ohdeardrea header
home button food button home button “natural “travel “advertise “cookbook

Diet Water - Why I'm Vegan

Diet Water

Let me start off by saying: 
this post is "Why I am vegan". It is in no way a "Reasons why you need to be vegan" post.
I do what works for me and keeps me happy and healthy.
I recommend you do what works for you.

The short list: 


1. I don't like hurting or killing animals
2. less chemicals (with unwanted antibiotics &chemicals on meat &through organic eating)
3. it is better for the environment
4. zero guilt lifestyle (especially in terms of eating)
5. I feel emotionally and physically better
6. I'm healthy
7. I love it


The longer version: 


I became vegan for one reason and I am still a vegan (and plan on staying vegan) for a variety of reasons. I chose to stop eating red meat at the age of 12. Simple: I knew I was eating a cow and it grossed me out. I stopped eating chicken two years after that. I loved the taste of chicken, but again, the idea of eating an animal grossed me out. The thought of something that was once living, breathing, feeling, having sex, pumping blood through its veins now being dead on my plate grossed me out. A little ridiculous sounding? Maybe. Maybe not. I proclaimed myself a vegetarian &that was that. I ate fine. I wasn't the healthiest eater, but I wasn't the worst either. My food choices were comparable to most people my age, but with meat substitutes instead of animal meat.
I'm not sure exactly when or why it happened, but about 4 to 5 years ago I started questioning my choices. If I wasn't eating meat because of cruelty to animals then why was I eating dairy coming from a cow who was suffering with metal clamps attached to her utters all day long? (This is relevant now, more than ever, after breastfeeding a newborn for 12 hours straight everyday). I knew the cows weren't living in a field with grass to graze &being milked by hand by a friendly and gentile farmer. I knew that cow was being strapped to a machine standing in its own waste with hard metal clamps attached to it, being pumped beyond its limits. I started questioning everything. I didn't care much for eggs, I only ate them mostly in baked goods or veggie burgers, I never cared much for milk and I only had it in cocoa, cereal, or cooked into baked goods, meals, whatever. One problem: I loved cheese. I was addicted to cheese. I ate it everyday in almost every meal. I tried multiple times to go without it and never lasted longer than a day. Eventually, after many efforts, I was finally able to make the switch after a two week detox. In this time I started researching.... A LOT. Every article I found led me to another and during my search I found many reasons to continue being vegan.
I was forced to start putting creativity into my meals. All my usual fall back meals were no longer an option. I started to attempt cooking vegetables I had never prepared before. This was exciting for me... and of course, anyone can do this.. it just took me becoming vegan to really put an effort into it.
I started really, REALLY looking at and researching food ingredients. I realized how many chemicals were in the everyday "foods" I was buying (even the vegetarian ones). I realized how many animal derivatives were in so many store products (food, body, everything). Casein, rennet, albumen, carmine, isinglass... the list goes on and on and on. While making my switch I had picked up a bottle of juice and found carmine listed in the ingredients... I had had enough. After that, I looked at EVERYTHING. If it had too many ingredients, ingredients I didn't understand, or ingredients derived from an animal I wouldn't eat it.
I once heard somewhere (it was most likely a Bittman quote from his TedTalks speech) that you can't consider yourself an environmentalist if you eat meat. This is undeniably true. I do everything I can to not waste, to recycle, and to keep this earth clean. It makes sense that I would continue to not eat animals to further decrease my footprint. Factory farming is one of the biggest pollutants on this Earth. If everyone stopped eating meat, or at least ate farm raised meat, our Earth would be a much healthier planet. Choosing to stay away from all animal bi-products of factory farming further supports our environment. With less demand there is less supply and a lesser need for pollution causing factories.
Not only do I feel better knowing that I am: 1. not hurting animals 2. keeping my body free of extra chemicals 3. helping the environment, but also, the biggest factor in me staying vegan is simple: I feel better. My mind, body, and soul feel better. I am the healthiest I've ever been &my body feels incredible with little effort. I have zero problems dealing with cholesterol or blood pressure, I no longer have allergies or stomach problems, I have a great body weight, healthy skin, &I rarely get sick. I had the healthiest pregnancy imaginable, and I am now nursing an extremely healthy &happy growing baby.
I am happy being vegan. I am pleased with my food choices. I feel content knowing: not only am I am not hurting anyone or anything, but also: I am actually doing some good for myself, my child, animals, &the environment.
carambola

29 comments:

  1. great post.
    i gave up meat when i was 18. i didn't eat it for 20 years. i just started eating farm raised meats (mostly chicken) this past year. i don't really know the reason other than i wanted to eat it and therefore i did.
    i think one day i will stop again because i too get grossed out at the thought of eating an animal.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Q: I've been veg for a while now, but as far as going vegan I'm trying to make the switch to being 100% animal free but like you I am a cheese addict, but also how do you know what's animal based in your food? And beauty products? etc...

    PS- Love this post!

    ReplyDelete
  3. i'm really liking your water diet posts these days... you should start posting recipes.. go to snacks... tips and tricks for us non-vegans to make the simple switches... especially since i too am a cheese addict

    ReplyDelete
  4. How timely! I've been a lazy-vegan for years and after watching the Earthlings documentary just the other day, I'm so cemented in the idea of not participating in the cruelty. No more wishy-washiness, no more excuses. It's the way to be!

    ReplyDelete
  5. great post! i finally took the plunge and stopped eating meat about a year ago and i'm ready to try veganism. your post is really inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ew. Thank you for the link to carmine. Gross. I'm checking for that from now on.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm not a vegan but I enjoyed hearing your point of view on why you are. I'm curious to know if your boyfriend is also vegan and at what age you'll let Marlowe make her own decision in that area?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes, interested in whether or not Eric is vegan and if not, how do you deal with the eating thing. What about Marlowe? Are you going to raiser her vegan? I, too, am very grossed out by eating animals. it actually repulses me. I am pretty much vegetarian and I would be vegan...but I have severe food allergies. i am allergic to most nuts. Wondering what I would do to substitute the protein? Any suggestions about food allergies and veganism?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great post! I love the fact that you have great reasons and extensive research behind your choices. Although I am not a vegan, or even a vegetarian, I totally respect you and give you a lot of credit for fully sticking to what you believe in. Every single one of your Diet Water posts has been so interesting and inspiring. I really feel like I am learning something every time I read them, and it makes me want to learn even more about food, and what I am putting into my body. So thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. all I have to say, is you go girl. you have your head screwed on right and that's an amazing quality to have- you know what you want and how to go about it. <3

    ReplyDelete
  11. you chowing down on that star fruit (?) is the best part of this post.

    i love your convictions & discipline! <3

    ReplyDelete
  12. I tried to be a vegan and failed. I was lazy. But what meat (chicken only) and cheese I eat are local and hormone/cruelty free.

    I'm really in awe of anyone who lives out their beliefs in an authentic way. Bravo!

    Love this blog, adore your point of view!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yay Vegan! I have been vegetarian for 8 years and vegan for 3 and for all of the exact same reasons as you, and I have also never felt so wonderful! Thank you for the great post.

    I am curious though, a lot of these comments mentioned that meat repulsed them yet they continue to eat it. This baffles me, if it grosses you out, why do you eat it? It really is easy and wonderful to give up meat and other animal products. There are a ton of wonderful resources out there. The one book that helped me the most was Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant-Based Diet by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina. You can do it, and you will never look back!

    ReplyDelete
  14. We buy animal products from farmers that we know. Absolutely couldn't find anywhere that sold a lovingly tended, organic, humanely butchered and processed chicken for less than $15- that's when we knew we were going to raise our own.

    Just my personal opinion, but I think that if people are going to eat meat, they need to get neck deep in the process and if that is too much for them, then they need to not eat meat. The only way we could make sure that the meat we ate was treated like it should be was to raise it ourselves. <3

    Great post, lady!

    ReplyDelete
  15. i have to thank the other reader for mentioning 'earthlings'. i had never heard of it, so i went online to watch it. earthlings.com (the documentary in its entirety is there). i have watched many documentaries on factory farming, treatment of animals, etc. but never have i been so disgusted and furious as i have after watching earthlings. it touches on animal testing, zoos, circuses, factory farming, animal entertainment, and a few other things. some things i always knew were bad but never really had thought too much about.

    i have been a vegetarian for almost 10 years. i still eat dairy. however, after watching this video i feel that there is no possible way that i could continue to. i have never had a headache after watching something, but i have one now.

    everyone should watch it. also, your post the other day with jamie oliver, etc. was great. thanks for more additional resources to pass along to my non vegetarian friends and family.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am not vegan. I have no desire to become vegan, but I love these posts. I found you on Top Baby Blogs. And although I have no desire to become vegan or veg, I do not want my daughter {or myself or my husband} ingesting horrible chemicals that I know are put in all of this processed food.

    My #1 question that I have been thinking of all week {thanks to your blog} what kind of cheese can I buy for my daughter? What are your recommendations? {if any}

    Is switching to organic aisle in my grocery store really worth it?

    Thank you. Your blog and these posts really intrigue me.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Good for you! I've been vegetarian for almost 9 years and I've never looked back. My husband and I have thought about going vegan but I'm also addicted to cheese and we love eggs. I don't think we'll ever be completely vegan but we are making the conscious choice to eat WAY less cheese than normal. And we plan on getting chickens in the next year or so, so we'll know how they are treated and not question the labels on cartons in the store.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for writing this! I love your reasons and how it works for you. I would love to see more recipes and snack ideas for being vegan.
    I know I've mentioned it before--I'm a cheese addict!
    However, I know for a fact I am wiling to spend more money to buy local farm raised meats & cheeses.
    (my husband just couldn't do w/o his meat!)
    It all makes sense, and I would love to feel more energized and have great skin and keep a healthy body weight!
    You are really encouraging to me, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  19. You might enjoy my friend's blog

    http://ourveganpregnancy.blogspot.com/

    She also has some mighty cute babies!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I started reading your blog because there just aren't that many vegan mamas, at least, I don't know any. So while I love my meat and dairy eating friends, it was reassuring to me to find another mama not eating animals. I actually gave in a quit cheese when my daughter, who was nursing exclusively, showed signs of a milk allergy. My daughter is 19 months old, vegan, healthy and happy.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Do you think you could share what a shopping list looks like for you? One of my big set backs with taking the plunge is money... I just feel like the only time I can get good deals on veggies and fruits is when the sun is out and farmers markets are open again... I also just don't know what to shop for. Definitely looking forward to learn more from your posts!

    ReplyDelete
  22. i love this post too, and while i'm not vegan (i eat chicken & cheese) but am trying to limit that even more...anyway, i'm 14weeks pregnant & have cut out chicken & cheese for now just cause I don't even want them...but i'd love some ideas for some healthy, hearty snacks for a preggy mama!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Great post! I actually emailed you about this, but I too am a cheese-addict! I've now been a successful vegetarian for months (I've lost track exactly how long,) but am still working on the vegan thing. Once you start reading labels, OH MY GOD it's ridiculous. Did you know there's beef fat in Hostess cupcakes? SERIOUSLY?!?!

    And I love that quote about the inability to be an environmentalist and meat-eater at the same time. I've done a LOT of reading, and it's completely true. One statistic (from Jonathan Safran Foer's book "Eating Animals") said factory farming contributes to climate change 40% more than all transportation combined. That's just crazy.

    Looking forward to more of these :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Just found your blog and LOVE this post. I am a life long vegetarian but since having my baby (four months ago) am really thinking about going vegan. Agree with everything you said! xx

    ReplyDelete
  25. I know I am very late in commenting on this post but I just came across it! -I am just going vegan from a full blown meat eater - and the change in how I feel health-wise has been unreal!! (in only a couple of weeks) I have also found trying to figuring out food to eat very exciting! Aaanyways - I am glad I found your blog to encourage the change!! :) :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Drea :)
    I found your blog through abm and I absolutely loved this post! I became vegan a while ago after being a vegetarian for a few years. Best.choice.ever.
    xo
    Andrea

    ReplyDelete
  27. This post has really inspired me, I am a vegetarian and I have been wanting to make the transition to become a vegan but I don't know what is stopping me! I also LOVE cheese and want it with every meal..the fact that you did too and stopped eating it is a huge motivator.

    ReplyDelete
  28. This post is amazing. I'm mostly vegan and am in the process of switching back to being completely vegan. When my husband, friends, or anyone else asks why I do it, I'll be directing them to your perfect explanation. Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I realize that I am incredibly late jumping on the bandwagon here, but I just discovered your blog and find you incredibly inspiring. I'm currently a pescatarian but debating heavily becoming vegan. I find I share an incredible amount of similar thoughts on meat/chemicals/etc. and your blog may just be the kick in the bum I need to finally switch to a vegan lifestyle. I will definitely be reading your veganism posts in the next few days and can't wait to start this new phase of my life!

    Thank you for posting!

    ReplyDelete