**Disclaimer: This isn’t meant to offend anyone. This is just an opinion that I am passionately expressing. (I must be Canadian, eh?)**
Trust me I was a meat eater. My favourite meal used to be a rib dinner with a meaty lasagna. I would eat meat at every single meal for most of my 27 years. When Samara came to me and said she wanted to be a vegetarian I shrugged and said “Ok, have fun with that.”. I continued to eat meat.
It wasn’t until our trip to Southeast Asia that my eyes were opened. We hired a driver to take us through Bali. He would tell us stories about the Balinese way of life as he drove. As we passed through what looked like a traditional street market he cautioned us from eating from the street vendors. He went on to say that the meat might look like beef or chicken or pork, but it could very well be dog, cat or even rat.
That got to me.
Knowing that I’ve been eating from street vendors our entire trip made me think about how much “real meat” I had eaten. It all looked the same but thinking about our dogs back at home made me sick. What is the difference between dog and cow meat? Not much. But thinking about how much personality our dogs have what makes them different from a cow?
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We have driven along many farms – many of which have cows. Even driving by we see their personalities. Just as dogs want to show love cows do as well. Some were scratching their backs on posts with their huge tongues hanging out. Others were licking, what we could only imagine as, their mom’s face.
Who are we to decide which animal dies to become our food?
After spending two years at university I am familiar with thought experiments. Forget the reality in which we live and imagine a completely new one. Us humans have been invaded by another being who has decided that we are now a delicacy. They have no need to eat us (just as we have no need to eat animals, as we are proving) but choose to. There are other ways they can obtain their nutrients but still decide to kill and eat us.
Doesn’t that sound like a horrible place to live?
We would surely try to do something about it. How is this different from what we are doing to cows? Sure this may make me sound crazy, but is it not what is happening? We have been taught through evolution that we need the calories that meat provides us. But that is not true today. We can get our calories and nutrients from other ways but choose not to.
But let’s put philosophy aside for a moment.
I Felt Better
I felt physical effects of the change in my diet – and not in the ways you might think. No longer do I feel bloated. I would feel gassy after nearly every meal I would eat. You don’t realize how milk is in nearly every single meal you eat. Hindsight is 20/20 I guess. Why was I eating (and continued to eat) something my body couldn’t digest?
Samara has also felt the effects of going vegan. She has struggled with PCOS for most of her adult life. This is a disease that affects her ability to get pregnant and ultimately conceive children. Within one week she got her period back. We were pessimistically optimistic.
It’s one thing to get it back but another to keep it regularly, we thought
But ever since she has cut dairy (and of course meat as well) out of her diet her period has been clockwork.
My body has noticeably changes as well. I have never been overweight, but since I have became a vegan my fat has significantly decreased. Now you may be thinking “That makes sense. You’re eating less calories!”. That would be true but my weight has stayed the same. I have not been working out or exercising more. The only thing that has changed is my diet.
I thought it would be hard to give up the food that I had become accustomed to eating for my entire life. I had tried to do this when I was younger but it was a nightmare so I was bracing for the worst. It has actually been easy. We have driven all across North America and have only had trouble finding food in a few places.
We eat better than we did when we ate meat.
For every single meat dish there is a meat alternative. Love chicken wings? I can make you a dish that you would think is actual wings from a chicken. More of a meaty spaghetti and meatball person? Done. Like any true Canadian I can’t give up bacon – and I don’t. And on top of all that, the food tastes better! I haven’t counted my calories since starting this diet but I don’t feel hungry ever.
Check out what we have in our kitchen!
For all of you that come up with reasons not to become vegan – your excuses are running out.