Why I became Vegan

I refer to myself as being a passive vegan because although I practice that way of life, I do it quietly and choose not to preach about it. I only really took the plunge a few months ago and as a former meat eater I have no right to judge or try and convert others.
It all began for completely selfish unethical reasons, you see, I’ve always been a bit of a health freak. As well as having a desire to keep myself active by practising yoga, going to the gym, riding a bike to work and walking the dog and all the usual good habits we develop in mid life. In my quest outwit time and age I had an inkling that the answer lay in nature. So exceeding my five portions of fruits and vegetables a day for quite some time I began to notice the negative effects on my well being whenever I have had to forgo them due to being away from home. Fatigue, minor depression and indigestion were but some.
Ever since I’ve had access to the internet I research the health benefits of everything I eat. The Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates is my guru. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” I am a firm believer. I am sure nature holds the key to the prevention and cure of all ailments. I even visited his tree in the Greek Island of Kos where he taught students back in the day. Doctors now are quick to prescribe a pill for everything including the negative side effects of other pills. They are not highly trained in nutrition, that’s for the lesser mortals like new age hippies or personal trainers. The medical industry is raking in the cash yet the pills themselves are taking a toll on our health and don’t get me started on anti biotics. We all know that’s not going to end well.
As a meat eater, (because I thought we had to eat meat to stay alive) I was careful not to include too much processed food in my diet. I avoided packet mixes, cooking sauces, and boxed cereals. I cooked everything as far as I could from scratch but luckily for me cooking is playing. It’s fun it’s like painting is to a child. You can’t do it wrong. If it doesn’t work out quite the way you expect then you learn for next time. I love the whole messy play thing in the kitchen because I learned it from both my parents. My dad was Asian and he taught me how to use spices and my mother was from a small village in Ireland where all the produce was freshly grown in the garden but she loved to experiment with food.
When my  daughter Nadine, became vegan I was intrigued. I began to cook some vegan meals for her and even enjoyed some of them but I couldn’t get my head round not eating meat. I was caught up in tradition and the illusion the food industry liked to portray to us that we needed meat for protein. Then one night she sat me down to watch the documentary “Cowspiracy” I was of an open mind at the time but wasn’t prepared to change my eating habits. The film opened my eyes to the huge impact that animal agriculture was having on the planet, on famine and on humans. It spelt doom and gloom, the end of the world, human greed and that type of thing. Still I wasn’t going to commit. I am almost ashamed to admit that now. However, I declared that I was going to make better choices, most of the time.
Curiosity lead me to watch a documentary called “Forks over Knives”. Now this was right up my street because it highlighted the prevention and cure business of eating right. Forks over knives was named so because using our forks to eat correctly would help to avoid going under the knife for heart surgery later on. This documentary looked at well researched scientific study which highlighted the fact that many degenerative diseases could be prevented, or even reversed through eating a whole food plant based diet such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, hypertension, and obesity. 
Even after watching Forks over Knives I wasn’t totally ready to eliminate meat from my diet. I liked the way it tasted and I still thought it was necessary but may be in smaller quantities. Evidence that the vegan diet was the way forward kept showing up in my life in various forms.The fact that it made for creative cooking was but one thing.

Then I watched “Earthlings”. It showed me the horror of human cruelty to animals. Puppy mills, the atrocities of the factory farm industry. That did it for me. Haunted by the images of sheer violence, fear and sadness I now shudder when I even walking down the meat aisle in the supermarket. That’s when I officially turned vegan. So for the planet, my health and anti violence I will no longer choose to be a part of the problem. Can I make a difference? Not much of a dent in the industry. This is a big one where actually being a passive vegan is probably not going to save the planet. This is why activism and preaching is so important. I am very small in this whole movement. I recommend Gary Yourofsky for anyone who wishes to understand the whole vegan movement. In my blog I hope to share simple recipes to help to you make the transition if you so desire.   

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