Give up all food that contains any type of animal products in it? No thank you.
Say goodbye to my other loves: meat, cheese, and sushi? No deal.
In many ways, I agree with Anthony Bourdain (No Reservations show host). I believe that some of the most amazing things I’ve ever tasted have come from all things anti-vegan.
And then I saw this movie (thanks to Michelle):
After seeing this movie I’m now singing a new tune: “Why not?”.
What if I told you that just by changing what you ate, you could not only lose weight, but effectively battle diabetes, fatigue, lower your blood pressure, fight heart disease, and more importantly, save your life by actually reversing many of these diseases.
Wouldn’t you say, “why not?”
The only answers I could give myself was:
1. “It won’t taste as good.”
First of all, I don’t think that getting pleasure from eating is a bad thing. However, a lot of the things that people enjoy are purely unhealthy and worst of all, we know it. We know that fried food, soda, sugar, mayo, fat, etc. – yeah, all the “good” stuff- isn’t that good for you at all. We don’t just eat these things on special, rare occasions, we find ourselves consuming these things on a daily basis. You’re probably like me. You don’t just like this kind of food, you CRAVE it.
I’ll have to admit, I wasn’t keen on the whole plant-based diet thing because I didn’t think it would taste good. I tried comparing veggie burgers to beef patties, tofu to chicken and it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) taste the same. That was one of the issues, trying to find plant-based food that substituted and tasted the same as animal based food. You might get lucky, but most of the time, it just tastes different. So the best way to enjoy plant-base food is to learn how to make different, but still very tasty things.
2. “I can’t find anything that doesn’t have animal products in it.”
This really blew my mind: we don’t realize how much food is made from animal products and chemicals. It’s kind of a scary thought. Even if you cut out meat in your diet and tried the vegetarian thing, chances are you would still be consuming animal products and highly processed foods. Take a look at any food packaging in your kitchen. You’ll find lots of it has some sort of animal product in it or a long list of mysterious ingredients you can’t pronounce. Some people have easier access to plant-based, whole foods. Here in Portland it’s pretty easy to find lots of different kinds of plant-base products. Elsewhere in the country where there isn’t much demand, good luck.
And how to cook without butter or milk? Thankfully those vegans know. Apparently there’s a lot of people all over the world that have known this crazy wonderful tip about plant-based eating for many, many years. Folk who have lived longer because of it. I didn’t realize how much literature and resources actually existed about the subject. I was unaware because it is very rare to see any commercials on TV or online advertising plant-base food. Apparently it’s not sexy enough. Or maybe there are companies and politicians who don’t want Americans to hear a different story. They hope we continue lifestyles that have lead to increases in obesity, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
So will I turn a new chapter in my life and become a full fledged Vegan? Probably not. Truthfully, I don’t see the majority of people doing it either.
However, after watching this movie, talking to awesome friends that are vegan, trying and enjoying whole, plant-based food, and seeing on a daily basis how bad food is ruining good lives, Michelle and I are committed to being more intentional about what we eat and how much we eat.
So “why not?”
If you’ve ever considered it even just a little bit, why not give yourself three months to try something different that could potentially save your life? If after three months you see no changes to your health, go back to what you were doing. I would like someone to try and disprove the notion that a plant-based diet can positively change someone’s life. If you ever need extra support, Michelle and I will join you in your challenge.
I still think vegans are crazy. But if crazy means that it might just save my life, then call me crazy too.