I am often asked why I am a vegan, because you know that isn't very healthy or it is just plain weird. I sometimes respond by how long do you have, because there are many reasons I can give them, and just not one.
This is a bit of the evolution into being vegan, that I took. 2006 was a pretty bad year, at least the first half of it, I can say I wasn't in a really good place or environment for part of the year, and once I was gone from it I did a lot of soul searching. It was after reading Tuesdays With Morrie, I really started looking at how I was living, and my personal beliefs. I said I loved animals, but I was still eating them, hmm didn't make much sense really. I was also about 195 lbs at this time, and really needed to start doing something about my weight, I was worried about health issues, as my dad and moms parents had heart issues, not to mention other health concerns of others in my family. So I went started cutting meat out of my diet and replacing it with way to many faux meat products, which meant way to much soy. Not that soy is bad, I was just getting a lot of my protein from it, not to mention eating a lot of processed foods to get it, not really a good idea, now that I look back at it. I started working out again, running and biking. During the next year I did a lot of reading and started seeing how bad dairy and other animal products were for you as well, not to mention just the overall cruelty that goes on for the sake of these products as well as meat. I completely cut out any dairy products out of my diet at this point, using mostly soy or rice milk, and some faux cheeses. With the way I was eating and exercising I dropped 55 lbs within a year and was feeling a lot better. My blood pressure went way down, it was borderline high before I changed how I was living and eating.
Over the next 3 1/2 years what I eat is still changing, I eat a lot of different beans now, and not so much soy, though I will enjoy some tempeh or tofu from time to time. I eat a lot of quinoa and rice, and have almost cut out all gluten from my diet, I would say I am 95% gluten free. I also try to include more raw foods into my diet, and natural supplements like Vega products, to help boost my protein intake, I as am very active and workout pretty hard, and need some help in recovery, which the Vega products have provided. Reading Robert Cheeke's book and John Joseph's have even made me think about what I eat and how often. I now eat 6-8 times a day, and one of those times being Vega Health Optimizer shake. I just started using Chia seeds, and some other supplements, and will see how they work out as well for me. I would like to incorporate more organic foods and even juices into my diet, but can't right now, unless I really just had a large sum of money come my way. Though I am feeling pretty damn good with the way I am eating right now, and getting a good source of nutrients from a lot of sources. I stay around 140 these days, and have more energy than most of those I work with, that are at least 14 years younger than me, and I usually get 6-7 hours of sleep a night. Though I do see what they eat on a daily basis, lunch comes from the vending machine and is like a few bags of chex mix, a honey bun or other candy bars, and some kind of soft drink, not exactly stuff that is going to give you the nutrients you need to keep going on a day in day out basis.
Some other reasons I use for being vegan is the workers in meat processing plants, and on the farms aren't always treated very well, Smithfield is well known for being the worst to their employees. Read Gail Eisnitz book Slaughterhouse, and find out all the horrors workers endure, even after all the big reforms in the early 20th century. Environmental reasons hey it takes a lot of water and grain to make meat, not to mention factory farming produces more greenhouse gases than anything else on the planet. Let us not forget all the all the feces and urine from the animals that ends up in the water systems as well. Yes with all that feed and water we use on factory farming, we could feed the entire planet, and have plenty of clean drinking water for everyone. We could also practically eliminate heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other illnesses as well, it's pretty well documented that meat and overly processed foods lead to disease, so it's really not very good or "healthy" for you.
Again as I read more and more, and watch various documentaries, my views change just a little, and always leave me questioning what goes into my body and how it effects all the other Earthlings I share the planet with. This is just a very short summary I know, but I hope it gives some of you a bit of insight, especially any omnivore's that may be reading this, stop and think, and you can always email me if you have any questions, or want to know more.