Why vegans do not eat animal products. The vegan eat grains, vegetables, fruits and plant-based foods. They choose to become vegetarians for: (1) their health. A balanced vegan diet (also referred to as a ‘plant-based diet’) meets many current healthy eating recommendations such as eating more fruit, vegetables and whole grains and consuming less cholesterol and saturated fat. Balanced vegan diets are often rich in vitamins, antioxidants and fiber and can decrease the chances of suffering from diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers. Well-planned plant-based diets are suitable for all age groups and stages of life (Natural News, 2011), (2) the environment, raising cattle requires massive amounts of water that could be used elsewhere; more than that, though, the amount of grain grown to feed cattle could be used to feed starving nations. According to The Vegan Society, more than one-third of the grain grown worldwide is fed to animals. Imagine how many people those grains could feed (Natural News, 2011), (3) their conscience and ethics is “reverence for life”, and (4) the global community.
I am amazed how meat is important to American cultures. I do believe that everyone should eat some meat as a source of protein, but we eat too much. Americans would rather eat much more meat than fruits and veggies not understand the importance of eating a well-balanced nutrient-rich meal.
In 1996, I decided to take all the meat out the diet. I was raising family (homeschooling mom) I wanted a better way of eating so I took the meat off their plate. I spent lots of time educating myself on the benefits of eating better and eating a meatless diet. Around the dinner table I would bring the topic to my husband and my four daughters. I would share the health concerns and the benefits. Sometimes they were okay about the idea, most times they were not. I was a mom on a mission to better my families’ eating. When, we made the decision, I gradually started to minimize the meat from the meals. I got them involved by taking them to Whole foods Market (use to be called Fresh Fields Market) and letting them pick out healthy substitutes. I also grew a small garden. It took some time, but eventually we were meatless. I had changed the whole diet/meal plan. From full of meat to no meat at all and there were times where they fussed about it. Meat eaters will bite back when you take their meat from them. Lol! I saw great improvement in my young teenagers skin, their thought patterns improved, their energy levels were good, there was no overweight gain, they were not sluggish, and they were rarely sick. My girls are all grown up now, with healthy children of their own and a practice that will stay with them forever, even if they fall away. They know what it is to eat healthy and will pass this down through the generations. I believe that most nutritional deficiencies are not genetic they are generational. If we teach our children how to eat health then our generations will be healthier.
Today, I still practice no meat, however every once in a while I will eat a piece of wild caught Salmon. Most times I will go for months at a time with no fish in my diet but will substitute my protein with a plant based protein, like grains and beans, nuts and eggs. When I was a young girl, I was having a difficult time digesting milk and especially beef. I was raised with heavy meat eaters and there was lots of meat at every meal, every event on every plate. Growing up, I really did not like meat and came to find out later in my adults years through my studies, that being Blood type A gave me the reason why. I am the agrarian (related to land) type, blood type A–which do not do well with animal protein especial beef, lamb and other red meats or dairy. This meant that what I consume should be not only whole and unprocessed, but mainly those foods that grow out of the earth. Everything else eaten outside of this is very stressful to the Blood type A. Eating, poultry, eggs is our best choice especially fish because of the essential fatty acid which reduces the risks of heart disease for my blood type. The Blood Type A system is compatible with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, which it uses in large quantities to balance protein, beans and grains so the proper acid/alkaline balance is maintained. The Blood type A has a difficult time with protein digestion. No wonder, I did not favor eating meat when I was young.
I did practice being a vegan for about a year. It was a challenge. Being a vegan means that you also advocate for animal rights and your environment should support that idea. If I was alone doing this practice, it would have been a little easier. Practicing Vegan is a true lifestyle. However, I was raising family at the time and I had to consider the all the leather, possible animal by-products and everything else made with animal in my close environment. So I gave in. Today, and for about 25 years, I’ve enjoy being a practicing vegetarian.
Dimensions of Cultural (2010), Cross-Cultural Communications for Health Professionals, retrieved from http://www.dimensionsofculture.com
NaturalNews.com (2011.) Retrieved from http://www.naturalnews.com/030890_vegetarian_reasons.html#ixzz2OnuMZYqS
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Written by Dr. Michelle Butler