More and more people are consciously making the decision towards a plant-based diet and therefore against consuming any kind of animal products. If you aren’t aware of the reasons for a vegan diet, this nutrition and lifestyle may sound a little radical to you at first glance. On the other hand, there is no way past the facts and the increasing popularity of veganism. For me personally and honestly, it has become the most normal and natural thing on earth.
„The best kind of meat is still fruit flesh.”
(Prof. Andreas Michalsen)
This article is not intended to moralise or point fingers at those who do not share my opinion. I made this personal decision in autumn 2013 to shift my life to a more sustainable lifestyle. A decision that enriched my life in many ways. As this blog is intended to share with you my experiences, my knowledge and opinion on health, well-being and consciousness, the vegan lifestyle numbers among my topics.
The numerous reasons for shifting one’s nutrition and life towards veganism, my personal journey, the fact that veganism is not a passing fad and my view on the future regarding nutrition and lifestyle – all these questions are answered in my newest article, below!
„Nothing on this world is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”
(Alexander von Humboldt)
~ Out of respect and love for life ~
Does this scenario sound familiar to you? – everything starts with a conversation, an article, a book or a film; you will start paying attention to one particular topic; your thoughts are stuck to a specific “incident”. You start educating yourself, exchanging with sympathisers and questioning your previous behaviour.
„Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.“
That’s exactly how my story began. Conversations, and especially one book that changed my life considerably: Peace food by Rüdiger Dahlke.
Although the author emphasises his health-related views on the published China Study, the health aspects of veganism were not primary focus at first. It rather was the consciousness for the suffering and harm that animals are enduring, the awareness of the rigorous destruction of our green planet, all to provide us with animal products, which led me to this lifestyle.
„The greatness of a nation and its moral progress
can be judged by the way its animals are treated.“
With the deeply emotional book, titled “Why we love dogs, eat pigs and wear cows”, Melanie Joy went the extra mile and affirmed strongly my decision on an even deeper level. The social psychologist describes a phenomenon of the behaviour from our society and names the fact of eating animals “carnism.” An untouchable, but at the same time dangerous ideology in which we were forced into. In the hope that nobody scrutinises these routine behaviours, which are widely accepted and celebrated. M. Joy explains how as new-borns, our intuitive ethical attitude becomes radically displaced by these untenable, but strongly manifested patterns of thinking and acting.
„I am life that wants to live, in the midst of life that wants to live.”
To put it straight: it’s about killing animals. More than that, it is about the imprisonment, breeding and the exploitation of cows, steers, pigs, chicks, etc. that in fact has nothing to do with respecting their lives. To impregnate cows non-stop in order to produce and reach the prescribed amounts of milk and dairy products, like cheese, cream, yogurt; to wrench the calves from the mother cow and force-feed them, killing them and selling their flesh – I can’t and don’t want to support this (anymore). To shredder or gas male chicks because of their biological inability to lay eggs, to use female chicks as planters for the industrial egg production and to shorten their beaks, I can’t accept all this anymore.
„What do we expect from a religion,
if we exclude the commiserate with the animals?”
~ No clean environment = No life! ~
Our planet can exist without us human beings, that’s for sure. On the contrary, we depend on planet earth to live. But what’s the connection between the consumption of animal products and environmentalism? Countless reasons, I would say.
„In Nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it, and over it..“
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
In order to feed or fatten the animals, enormous amounts of (plant) resources and water are used. If these plant resources went directly into our diets instead of being used for animal agriculture, the global population would have an abundance of food available, unlike the current circumstances. The so-called “feed-rate” is the amount of energy that gets lost through the animal metabolism. According to estimates (FAO), 70% of the worldwide available freshwater flows into farming, especially into the domestication of animals.
In order to produce these immense amounts of animal feed for factory farming in the western civilised countries, jungles and especially the Brazilians rainforest, are subject to deforestation. This does not only lead to a depletion of biodiversity; as a result, we are also losing the most essential and efficient storage of carbon dioxide – the “green lungs” of our planet. Deforestation releases climate-active gases into the atmosphere and promotes the greenhouse effect. Moreover, the deforestation of the rainforest for planting soy has nothing to do with the piece of tofu on our plate, as most have been forced to believe, but rather with the massive production of fodder for animal farming in Western countries.
Factory farming also leads to a massive release of the most climate-damaging gas; methane (CH4), which is at least 25 times more climate-damaging than carbon dioxide. The amount of slurry, animal excretions, burden and pollute the ground, freshwater and air. Least to say the residues of antibiotic, hormone and pollutants to which animals are unwillingly exposed to.
~ Health, well-being and mindset ~
My primary motives to transition into a plant-based diet had very little to do with the health aspects at first. It was through my studies in Nutritional Science that I began to acquire an in-depth understanding of the scientific benefits and health-related aspects of a vegan diet. As mentioned in the beginning: the book “Peace food” by R. Dahlke brought very clearly the results of the China study to the public. With time I came to realise that it wasn’t just a study in China, but rather multiple studies and publications across the world that advocated the health benefits of a vegan diet. Evidence exists that diseases such as atherosclerosis and diabetes can be reversed through changes in diet. The documentation “fork over knives” provides more background information on this topic.
„So I am living without fats, without meat, without fish, but am feeling quite well this way.
It always seems to me that man was not born to be a carnivore.”
Theory is one thing, experience a different; isn’t it? For me personally, my first steps into a vegan lifestyle came with an abundance of positive experiences and left me thriving with energy and content. It felt like I had found my own right kind of “nutrition”; even if it’s variety was not known to me at that point of time.
Of course, “vegan” does not always mean healthy – nevertheless, that applies after all to every form of nutrition. However, I have never quite been the fast-food addict myself, although allowing myself a vegan snack every now and then was an important part of my transition. Yet in general, eating whole, plant-based foods has always been a solid basis of my transition and my current diet.
I must admit, I have tried my way through all forms of a vegan diet, starting with the 80/10/10 raw foods, starch solution, raw till 4, paleo, etc. With time, I found that a primarily raw-foods diet was the right form of nutrition for me. Fresh, raw fruits and vegetables make me feel my best! Already at this point of time, I was fascinated about the idea of experiencing your own and unique journey on a vegan lifestyle, forging your opinions and finding those food groups that your body “desires.” What works best for me must not necessarily be what works best for you. This is where individuality comes to play.
„I’m a vegetarian, that benefits me.
I’m more alert and mentally more flexible as long as I pay attention to what I eat.
The transition into a vegan diet has not only changed and improved my physical well-being, my concentration, performance and therefore my general prosperity; veganism has also touched me on a mental and spiritual level. I believe that this was due to me questioning and reflecting on the old-established eating habits and behaviours, which we all have been taught to perceive as normal all our lives. On the other hand, this spiritual and mental epiphany could also be connected to the foods that we put into our body. My awareness and the perspective on life became a lot more focused, clearer, yet also more relaxed. Things that I previously used to believe were “the end of the world” , I am now able to handle more composed and solution-focused. The more raw foods I add in my diet, the deeper my perception of the world is.
Especially my relationship with nature and animals became deeper; nowadays, I feel like a part of the whole, a part of this huge “homeland” we call earth. The sun, the countryside, fresh air – such important parts of my life…
My sense of life,
my approach to life and obstacles
have changed within the last years sustainably
– to the better.
~ Future Food ~
What’s my personal view on nutrition in the near or far future? This much is certain: our current situation has no future. It’s about time to to rethink , to question..it is time for us to wake up and become aware of the drastic consequences our life- and diet choices have on the earth.
„The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”
I think … actually, I’m pretty sure that we are ready for this shift in our mindset. When we change our thoughts from lack towards abundance, our greed to “consume more and more” decreases. Consuming less already means less production, less suffering, less pollution, less disease.
In the long run, I think the plant-based diet can and will dominate. After all, it’s the most ethical, ecological and health-beneficial diet. When such a shift will happen and when we can expect humans to thrive under a plant-based diet…this is a question I find myself pondering on too often.
~ Conclusion: Why vegan? ~
To conclude: What is the vegan lifestyle about? In my opinion, it is about respect, compassion and love; in fact for every single living being on this planet. Not only for animals. Also for humans. That’s why I never want to condemn or degrade someone, who doesn’t agree with my opinion. We are all on our own journey, we are learning and experiencing. Therefore, our exchange enriches each of us – you and me.
„Nothing will benefit health or increase chances of survival on earth as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
By experiencing first hand how a vegan lifestyle enriched my life, supported me on my health and mental journey, it means a lot to me to share this with the world. Even more so because of the necessary motives nowadays that induced many other people as well as myself to rethink our current situation.
What’s your view – are you already on your own nutritional journey? Have you already identified what’s beneficial for your body, what it requires and what not? Have you found a way that works for you and foods that give you physical and mental energy? And: what’s your opinion on the transition to veganism?
Have a wonderful day, everyone out there!
Lots of love & a warm hug,