It’s been brewing in my mind for a little while now. It always scared me a little and I didn’t think it was possible for me. I’d seen a website that spoke to the truth of this matter but I was not ready to face the facts until now.
Last month all that changed. I’m talking about eating meat and consuming dairy products. I know it’s taboo to bring this up but I’m taking a leap of faith. It all happened when I watched Vegucated on Netflix. The description seemed innocent enough: In this documentary, three meat-and cheese-loving New Yorkers agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. Lured with true tales of weight lost and health regained, they begin to uncover the hidden sides of animal agriculture.
Sounds interesting right? I thought so. I got a lot more than I bargained for. What I got was food for thought. It was funny, informative, entertaining, eye-opening and as it turns out… life changing. After seeing it, I could not stop thinking about all that I had learned:
- about the treatment of farm animals (including ORGANIC farms, oh yes!)
- about the benefits of a plant-based diet. How does lowered risks of cancer and heart disease sound? Having lost one parent to each, it sounds pretty great to me.
- that the meat industry is one of the most significant contributors to environmental problems
- about how easy it can be to make changes to one’s diet after the initial period of change.
and more but hey! I was also trying to relax and enjoy the documentary
Most importantly, I found out that after taking in that information and those images of harsh treatment that is the daily business of the meat industry, I had lost the desire to eat meat.
On the first day of the rest of my life, I prepared the Ridiculously Easy Single-Serving Lunchbox Enchilada Casserole from the Getvegucated website. It was really yummy! My husband, my toddler and I loved it. I was off to a good start.
My goal? Cut out all meat, fish, cheese, eggs and milk from my diet and substitute them with healthy, cruelty-free alternatives. After much consideration, I decided that I will allow myself creamer for my coffee for the time being. I love coffee and the substitutes that I have found contain corn syrup and a lot of other unhealthy ingredients. If anyone knows a healthy, delicious substitute please let me know. I will also attempt to avoid milk and eggs as an ingredient in foods but will not go crazy over this. I am going to give myself a bit of leeway. This is a huge change but I feel nothing but motivation. It’s has been just over a month now and it has been really easy. I feel fortunate that information on maintaining good health sans meat and dairy is so readily available on the internet. There are also recipes and meal ideas galore.
Here’s a fun link, where you can pledge to veg, get lots of helpful tips and find out about famous vegetarians from the past and present: click here
Want to learn more: here’s what the head of the United Nation’s Nobel Prize-winning scientific panel on climate change, economist Rajendra Pachauri had to say about it. “Please eat less meat — meat is a very carbon intensive commodity,” he said, adding that consuming large quantities was also bad for one’s health.
More info on livestock and its effects on our planet here in the United Nation’s Report
Here are some easy changes that can be made to make an impact:
Try avoiding meat on a certain day, at certains meals each day or having it on weekends only. Even just reducing the portion size of meat and filling up on healthy vegetables and whole grains like brown rice or quinoa translates into lives saved.
More Great Documentaries on the food industry:
Ted Talks – Chew on this (currently on Netflix)
Hungry for Change