Veganuary. Cool. I am vegan and it is January so I like the idea. The idea that for the month of January, you go vegan. The best part is that veganuary isn’t forever. It’s just 31 days. So it isn’t that hard.
Why would you ever give up steak , tho??
- Experiment. It’s exciting to move to veganism just to see all the foods that you can eat and make. You discover new foods that you’ve never heard of and may find your new favourite food. It forces creativity. To imagine new meals and cook them in a way to taste great.
- Health. Eating meat occasionally isn’t bad for you, no. Eating meat for 2/3 of your meals is. Too much protein and fat, in summary. Eating fruit and vegetables and grains adds a whole more variety of nutrients into your diet.
- Planet. This planet, which we live on is fighting a battle. Humans are killing it. You can argue that it is ‘natural’ but we will be part of a mass extinction, sped up by our own greed. It won’t be this generation, maybe not the next but every now and then this planet likes to push the reset button. Watch Before The Flood. Then watch what Netflix recommends once you’ve watched it and you’ll learn a whole lot.
- Animals. Some people don’t give a flying fuck about animals. Can’t empathize with something that isn’t human. That’s normal (I mean it probably is, my empathy scale doesn’t work because I feel everythiiing). But if you love animals and their fluffy faces then not eating meat for a month will save lives. Literally. Imagine that the meat man takes an order, yours won’t go through, so your pig gets set free and lives a long prosperous life. Not literally. But its a nice image.
But where does protein come from??
Let me debunk the protein myth in about 4 sentences. Americans eat 3-5 times MORE protein than they need. Crazy, hey? You only need to eat 40-70 grams of protein a day. Which you can easily find in a three bean chilli, for example. The table below shows veggies vs. meat. As always, vegetables kick ass.
Okay. But what about calcium?!
Adults need 1000mg of calcium per day. And, there is no denying that dairy does have the most calcium. However, dairy has its flaws which I will talk about later on. Let’s look at the list of top ten sources of calcium:
Four of these are not vegan. That means, statistically, 60% of calcium high foods are vegan. Awesome.
What is wrong with dairy??
What isn’t? You are drinking the breast milk of another animal. What on earth is natural about that. There are two reasons to avoid dairy, ethically and health wise. To kick off, lets look at the ethical side. Cows are mammals and much like humans they ONLY produce milk when they have a calf. So if you are drinking the cows milk what is the calf drinking? Think about it.
Health, lets do a mini biology lesson. Approximately 75% of the world is lactose intolerant, even that statistic shocked me. It’s a lot of people. In Asia 90% of the population are lactose intolerant. Isn’t that insane! Surely our bodies are trying to tell us something? This is because the body produces lactase to break down lactose, which is the sugar found in milk. As a baby your body produces lactase no problem, but it is when breast feeding stops that the body stops producing as much lactase. This is our body telling us that we do not need to consume milk. At least, that is how I interpret it.
What makes veganism so damn good?
By cutting out meat you have to replace it with something. Vegan diets replace this with more vegetables, more fiber, more magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C and E and iron. The vegan diet has less saturated fat, less cholesterol and unfortunately less omega 3 and B12 (which can be substituted by fortified cereals or tablets). Diets with a high intake of vegetables and fruit is said to reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. This can be seen in documentaries such as Vegucated, which can be found on Netflix.
You can read all of this in an article by W. Craig titled Health Effects of Vegan Diets (it is a pdf so I cannot add a link).
I can tell you anecdotally, that my skin has cleared up, my weight never goes up, when I eat a big meal I feel full, I never get bloated or feel sick from eating foods. I feel great within myself. Everyone is different and what works for me may not work for you,that I can understand. But trying things out is the only way to find out!
And I mean, it is just 31 days. Give it a go and see what you think! Let me know your opinions in the comments below, (be nice).