I don’t think a day goes by that someone doesn’t ask me why I’m vegan.
There seems to be an endless fascination with a lifestyle that only includes plant-based foods. How can someone not only sustain themselves, but also be happy and satisfied without meat and meat by-products in their diet?
I understand. Living a life void of meat sounded bizarre to me years ago. I absolutely loved my burgers, malts, buttery pound cake, and oh yes, pork chops and ham hocks in my greens.
But as much as I enjoyed those foods in my mouth, once they hit my stomach, it was a different story. For years, I would eat a cheeseburger (I loved patty melts) and, within an hour, have a cramps so bad I would double over in a painful stomachache.
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Somehow though, I never really made the connection between what I just ate and the discomfort I was feeling, so I just kept eating and suffering, eating and suffering – for years.
Ironically, it wasn’t until I was pregnant with my second child, Butterfly, that something hit me. I was in a diner eating pancakes and a side of ham – my favorite breakfast at the time – when I looked at the ham and just felt completely repulsed.
I pushed the plate away from me and didn’t touch the food. Sometime later, I saw a hamburger and my stomach turned. This pattern continued in which the sight and smell of meat completely turned me off. I attributed it to my pregnancy and change in taste that often accompanies it.
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Additionally, because I believed my growing baby wouldn’t thrive without meat (I didn’t know that veggies, legumes and grains are chock-full of protein and other vital baby-growing nutrients), I forced myself to eat it, believing I was doing what was best for my child. Once my daughter was born and I finished nursing, I thought my taste for meat would return.
But it didn’t.
So, I stopped eating it, cold turkey – haha.
That was 15 years ago. I started out vegetarian and then transitioned to fully vegan. In all these years, I haven’t had a bite of flesh and have absolutely no desire for it.
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With the deletion of meat and animal products from my diet came a physical blossoming I never planned on. My skin cleared up, my hair grew in thicker and stronger, and my moods became more peaceful and more joyful.
Even when I was a meat-eater, I never had a weight problem, because fortunately, I’m very athletic and enjoy exercise. However, I found that when I dropped the meat and upped my plant-based foods, I felt lighter, stronger, more nimble, and more energetic. And most profound of all, all the inner physical pain, discomfort, and disruption I felt all those years inside my body stopped. My body just became… quiet.
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And as I continued to educate myself about my new lifestyle and I learned about the abuse animals are put though to get to our dinner tables, it only magnified the fact that I made a decision not only for my well-being, but for all life on this planet.
So the short answer to why I’m vegan – my body runs better, I look healthier, I am able to honor my fellow living creatures, and most importantly, I feel better in mind, body, and spirit.
Of course, everyone has to decide what is right for them on their journey. What one chooses to eat is a very personal decision, and for me, choosing to eat plant-based foods, rather than meat and animal products, is the right thing for me to do on every level.
So there you go, that is why I’m vegan!
Love and Light,