What we eat is of much broader consequence than just physical heath. Conventional agriculture, factory farming, and processed food production create sickness not just in our bodies, but throughout the entire planet.
The motivation to go vegan came swiftly and without warning. In the same week almost two years ago, I happened to flip on the documentary Food Inc. and accidently read Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Life. I’d never flirted with the concept, I’d never known any vegans, and I had no inkling that I would Wake Up Vegan. My ignorance was my bliss, and I was not looking for an Inconvenient Truth.
But opening my eyes and listening with my heart demanded immediate response, no matter how weird or awkward it felt. When I saw that the majority of the meat and dairy that I was buying from the grocery and feeding my kids in restaurants comes from concentrated agricultural feeding operations called CAFOs, I was horrified. The practices and the conditions are worse than a horror movie. The conventional farms pictured on the packages by the brands created in PR firms don’t exist. Instead, hundreds of thousands of animals are raised without light or movement, given tons of antibiotics to manage the contaminated filth in which they live, and pumped full of hormones so they can grow bigger, fatter, faster. The images and the information on these truths are enough to ruin your appetite for meat and dairy forever. So whether you look at it from an animal rights aspect and avoid meat for humanitarian reasons, or you simply accept that the antibiotic resistance and hormone-related diseases are not worth the risk, OR you recognize that meat and it’s production are the greatest source of pollution ON THE PLANET, there is enough motivation for everyone to say no to these “foods”.
The final aspect of my being vegan is purely selfish. I like feeling healthy. I like eating whole and unprocessed foods, and being able to look at each meal and know exactly what’s in it. I know that what I eat becomes what I am. My food is medicine, and provides living nutrients with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Plants are alive. Animal flesh is dead. And pigs, cows and chickens are vegetarians. They get everything they need, including their protein from plants. Why eat the animal that ate the plant to get the nutrients?
This has been the most incredible journey. It’s not been easy, and I’m not perfect, and it’s completely worth it. The more of us that are willing to shine a light into the dark truths behind our food, and recognize our own power in every choice, the better life will be. Consider Waking Up Vegan.