Before we break down exactly what you should eat for being a radiant, thriving manifestation of creative energy, I need to discuss some serious matter. Even though a vegan diet that excludes meat, fish, eggs and dairy, has become mainstream, most people on this planet consume animal products unconsciously.
There are three main reasons why you need to stop eating animal products: for your health, the animals and the environment. I’ll briefly cover these 3 topics, but I encourage you to do your own research by checking out the resources mentioned below.
It’s always tricky talking about nutrition and scientific studies as there is so many conflicting research. One week you read that eggs are unhealthy because they contain cholesterol, the other week you see a message that eggs are healthy because you need that cholesterol. People end up confused and going for the ‘moderation’ approach. A little bit of meat, a little bit of dairy.
I choose to get my food advice from medical doctors such as Dr. Michel Greger from nutritionfacts.org. I highly recommend checking these resources for yourself as I’m only scratching the surface of the matter in this part of my posts. Dr Greger recently wrote a book ‘How Not To Die’ and I’ll be paraphrasing most of the information from this book.
To put it as simple and straight as possible: a plant-based diet has been proven over and over to be the BEST way to reduce the chances of getting these diseases and even reversing these conditions.
That’s right, by only eating plants you can become healthy again after you’ve been diagnosed with:
- Coronary heart disease
- Lung disease
- Brain disease
- Digestive cancers
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Liver disease
- Blood cancer
- Breast cancer
- Kidney disease
- Suicidal depression
- Prostate cancer
The overall message is that by increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables, you cut down the odds of you getting these diseases. Eating animal products like meat, fish, cheese and eggs increase the likelihood of getting these diseases.
Reduce the amount of animal products in your diet and see if you notice any difference. Are you craving certain foods like cheese? How does that make you feel? Why are you attached to certain flavours and textures?
Animals are conscious beings who are capable of feeling basic emotions such as fear, happiness, pain, love. They have the same desire as us to live, thrive, socialise and play. As mentioned earlier, we would be so much better off without animal products, so why are we eating them?
There are 4 reasons:
- Habit: you’re used to eating certain meals with cheese, meat or fish.
- Tradition: your family always ate animal products, so you do to.
- Taste: you like the taste of animal products.
- Comfort: it’s easier to get a sandwich with cheese than with hummus (at this moment 😉 )
Habit, tradition, taste and comfort are no reasons to justify the killing of living, conscious beings on a mass scale in the Western world. If you are reading this, you have access to abundant, organic and high-quality plant-based foods.
You’re not an eskimo living of whale meat or a castaway on a deserted island inhabited by (coincidentally) only animals.
Secondly, we only eat certain species of animals like cows, pigs and chickens. We don’t eat cats and dogs. This division is arbitrary. Many moral philosophers, like Stijn Bruers, agree ‘being conscious or sentient’ is a good criteria to decide how to treat beings. Not race or species.
“The question is not can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But can they suffer?” (Bentham, J. 1789. An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. Chapter xvii.)
If you want to know more about animal rights, please check out:
Moral philosopher Stijn Breurs books and website: Stijnbruers.wordpress.com
Donaldson, S., & Kymlicka, W. (2011). Zoopolis: a political theory of animal rights
Think about why you eat animal products. Do you do it because you like the taste? Because it’s a habit?
The environmental impact of breeding, growing and keeping farm animals is massive. Think about it.
First of all you need a farm to keep cows for instance. Forest will be cut down to build a large- scale farm to keep thousands of animals. Then you need food to grow the cows big. Again, (rain) forest will be cut down to grow grains and soy to feed animals. Keep in mind that cows are big animals that need a a lot of food.
All that food makes cows thirsty! Animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually. It’s hard to imagine the amount of water needed to raise cows.
Please check out the documentary Cowspiracy if you want to see the whole process.
Cows produce methane gas (or let’s not beat around the bush, they fart). Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes to the warming of the earth. While we’re on the subject of excretions, cows also poo and this waste gets dumped in our water and on our land.
Repeat this process for a couple of months to a year, until the animal is a finally big enough to be killed. It will be transported in a truck, which causes a lot of stress to the animals to the slaughterhouse where it will die after living a live in a dark factory farm.
This is a lot of work to produce a piece of meat that will make people sick in the end, isn’t it? Compare this to fruits and vegetables. You need less space and water to grow plant-foods and plants even purify the air.
And before you get started about cheese, cheese is made from cow milk and dairy cows have an even worst life. They have to get pregnant over and over in order to produce milk (just like humans). Every time they give birth their calf is removed. If it’s a girl, she’ll have the same faith as her mother, if it’s a boy, the calf will go to the slaughter house. When the cow doesn’t produce milk anymore, she also goes to the slaughter house to be turned into steak. These animals live a bit longer, but again you need a lot of water and food to allow these animals to produce milk for humans (which is actually food for baby calfs).
Again, this is a very simplistic and basic way of describing the environmental impact on animal agriculture and I recommend to watch Cowspiracy to know more.
Take an animal product you like to eat and research how it’s produced. Look up everything from what animal it comes from, how it’s made, how it’s packaged and how it ends up in the supermarket. How does that make you feel?
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In this seven part blog series I’ll reveal:
- How to eat consciously, intuitively and mindfully
- How to stop binging
- How to achieve sustainable weight loss
- How to switch to a healthy plant-based diet
- How to fast in a healthy and effortless way
- How to deal with the emotions that come up when switching to a conscious diet
- What to do after a binge eating episode