Many people think of veganism as a diet.
They’re wrong. Veganism is not about a diet. It’s much more profound than that.
Veganism is a way of life that refuses to exploit, in any form, and be cruel to animals for food, clothing or any other thing you can think of.
A true vegan shuns meat, dairy products, animal produce (honey), products made from animals (gelatin used in candy, leather used in shoes, etc.) and everything else that originates from the animal kingdom.
It’s not easy to go vegan from vegetarian or meat-eater.
The process requires education, empathy, perseverance and a strong will.
But once you become a vegan, the advantages are tremendous. Not only does your health become better, the world also becomes a greener, resourceful and better place.
I’m assuming you know about the advantages of going vegan and want to become one, and therefore, will share my experiences on how I switched to a vegan diet:
I am 55 years old and was a non-vegetarian up to 1999 when I realized the futility and cruelty of consuming animal flesh and eating their fetuses (eggs) The Unholy Shit About The Holy Cow. That’s when I decided to go vegetarian.
I continued consuming dairy products though. It was in 2014 when my daughter, a budding mathematician, educated me about the pros of going vegan. She had turned to veganism at the age of 17 and experienced its advantages.
She got down to educating and motivating me and here’s how I went from vegetarian to vegan, step by step:
- Video watching was the first step. Viewing many dairy farm videos exposed me to the unimaginable horrors that occur on dairy farms. I viewed American videos and followed up my viewing by chatting with a couple of dairy farm owners.
It was shocking to learn that cows were impregnated with multiple embryos to increase dairy profitability, they were not allowed to lead a normal life and were separated from their children soon after birth. Bull calves were sent to the farm for labor or were slaughtered for meat. The life expectancy of cows was reduced to 6 years from 20. and numerous other horrors. It was like a holocaust. The Unholy Shit About The Holy Cow
Watching dairy farm videos helped me realize the pain and suffering humans were inflicting on hapless bovines.
At the same time, I was addicted as hell to my cheese and cold milkshakes. How could I shake off dairy products from my menu?
- Next stop was to educating myself about the dangers of consuming dairy products. It was pretty easy finding resources that linked dairy product consumption to diseases, including the dreaded cancer. I read through many resources and would like to bring to your attention just one — The Physicians Committee — which confirmed that dairy product consumption does cause cancer.
The truth hit me squarely in the face. I was slow poisoning myself and therefore, I had to strike dairy off my menu.
- Finding a vegan milk and cheese substitute was the next thing to do. I tried out soya milk but did not prefer its extra-nutty taste (you can find the recipe here though).
But cashew milk and cheese was a heaven sent. These were so awesome and better than the real thing! Believe me, cashew based products taste super and are cheaper than dairy products. Here’s the milk recipe I followed (without adding honey and vanilla).
Here’s the link to a great cashew cheese recipe (you can cut out the yeast, starch and agar powder. Also add water depending on how thick or liquefied you want the cheese to be. I now add pepper and spring onion juice to create my own variations, but this is one awesome cheese that is way better than dairy cheese.
I now had something better and healthier and that’s all I wanted.
Poof, I went off-dairy within a month of watching the first dairy farm video.
I was a vegetarian and that made it slightly easy for me to switch to a vegan diet. A meat eater may find it very difficult to give up on meat and dairy products. That’s why empathy towards animals plays a huge role. They also can search online and learn from the experiences of meat eaters that went vegan..
Ultimately it all boils down to how much you care for the earth and your health. Okay for a moment let’s say you couldn’t care less for Mother Earth — can you say the same about your own health?
No you cannot because you must enjoy life as you age, but meat and dairy will only make you suffer, and you don’t want that. and oh, so if you’re thinking about giving up meat and dairy, spare a thought for the innocent animals and think about giving up on all animal derived products too.
So choose and choose wisely. Here’s signing off with this extremely profound quote:
“Some people think the plant-based, whole foods diet is extreme. Half a million people a year will have their chests opened up and a vein taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery. Some people would call that extreme.” ~ Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
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