This blog is dedicated to daughter, Kelly, who always inspires me to be my best. As well, thanks to animal activists such as James Aspey (@jamesaspey on Instagram) and other vegans out there, for loving the amazing animals and being their voices. Also, thanks to Ryuji Chua (@peacebyvegan on Instagram) for his post explaining how detached we are from the animal and the end product (for example: the cow and the steak on our table). I believe most of us would stop eating meat if the animal was standing right next to us.
If you have read my other blogs, you would know that I am currently in a state of self-reflection and searching for a gateway to better health (mainly for disease prevention). Everyday, we hear news of people (including family and friends) diagnosed with cancer, dying from cancer, having strokes and heart attacks; sky-high rates of obesity, etc. The research shows that many health problems are linked directly to one’s diet. To me, this is a true wake-up call that something needs to be done.
As I get older, I am much more aware that many diseases are preventable (example: Type-2 diabetes) or that the progression of a disease such as dementia can be slowed down. Despite what popular culture might believe, it is not a must for us to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia in our old age.
As you may know already, as part of my personal ‘get healthier’ initiative (as well as my love for animals), I have not eaten meat from an animal since September of this year. However, I am currently still eating seafood, eggs and having milk in my coffee.
My continued self-reflection, love of animals and online research reminds me that I don’t want to eat animal meat and by-products, and do not wish to purchase leather or other animal products again. I believe the death and torture of animals for my personal consumption or use is on me. I might as well kill and torture them myself.
What does it really mean to be “vegetarian” and “vegan”?
It is natural for people to apply a label to everything and everyone. This is sadly how our society works. Based on my online research, in a nutshell, to be “vegetarian” means that you do not eat meat from an animal. And to be “vegan”, means that you do not eat any animals (including seafood) or their by-products (such as eggs, milk), and do not use any animal products (such as leather, fur, etc.).
To me, the irritating thing is – being vegetarian and vegan is viewed often as something negative, or prompts certain comments. For example, when people find out I am no longer eating animals, they say things like: “Oh, make sure you get enough nutrients, protein and iron.” When someone mentions they are “Vegan”, the first thought is probably that of an extreme animal rights activist lobbying near the slaughter houses. By why does this have to be? This is the real problem. Having obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, I can say that we have a systemic problem in our society. We are so programmed to think something is wrong with not eating animals and wearing fancy fur-lined coats. And why are we drinking the milk of animals anyway?
Meat, meat, everywhere
I cannot deny that meat and animal by-products and products are everywhere. It is definitely a challenge to find food items without any meat by-products, because even a small ingredient such as gelatin can be made with animal intestines.
Can just one person make a difference?
So you ask, how can one person not eating/”using” make a difference?
My daughter has inspired me with her ‘veganism’. But here is my struggle: what if I eat a plant-based diet and don’t buy animal products, but still feed meat to the rest of my family (because they want it)- does this make me a bad person? The only answer that I can come up with is “that it starts with my daughter and myself.” World change – just one person at a time.
Vegan, Vegan, Vegan
It is my personal goal to become what you know as a Vegan. Yes, I hate the stereotype associated with the label, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with not torturing and killing our beautiful animals, just so we can enjoy a 3 minute burger or wear a fancy fur-lined coat.
My year end goal
By the end of this year, I will follow a vegan diet and lifestyle. More posts will follow about this. There is always something to accomplish in “this thing called life.”
I know it will be difficult to completely eliminate animal products from my diet – and even as I write this, it sounds awfully weird that I will eliminate ANIMAL from my diet (I can’t believe I ate them!), but it is truly the least that I can do. I will figure out a way to make my fav desserts without eggs. And more importantly, I feel good about this.
What will I eat then?
Actually, the answer to this is much more simple that explaining to someone why I don’t eat meat…
I will eat FOOD!