A vegan diet screams compassion, health, love and most importantly, liberation for the oppressed animals.
When I first became a vegan, back in 2014, I tried sharing this life style with those closest to me with the high expectation that everyone would agree with simple logics and and choose compassion over killing. But I guess I was in over my head. I listened time and time again to absurdities being defended with such passion that I was often left puzzled, angered and utterly resentful of the defender of such rubbish.
What was most surprising to me was how consistent some of these excuses were. I mean, how is it even possible that people who have never met all retreat to the same excuses to defend their unethical choices? Man, I blame religions, school systems, the media and pure greed for this wide spread ignorance we see today in our world.
It is my only hope that knowledge, common sense and love will conquer this blind ignorance. Let's now take a few minutes to address the most common myths associated with a vegan diet.
"Where do you get your protein?" All vegans have been asked this question and my answer is always "from plants". Protein is present in every living thing as I explained in this article- what is protein. On top of that, all the 21 amino acids we need for healthy living are found in plants. Plus, our bodies make 11 or those 21 amino acids that are essential to us.
But let me be honest with you, all our protein needs won't be supplied by any one plant source. That means you have to add variety to your meals as you seek to make compassionate choices. Mix it up, beans, nuts, fruits, veggies and seeds. This will ensure you meet your protein needs with ease.
Here is another popular lie about the vegan diet. Firstly, let me say that if you don't take your health into consideration you will become deficient in a variety of nutrients, not just B-12.
But let's be real, the vegan B-12 saga serves as another attempt to justify torture of innocent creatures and of course, ignorance plays it's part in this matter. Here are four facts about B12 you need to know:
Sadly though, most of the misconceptions about B12 are spread by vegans themselves and the pharmaceutical "drug lords". You can learn more on the truth about B12 here.
If this were true I don't think mother nature would have made any vegans in the first place. I mean wouldn't cows, hippos, horses, zebras and all the other vegans out their be extremely sickly? I don't know why this is even an argument when it's been long know that every single nutrient needed by all beings on earth is found in plants.
People even go as far as to say that there are nutrients in meat, not found in plants, that we need. This is a blatant lie. With the exception of a mother's milk, no animal on earth requires any substance form any other animal in order to meet it's nutritional needs. I dear anyone to name a single substance exclusive to animals that humans require (substances in your mom's milk are excluded).. See? I rest my case.
Undoubtedly, humans are herbivores, not omnivores, not carnivores.. we are herbivores. I think the saying "be yourself" applies here. There is no resemblance between the human digestive system and that of meat eaters. So why are we pretending to be what we aren't?
"In their book The Vegetarian Way, nutritionists Virginia and Mark Messina compiled an easy-to-understand chart comparing human bodies to those of herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. That chart is shown just below":
It should now be extremely clear from the above picture that we are exclusively plant eaters, but if not you should ask yourself "why did I began to eat dead animals?" Wasn't it because of social conditioning? Do you think if you were left alone while growing up you would have chosen to eat the dismembered, rotting bodies of other animals? Or would you have chosen to eat apples and berries? Without the influence of your parents and other members of society would you have thought egg is food while knowing very well that is comes from an animal's anus? Don't tell me you actually think food comes from the anus! I could go on but to summarize, what I am trying to say is that we would never have chosen to live this way without being thought because we have zero carnivorous instincts. We were born to thrive on plants.
Take a few minutes and head over to adaptt.org and read the "humans are herbivores" in the all about veganism section where my good friend Gary further explains why we are plant eaters.
More lies again. I can honestly say that since I have been a vegan I have never felt stronger nor more energetic. I remember back in high school how tired I was everyday, I fell asleep literally during ever class section. I also went to bed at 8PM sharp every night man, I was just so tired. I only had enough energy to get to where I was going.
But now that I am a vegan, I more energetic and more I'm more alert, I have better memory, sharper reflexes and greater recover speed after a hard work out. It's safe to say my energy has gone through the roof. I am up late most nights now and despite of how boring college lectures are I still manage to stay awake through each section.
You are sure to see the same results if you should choose a vegan diet starting today. Let's put a little science behind all of this. You see, all the energy we need truly comes form the sun but the only way to harness this energy is through plants.
Plants convert the sunlight into a form that we can use then stores it in their leaves, fruits, roots and stems. By eating these things we get an indirect source of energy form the sun. Plants are able to collect about 96% of the sun's energy. By the time a chicken gets onto your plate less than 4% of this energy remains in that dead body. Do the maths (96 is greater than 4), plants have more energy to offer.
Have you ever noticed how meat eaters are extremely concerned about plants when asked to show kindness to those we harm? Yes we, for vegans also cause harm and we must never forget this.
Well honestly, I share their sentiment (you don't have to though). But hey that's why I am a vegan, just for that reason. Because I can cause the least amount of harm to both plants and animals this way.
We have already cleared enough land and killed enough plants to feed the entire world but instead we filter plants through animal bodies then go kill more plants to eat alongside or dead animal cousins. This destructive behaviour not only kills more plants that eating a plant based diet but it also wastes so much of earth's resources (water, rainforests, soils and entire ecosystems.)
It's clear to everyone with any degree of intelligence that switching to a vegan life would decrease the amount of plant and animal lives lost, thus causing the least amounts of harm we can on this planet.
Another reason for our insane ways that I have come to learn is that we have convinced ourselves that we are actually helping to control the populations of the earth. Yup, we actually feel as if we are doing a good thing keeping everything in check and if we stitch to eating what mother earth naturally provides (plants) then animals will just rise up in numbers and take over everything.
This is just a diversion from the truth that we kill animals for the reasons of greed, money, comfort, to be liked and insanity. I just want to bring to your attention that we have lost 50% of all the world's species in the last three human generations. And the bees are next, when they go we go... think about that.
We are not keeping anything in order, we are destroying everything. In fact, should we leave the earth for a while and return, we would be extremely surprised to see how very well every other species are doing.
We don't need to control animal populations. We need to blend in with nature and stop making up such silly excuses for our destructive behaviours.
I have not lost one single ounce since being on a vegan diet. I can honestly say that I'm in the best shape of my life right now though. In fact I'm thinking about gaining some weight. The truth is that you can lose or gain weight on whatever diet. The thing you should be concerned with is the quantity and quality of what you eat.
Of course, if you eat less than you need you will lose weight. On the other hand eating poor quality foods may cause you to become over-weight.
I want to point out though that if you eat the right quantities of natural, organic vegan foods and get in some exercise you will lose weight but only if you need to. Your body will take on it's natural shape, slimming you down or bulking you up depending on what you need at that time.
But is there any real reason for this belief about the vegan diet? Not really. It just stems from the misconceptions about the availability of protein in the vegan diet. And social conditioning again plays it's role here. People are just too gullible man.
If you don't believe me ask any of these super elite veg athletes.
While some vegan foods are more expensive than non vegan options, the over all cost of your groceries will be much less on vegan diets. I mean, meat is easily one of the most expensive items on any meat eaters shopping list. But take that money you use to support cruelty and head down to the farmers market and you'll find you will easily get more than your money's worth.
On top of that, unless you live in a desert or a concrete jungle, there will always be free vegan meals available. You know trees? They bear fruits, just pick them, they are free. Here in Jamaica I can go days with no use of money. In fact I became a vegan after a summer of no meat due to some pretty fun days of poverty (true story).
You may find that processed vegan foods may be more expensive for real though. So if you wish to buy processed vegan options make sure it's a healthy choice....you'll be saving yourself thousands on your doctor's bill later on in life.
Most people say they could never give up meat, egg, dairy and honey because the alternative is just too boring and limited. We vegans know that is so not true though.
You can't possible find more variety anywhere than on a vegan menu. What about flavour? Just try any vegan recipe and tell me if your taste buds aren't totally blown away. After being a vegan for a month or so you will quickly to realize just how boring your life truly was before.. trust me man you're missing out. Plus there are vegan versions of practically everything animal stuff you think you can't get over.
Do not fall for any messed up information out their about the green side of things.
Be brave in your decision to go vegan and bear in mind the compassion you will be extending to those who need it the most- the animals. Love yourself and love life.