I'm here to share all of my reasons to go vegan. They might change your mind or they might just make you see things from my point of view without judgement.
Growing up in the south, I was introduced to the pig, cow, and chicken at a very early age. They were set in front me each morning and evening for me to feast on, in order that I grow healthy and strong. Over the years, my taste buds grew and I learned a hundred different ways to prepare each of them. Now, after 38 years on dining on meat, I have chosen to go vegan.
Yes, you heard me. I’m now vegan. If my grandfather was alive he would probably laugh, and try to feed me a pork chop. The change in my eating habit was gradual. At first I just would eat chicken and fish, no pork or red meat. Then it moved to only fish, then next vegetarian. After watching, "What’s the Health" on Netflix, I knew going vegan was my only option.
I currently suffer from Type II Diabetes and hypertension, which was one of my reasons to go vegan. Something not uncommon in my family, but I’m not good with taking pills for the rest of my life. So, making this change was first for my health, and next for my environment.
Going vegan hasn’t been easy. I never thought I could get over not being able to use dairy products, but I have. Thanksgiving is coming up in a few weeks, and I’m researching alternatives to ensure I have the traditional meal I grew up on.
My time in the grocery store has increased by at least 15-30 minutes, depending on what I need to pick up. I’m constantly reading labels, searching for alternatives, and stocking up on spices. I live in a small town, and I feared that shopping would almost be impossible. However, I have been surprised at the items that I have been able to find.
Within the first month of going vegan, I lost 12 pounds. My weight has always been an issue for me. However the plant-based diet is helping with those issues. I don’t find it hard not to have meat on my plate because of the substitutes I am able to find. Last night for dinner we had vegan hot dogs, the night before was vegan crab cakes. Which I believe are my favorite now.
Making a change in your eating habits takes a lot of will power. I’ve tried to diet my entire life and was never able to stick to it. Now, I focus on the things I enjoy and find a way to make them vegan friendly.
There are times I get cravings for a wing box from my favorite restaurant or crab legs, but then I think about my health. Our bodies were not designed to digest meat, and that’s where many of our health problems come from. People always ask me what you do about protein. I say beans, lentils and peanut butter. They laugh. I know it sounds crazy when they look at me now. But, the process will pan out.
I also felt going vegan would help with my fertility issue. I’m not getting any younger, and the cost of fertility treatments are high, even with insurance. I always felt that everything we needed to sustain our bodies was here on earth in the form of plants, fruits and vegetables. Prior to becoming vegan, my menstrual cycle was vicious. I would literally curl up in a fetal position trying to relieve the pain, while popping pain medication every 6-8 hours. My first month vegan, I did not have one cramp my entire cycle. Not one.
The benefit in that is enough for me to continue on this vegan journey. I found drinking plenty of water and sticking to my diet has improved my skin, hair and nails. I’ve never been one to have long fingernails, but I’ve noticed the difference over the last few months.
At 38, it was scary to think that I will never eat another piece of animal produced food, but now I’m ok with it. I don’t want to harm my body or the animals that are placed in front of me on my plate. They deserve the same respect because they are living beings as well.
I encourage you all to go vegan, but I won’t force you. You have to be ready for this lifestyle change because it’s not an easy thing. But, well worth it, if you ask me.
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