Plant-Based Series #2
Reasons why I stopped eating meat and most animal products and what has been happening since then
I wrote the first part of this series yesterday after watching a documentary called ‘Dominion’, you can check that our here.
I still get asked WHY I suddenly went vegetarian/plant-based after two decades of eating everything without second thoughts, so here are some of my reasons:
Cutting out meat and most animal products is a sure way to stop supporting the needless suffering of sentient beings. Period.
I no longer wanted to be a part of such cruelty and I couldn’t justify my food choices any longer, knowing what was potentially going on behind closed doors of farms and slaughterhouses.
Animal agriculture is the single most biggest threat to our planet.
We’re depleting our land, poisoning our air and overfishing our oceans. Not cool.
Even by just reducing your meat and dairy consumption you are significantly lowering your environmental footprint and doing a good thing for the only planet we have.
Antibiotics, hormones, dirt and feces, artificial supplements, cheap and genetically modified crops to feed the billions of animals in factory farms all over the world… all of it ends up in the meat/dairy/eggs/fish we consume and can be a threat to our own health.
I changed my diet completely after doing extensive research on cancer (due to some cases in my family) and was shocked to see the links between the consumption of animal products and the increasing risk of various auto-immune and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity and most cancers.
(See TED talk below. There are also hundreds of studies on that topic, I recommend you to do your own research if you are in doubt and want to know more!)
Whilst I think that nutritionally some animal products could be healthy, the circumstances under which they are largely sourced these days DOES NOT guarantee good quality and nutritional value anymore.
Unfortunately, I believe they can make us more sick than keep us healthy.
I personally have never felt better than I do now, on this diet.
This concludes my main reasons for changing my diet and lifestyle and now I’d like to go into some of the changes and improvements I have noticed since then.
A few benefits that I have noticed over the last year on a plant-based diet are:
I hardly get break-outs anymore and my skin used to be so bad. The skin on my body is softer and less dry. I think I look fresher and the overall texture of my skin is better and more glowy.
Here is a little before and after picture of my skin now vs. a little over a year ago. A more in-depth post about my skin journey and what exactly I did/do now to detox and clear my skin is coming shortly! This is just to give you an idea.
(The pictures on the right are definitely not the worst ones yet this still isn’t easy for me to share. I felt so helpless and uncomfortable in my own skin and looking at the picture today I can’t even believe this was me! I know so many people struggle with acne so I will do everything I can to share what helped me and what I learned in a separate post so maybe it can benefit you as well!)
- Overall health/immune system
I used to have allergies, constant stomach pains and cramps, painful periods, frequent sinusitis and tonsilitis, congestion and get colds at least a few times a year and I now I can’t even remember the last time I was sick.
On top of eating plant-based whole foods, I avoid western medicine or pain killers and treat myself with natural remedies as much as possible and like I said, I have never felt better/healthier!
Okay, maybe this is a weird one but I gotta say it, I just feel cleaner and lighter since I stopped eating meat and most animal products.
My hair looks better and I don’t have to wash it as often, my skin is less oily and even after two long-haul flights or 2h of exercise and sweating I don’t feel completely smelly and disgusting as I used to haha, you know what I mean!
Animal products contain more bacteria than plants obviously, are more acidic and can raise inflammation and toxicity in the body. So, basically the more alkaline and fresh produce you eat, the cleaner and healthier you’ll feel, I promise! (That includes cutting out most processed foods though, no matter if they are plant or animal based, they are still full of crap.)
- ENERGY LEVELS!!!!!!!
This one changed my life completely.
I used to be so goddamn tired and had huge energy drops all the time and I feel like a different person now!
I wake up in the morning and have energy, even if I haven’t slept too much, my vitality stays rather consistent throughout the day and in case it does drop, I will have some fruit or a smoothie and I’m good to go again.
Think about food as fuel.
Are you feeding your body vitamins, fiber, colour and life or something energetically dead that contains bacteria, potentially toxins, hormones, high levels of fat, cholesterol and who knows which other nasties they feed the animals before slaughter so they can grow as much as possible in the shortest amount of time…
All I can say is that the energetic difference in the food I was eating directly impacted my energy levels severely.
My tip for you is to first become more AWARE of how certain food makes you feel.
After a meal do you feel energized, good and healthy or do you feel tired, heavy and like you need a nap to digest what you just ate?
- Mental Health
What do you mean Mental Health?
Well, those energy drops I just mentioned were not only of physical nature.
I used to feel really low, depressed, empty and sad a lot and had struggles with my mental well-being, I wrote about this before.
I am a highly sensitive and quite emotional person and experienced a lot of anxiety, nervousness, stress and pain in the past.
Now, I know that the reason I am much better now is not only related to my diet but it really played a huuuuuge huge part.
In combination with therapy, mindfulness and yoga, writing, creativity and exercise, the change of my diet lead to a shift in my whole life.
I feel so much calmer, less stressed, angry, depressed and just BETTER overall.
I feel like myself and I feel good about who I am, better than ever.
I know now, that the majority of what I put inside of my body hasn’t caused sentient beings suffering and thus will be better for myself and the world around me and that fact alone brings me peace.
I know, I am feeding my soul and body foods that are good for me.
Nutritious, healthy and delicious. I love food so I could never follow a diet I don’t like!
And, contrary to popular believe, I don’t only eat vegetables or salads haha.
This one is kind of connected to the mental health aspect but goes past that and leads us into spirituality.
Some of you might shake your heads and laugh now (that’s okay, I would’ve done the same even just a few years ago but things changed a lot since then…) but I consider myself a spiritual person and I have done for a while now.
I went to Meditation Retreats and workshops and learned a lot about Buddhism and a huge part of that religion and (for lack of a better term) what I call the ‘Spiritual World’ is the abstinence from killing animals (and humans of course) and consuming animal products.
A key value is respecting, caring for and showing compassion for ALL sentient beings, in order to live a good and ethical life.
The idea of that really resonated with me and I have always cared a lot about the world, environment, animals and their well-being, so for me it was only logical that I needed to align my actions with my morals and practice what I preach.
It also seemed illogical to me that I loved my dog so much and would never want any harm to be done to her and meanwhile I was eating chicken, turkey, beef and other animal products…
Why do we draw a line between pets and food?
Since I started to question how I was brought up and what I consumed and meanwhile started to learn more about spirituality, buddhism, meditation and yoga I started to feel this sense of connectedness, of union.
All of us, humans and animals have a desire to live but above all, the desire not to suffer.
We all bleed, we all have a mother, a face, intelligence and we all feel pain.
We. All. Feel. Pain.
No matter how ‘humanely’ an animal is kept before slaughter, IT STILL DOESN’T WANT TO DIE and there is NO WAY to kill and breed for killing whilst avoiding all suffering.
There is no way.
I think I have known for a long time that there were some issues in intensive livestock farming but I didn’t make the connection enough to change my diet and lifestyle until about a year ago after learning more about the energetic aspect of food, the connection to mental health, spirituality, the laws of karma and Buddhist values and in general about how to live a more conscious life.
I haven’t looked back since.
I like to feel good about how I eat and the life I lead.
I like to know that by consuming a certain way I am able to avoid harm and suffering.
I feel more in tune with myself, my environment, my body, I have a better relationship with the person I see in the mirror and my overall appearance.
I have found a lifestyle that suits what I carry within and all I can do is recommend you to start seeking out that sense of peace in your life, if you haven’t already.
Quitting meat and living in a more conscious and compassionate way will indefinitely change your life and your whole reality (for the better I think).
It will become more difficult to accept other people’s choices after you educate yourself and change your consumer behaviour, but always try to be open and come from an understanding place when starting conversations.
It’s hard not to get upset or angry.
It’s hard to believe how much suffering remains unknown or ignored for the sake of burgers and bacon.
But let us be patient with each other, this is a journey and not a sprint.
It took me years to break out of old habits and conditioning, change my diet, let my body and brain adapt to a different reality after 21 years of eating animal products EVERY DAY and being convinced there was nothing wrong with that.
All I can say is that now I am perfectly healthy and happy on a plant-based diet and I am still active, I workout, I eat out, I travel… and it’s all good.
I don’t think us modern, western-world humans really need to eat animal products anyways these days, there are so many vegan/veggie options and alternatives and I am happy to help anyone who doesn’t know where and how to start!
You don’t have to go vegan tomorrow or become and activist (I definitely didn’t do that), but just raise your awareness and maybe work towards eating a little less animal products, try out some new plant-based recipes/restaurants and simply see how you feel.
And let me know how it goes 🙂
Love, light and plants,