Connect with vegetarian and vegan friends from all over the world.
I have shared some very interesting posts with several people here. It has been enlightening and confusing as well. Being married to a vegetarian (mostly vegan), and having a daughter that has been a vegetarian for over ten years, it has taken some time before I decided to do something about how I eat, about a year ago. The date specific is Oct. 16, 2011 when my wife shared a wonderful video by Dr. Joel Fuhrman that was videoed at the Vegan Conference in Hawaii in 2003. What changed my life by Dr. Fuhrman was that if you ate a plant based diet, you could not only stop heart disease, diabetes and cancer, but in many cases reverse it as well. Secondly, he mentioned that on a plant-based diet you could eat as much as you want and lose weight. I decided to give it a try and went cold turkey, (no turkeys were harmed, injured or eaten in this endeavor). In two months, I dropped by blood pressure from 144/100 to 122/84 and lost 30 pounds. Next week is my annual physical, where last my cholesterol was over 200. I expect it will be much better.
Because being out with friends so much, and all the parties, needless to say I allowed myself the luxury of eating cheese, breads, desserts, etc., not in abundance, but enough that I put on 16 pounds. Since the first of the year, I have gone back to a plant-based diet where I feel so much better an have lost 7 of those 16 pounds.
As I have done so much research, and have looked at data from doctors, nutritions, the web, you name it, I have become convinced that too many people are opting for what seems to me to be thinking they are doing good, while all along doing themselves so much harm. We use the terms vegan and vegetarian as if it really means something. Okay, we know that neither eats meat and the reasons vary from the poor treatment of animals to one's health. Both lofty and excellent causes. However, though taking care of animals is very important and I agree we should not eat them, what concerns me is what we do eat rather than what we don't eat.
I cannot speak for the rest of the world where many of you live, but here in the US we have become a gluttonous people. There are supermarkets/grocery stores everywhere stocked to the hilt with anything and everything you can stuff your face with. The produce is marginal, though organic is better, but most is shipped in meaning it is usually a week off the vine before we can even look at it. The shelves are full of processed foods that are linked to cancer and diabetes. A third of our nation is now considered obese and our children for he first time in generations are not expected to live as long as their parents, in other words their life expectancy is going to be less.
My purpose of my post is NOT to criticize anyone. I respect the right of everyone to make their own choices. However, that being said, as in my case, it took education for me to see the error of my ways. I ate lots of meat for 55 years. I am interested in hearing what others here feel is their reason/cause for their dietary lifestyle. If you care about the lives of innocent animals, why are we not putting that same effort into caring about human beings? Diabetes and Children's diabetes are both modern ailments.
So, I will ask this...what is your motivation? Why are you a vegetarian and not a vegan? Why are you a vegan but don't eat just a plant based diet? If you are either, do you eat the "junk" as well; the cookies, cakes, candy, chips, and many processed foods? I am one of those all or nothing type of people, so my perspective comes from how I must do things, but I am interested in the motivation of others. I, in my posts here will advocate a plant-based diet. It means I limit myself to fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds. You'd be surprised how much variety is in that. A plant based diet means no processed foods. Very limited breads, no dairy of any kind. No eggs. It is extreme for many but to me so is having your chest cut open for surgery.
I am interested in your thoughts, but don't be defensive. You have the right to do what you want. I want to understand how people view their dietary decision and what motivates them.
Thank you for your time in reading this post. :)