine. How is that okay? And why is that okay?
3. Apart from health and ethical reasons, there are huge environmental impacts with the food industry. The food industry is the highest contributor of detriment to the environment. It’s even more of a pollutant than the transportation industry. If every American went meatless 1 day a week it would be the equivalent of half a million cars taken off the road each year.
Knowing everything I now know, I can’t keep supporting the meaningless inhumane killing of animals. Especially since we don’t need animals to survive!! I’m not telling you to go vegan, but you should inform yourself as to how your animal products were obtained and from where. I don’t think I would’ve ever become a vegan if I hadn’t informed myself, but I’m glad I did. Has it been tough? Yes. Do I feel like an outsider or burden to other people I’m with? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes.
**Update: I’m no longer labeling myself as vegan, but I’m still continuing with a meatless diet. I didn’t want to be seen as a hypocrite if I bought ethically made leather shoes as opposed to vegan shoes made in sweatshops.