My Vegan Journey
Around the beginning of February 2017 I adopted a purely plant-based diet. There were a series of events which led me to Veganism and I thought I'd share them here for anyone else considering this journey.
Started getting interested, but it didn't seem right
I was mulling over Veganism late in December 2016, so I did some digging. I found this article on the health effects of a vegan diet: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/89/5/1627S.full. Basically it said that a vegan diet can lead to deficiencies in some nutrients like vitamins D and B12, Calcium, and Iron. They did say that you can take supplements to get around that issue, but that was enough for me to decide veganism wasn't right. I mean, how could it be right if you end up missing out on essential nutrients right?
Watched a documentary called 'Cowspiracy' on Netflix.
This was probably what got me into Veganism as a permanent change rather than just the odd vegan meal here and there. It has a lot of facts and figures which works well with my analytical mind. Kip Andersen & Keegan Kuhn produced this documentary. I found it really well done - it takes the viewer on a sort of journey of discovery. Kip wants to help the planet, but feels his riding and water saving shower head isn't doing enough. He hears some alarming figures about the water usage of animal agriculture, and decides to go in search of answers. He meets with all sorts of environmental groups, many of which are not very receptive to his message. This documentary was a real eye-opener. It's not so much about the animal-welfare aspect as it is about the environmental impact.
Followed up with a couple more food documentaries - I think Netflix officially knows I'm a vegan now!
I watched Forks over knives, which proposed the health benefits of a plant-based diet over a diet with animal-based and highly refined foods. It had some pretty convincing evidence to back up their claims. I began to really feel that this vegan diet was not only good for the planet, but also good for me too.
Then there was Food Choices which continued to beat the drum about the health benefits of a plant-based diet, and the detrimental effects of animal proteins.
I found Jack on YouTube. I loved his simple videos about life in the hills around Honduras on a raw-food diet. This one was really more for entertainment than anything. It was interesting to hear from someone who not only had embraced a vegan diet, but had taken it one step further by going raw.
I was starting to binge on these shows! I even watched Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead 2 by Joe Cross about his quest to lose weight and get off his medication with a 60 day juice fast. He did it, and also helped this trucker with a similar medical condition do the same. The trucker started out at over 400 pounds! And ended up under 200 pounds, impressive.
Finally, I came across Earthlings, oh boy
Earthlings appears to be an extremely confronting look at the way humans treat our fellow 'earthlings' - being any other inhabitants of planet earth. I watched the first seven minutes or so and quickly realised this was going to be extremely tough going, and possibly would leave me scarred! So I chickened out. I do think it's an important show to watch, I just need to build up to it. At this point I'm already well and truly on board with the vegan lifestyle, for it's personal health benefits, for the animal welfare aspect, and for the environmental impact, so there's no need for further convincing. The numbers are scary - 56 billion animals slaughtered each year according to Animal Equality. You see all sorts of gut-wrenching scenes in that show, and doing some light googling you quickly find many people say this was the show that made them re-assess their food choices.
So that's my journey so far. I hope you found it useful. Of course it's only a very small sub-section of the many amazing resource out there, so if you have any others, I'd love to hear about them.