Tuesday, May 25, 2010

First Four Weeks

Meat has become so important to us that we build all of our meals around it—it’s the main course and we eat it three times a day. It hasn’t always been like this though. Only in the last fifty years has meat become so in demand.

Although the leading health experts believe that going vegetarian is something we can do to better our lives as well as our families’ lives, we each still consume over two-hundred pounds of flesh per year. People wonder why we have so much more cancer, so many more cases of diabetes, more cases of heart disease and stroke, but they don’t correlate these issues with our diet. I’m ashamed of myself, even, for being so ignorant for my entire life.

Exactly four weeks ago, after much investigating, I decided to stop consuming all animal products. Health isn’t the only reason for my decision. The main reason was compassion. It has been much easier than I ever thought it would be. If I hadn’t done the research, and if I didn’t know how our meat is “grown,” it would have been very hard. After all, I was like the cheeseburger queen, and I loved my steak a little bit bloody. Just the thought of eating a steak now makes my stomach seize and makes me gag. Disgusting and wrong.

Compassion toward animals has bled into my compassion toward humans as well. Some of you know that people irritate me. Well, it seems that they don’t irritate me as much lately for some reason. I seem to have a bit of compassion for even the stupid and selfish humans. Very strange indeed. Compassion breeds more compassion. Violence breeds hate and more violence.

People have commented on my appearance. They say that I “look” healthier and want to know what has changed.

Without changing my exercise routine, I’ve lost eight pounds, which is usually impossible for me. All I did differently was cut animal products from my diet. In the next week, I plan on adding yoga, weight lifting and cardio to my life and hope to lose twenty more soon.

Pain is a heredity prerequisite of the women in my family. Although my pain hasn’t diminished completely, it has diminished enough to where I can work without my hands going numb. In the forthcoming weeks, months, and years, I look forward to it diminishing more.

Thanks to my dad, I’ve inherited his low blood pressure (along with his thinning hair—thanks Dad). Before I went vegetarian/vegan, my blood pressure was 119/80 – which is high for me. Today, my blood pressure is 104/70 – which is very normal for me. Yay!

The other day, as I drove to work, a number of cows were released from their pens at a dairy farm. It warmed my heart as I drove by and saw them "frolic" in the green field. I had never seen a cow frolic before. Perhaps I hadn't paid much attention before. Frolicking cows made me smile. I said to myself, "I'm so glad that I don't eat you."

Many of you will think this is just a bunch of “yadayadayada,” but I hope one or two of you will arm yourself with knowledge. Take your life into your own hands by learning about your food. Food is truly medicine and you are indeed what you eat.

If you choose to consume animal products, please do so responsibly. Buy cruelty free, locally raised, organic and free range animals.

Here is a great article with lots of information from the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/weekinreview/27bittman.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

And another article about the health benefits for going vegan:

HTTP://WWW.GOVEG.COM/HEALTHCONCERNS.ASP

And if you only follow the latest trends, here is a list of a few celebrities that are vegetarian and beautiful (which includes Brad Pitt):

http://www.happycow.net/famous_vegetarians.html

Want to read a book or watch a movie?

"Fast Food Nation" and "Food Inc." will get you started.

Be wise, be loving, and be compassionate. As I tell many of my clients who refuse to care for themselves, "Do whatever you want with your body. But remember, you only get one, and they don't sell spare parts."

Angela