On Being Vegan

It seems to cause some confusion when i tell people that i’m ‘essentially vegan’. The reality of the situation is a little simpler…

For many years, roughly approximating to the initial outbreak of BSE in England, i’ve avoided eating meat. Initially (twenty plus years ago) this meant red meat (beef, pork, lamb), but over time (the last fifteen years) has expanded to include all animal meats. The last to go has been fish, and that’s really because it has never effected me in the same way as other animal products… and to some extent shellfish and some fish still doesn’t.

While it’s possible for me to say that my initial reaction to learning about the conditions under which livestock were being reared disgusted me, that disgust was really more to do with the unnatural aspects of feeding sheep to cows, than the sheer inhumanity of the treatment. Over the years this feeling has been replaced with a simpler feeling of not appreciating the smell of cooked meat, and a genuine nausea if i make the mistake of ingesting any.

For the last couple of years i’ve made an effort to change my ever deteriorating blood chemistry: weight gain, high cholesterol, puric acid, glosose, all trending to unacceptable levels. Rather than take a bunch of drugs to address these issues i chose to change my diet. What has worked for me, and that isn’t a recommendation or guarantee that it’ll work for you, is becoming increasingly strict as a vegan.

The more that i stick to a plant based diet, the healthier i feel. It also tends to give me higher energy levels, improve my sleep, and stabilise my moods. Obviously these are somewhat subjective measures, but at this point i’m no longer prepared to go back to a more ‘mixed diet’ in order to make a genuine comparison.

Just for the record, one of the other aspects of my diet that has changed is that i now eat a lot less grain, meaning less bread, and in general, less carbohydrates. The more leafy greens that i eat the better i feel.

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7 thoughts on “On Being Vegan

  1. Food is a complex combination of chemicals which alter the chemicals in your head, affecting more than just physiological makeup, but also mood and energy level. I have a demure female Asian friend who has always been a sprightly sort of 95 pound pixie, writing poetry and talking about spirit animals and whenever she says she needs grounding she orders the biggest steak she can, and then gets to work on something concrete, like carpentry, I dunno. If that’s placebo, then what isn’t? what is real Jon!? What???

  2. Good for you. One of the biggest environmental problems is the production of animal products (not to mention the poor conditions, of course) for human consumption. I cut way down on meat many years ago. The stuff made me feel heavy. I eat small amounts of meat and fish now, but very little sugar (which is a drug) and zero dairy (which is just disgusting). A good source of info on nutrition and the politics of health is here:

    http://www.garynull.com/
    http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-gary-null-show-wnye/

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