15, 05, 2016
You have a vegetarian heart, why not a vegetarian diet? That’s the voice I have been hearing in my heart for the past few months. It started as a whisper, then more of a command, until finally the nagging was so loud and constant that I had to listen. I had been sick for the last week and per a Western medicine doctor’s orders I had to take 10 days of antibiotics to rid of my bacterial sinus infection. For someone who eats “healthy” and works out a ton it’s frustrating to think that I had to depend on an antibiotic (the antilife drug) in order to heal myself in a timely fashion. Im a doer, a go getter, a busy, active bee and being in bed for 5 days is NOT my thing or my idea of living life to the fullest, ya feel me? So I was in search of the why am I so sick and the how can I avoid this in the future.
Well, being in bed meant I had time to catch up on some documentaries. I had been hearing about a few that I “must see” and secretly knew if I watched I would be done with the meat and dairy industry for good so I had been putting them off. After all, ignorance is bliss.
I had been a vegetarian before for 7 years and in that time I did a lot of research and watched a bunch of docs and thought in my heart that I would never eat meat again. I’m not sure how I let it slip exactly but somehow I fell off the wagon about 6 years ago. It wasn’t that I cared less about the animals or became less compassionate of a human but all of a sudden I was ok with a piece here and there. It started out with organic only, whole meats, nothing ground or processed and before I knew it I was a full fledged meat eating machine. And I loved it. I loved the flavor the smell, the sauces, the ritual of the bbq, and quickly forgot about the pain and suffering of my four legged or finned friends. I was a lazy eater and a slave to my tastebuds.
I blamed it on many things. ‘I teach fitness for a living’ and ‘I’m a triathlete and I workout 12-18 times a week’, ‘my blood type is O+’, I had a million excuses. But I realized in this 5 days of being sick, that’s all bullshit. I was lazy, unaware of the devastating effect animal agriculture was having on our planet and living a life of convenience and NOT of compassion. I was compassionate to my cravings.
This hit me like a ton of bricks. I actually have a lot of guilt with my new found knowledge but unfortunately for my tastebuds knowledge demands action and like I said; I’m a doer. I have seen and learnt what the dairy and meat industries are doing to our animals and its more than just inhumane and unjust; it’s not sustainable and is one hundred percent, destroying our planet and our health. I’m sure you have seen the various PETA videos or the list of documentaries; Forks over Knives, Food inc., Fed up, Unity, etc. Hopefully one or all of them resonate with you for health reasons alone but for some reason COWSPIRACY really drove it home for me. If you don’t have compassion for the animals look at this issue from a environmental perspective. WE ARE KILLING OUR PLANET AT RAPID SPEED. Animal agriculture is the NUMBER ONE most destructive industry facing the planet today. They tell you to take shorter showers and brush your teeth without running the water (obvi, we all pay attention to that as it is but you get my point) but truth is, the overall domestic water usage is less than 5% of our problem. The animal agriculture is a whopping 55%! Yet nobody would ever tell you to stop eating meat because it’s one of the most lucrative industries in the world based around financial gain and corporate greed. It’s crazy to think that this planet was once capable of producing more than enough food for it’s entire population, and now we are paying to eat just to survive. Anyone who has an organic garden will tell you that they are practically giving away their food because their gardens are flourishing but the amount of food we waste and throw away on a daily basis is somewhere around 40% of what we actually produce. http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/food_waste_the_facts So we’re demolishing the rainforest, torturing and slaughtering animals and then not even using the food, they’re dying for nothing. Except someone’s bank account.
The stats on this stuff is crazy. Take a look at this chart:
I know we all have been doing what we think is our part; we recycle, we use energy efficient cars and appliances, we buy used, vintage, refurbished, turn out the lights, water the lawn less, etc. Sadly, unless we act now, all of that will be overshadowed by the sheer fact that our entire nations diet supports and is dependent on the meat and dairy industry.
We have to take action, hold ourselves accountable and do our best, NOW. It’s not compassion when it’s only based on yourself and your needs. In fact, forget about your health for a second; you could die tomorrow for all you know. Never mind the poor quality of the food we’re producing and the effects it’s having on our health; we have to think BIG PICTURE, long term. Our generation will experience the devastation and the repercussions of this first hand and eventually it won’t be able to be covered up and by that time, we will have a monumental mess to clean up that may very well be impossible.
I don’t have children and I’m not sure if I ever will, but I love this planet dearly and I want to leave it as beautiful and lush as I possibly can. She has taken care of me and I do not want to destroy her.
If that doesn’t ring your bell I don’t know what will. If the ocean dies, we die. 2048 is right around the corner. I’ll be 66 years young, it’s 32 years away. I want my children and my friends’ children and every human I’ve never met for that matter, to know the world and the ocean as it should be, beautiful and thriving. If one ecosystem dies the planet is doomed. It is clear in my mind that we do NOT have a choice, we MUST act now.
I realize I cannot change the world but I can change my world and the effect I have on it. And so today, I stand a more educated human with a heart aware of the travesty that our manmade, mass-manufactured, greed ridden animal agriculture industry has created. I have given up meat, red and white, fish, shellfish, dairy, milk products, butter, yogurts etc. I’ve already been met with the “you are just one person, it’s not going to make a difference” or the “it’s too far gone, just live your life, don’t stress on these things” and it’s an interesting human projection default.
The thing is, it does make a difference. Recycling for instance; it’s been going on for decades, some argue thousands of years, the nations first recycling plants opened in 1904 in Chicago and Cleveland but only became popular post WWII. By the 70’s it was a major movement and now many cities have mandatory recycling laws.
Ten years ago you could find vegan and vegetarian restaurants if you searched and now they are on every street corner in any metro city. Organic, gluten free, soy free, NON GMO labels are everywhere. More and more automobile corporations are switching to energy efficient cars; public transportation, bikes, and motorcycles are becoming more popular. All of these changes happened in the evolution of our enlightenment and awareness and to say we don’t make a difference is exactly what corporate America wants you to believe, to keep you sleeping.
To wrap this up; I’m really excited about this. I’ve been Vegan-ish (I say that because I haven’t given organic free range eggs up just yet) for over a week and I feel great. It’s fun to retrain my tastebuds as to what is healthy and delicious, exploring new restaurants and menus, learning that I actually have a ton of friends that I had no idea were already vegan and that I have a giant support group that has a wealth of knowledge to offer.
As far as eggs, I am going to try and find a local farmer that has humanely raised organic eggs on their premises. If I personally line fish or find a local fish monger that has line caught the fish themselves then I will eat fish; as that is not destroying our oceans. This may all change and I may give eggs and fish up completely by the time I finish this article, who knows?! I am not by any means an angry vegan, I’m not judging anyone or their eating habits, I have no problem with meat at my table, I will not “yuck your yum” I am just following my own moral compass. 🙂