Vegan Diet! Why?
As a popular change in diet and lifestyle, being vegan has become very popular. For starters, vegetarians may have animal products like milk and cheese, but being vegan means no animal products whatsoever.
Let's start with some of the reasons people go vegan:
1. Desire to be healthier: Many people are attracted to the low fat idea and seek to reduce risk of heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses. Many people have cited that a vegan diet has given them more energy.
2. Animal rights advocacy: There's been a rise in animal rights supporters in recent years. The commercials featuring poor and sickly children have been replaced with dogs and cats. A common phrase is "Speak for those who can't speak for themselves"
3. Beliefs: Many people have religious reasons for going vegan, but at the same time, many who've been brought up that way have been vegan their entire lives.
4. Taking a stand against meat industries: Many of the corporate meat practices have ignited some frustration, which has led many to put down the steak knife and head to the garden.
5. Environmental: There is a lot of work that goes into plumping up the animals we eat. Much of the corn, grain, etc. planted in fields goes to feeding these animals. There's also the waste associated with poor animal lifestyle, hormone injections, and antibiotics to kill many of the diseases that animals contract from the treatment they receive.
At one time I thought people who didn't eat meat were all crazy and it was the most confusing thing to me, because I couldn't have imagined not eating meat. I thought the animal rights people were insane,thinking of all the "meat is murder" campaigns.
I now know that not everyone who's vegan, is standing outside of restaurants calling the workers murderers. Knowing many of the practices of the meat industry, I have seen plenty of reasons to become vegan. There have been plenty of cases of recalled meat and food borne illnesses are steadily on the rise.
In studying nutrition, I have learned the benefits of many plant source foods reach far beyond the casual "eat fruits and vegetables" slogan and have been found to not only prevent disease but in many cases, cure disease. I get more energy from naturally grown foods than anything else.
Vegan Not Necessarily Healthy?
There are many big industry corporations warning people against an all vegan diet, claiming it's a huge health risk, these are the same people who have put ammonia in their products to kill off bacteria. My asthma used to flare up at the very smell of ammonia, so who the heck came up with the brilliant idea to put it in meat.
OK, before I go off ranting...
Though I believe a vegan diet can be beneficial, if someone just decides to stop eating all animal products and assume that's going to stop the problems associated with poor diet, they're sadly mistaken.
Many of the processed foods making people sick contain no meat or dairy, take a bag of chips for instance and there's plenty of food stacked full of artificial ingredients and hydrogenated oils, which mean that for many, a vegan diet may lead to the problems they wanted to avoid. If you're gonna go vegan, go ahead, but have a mindset of eating wholesome foods behind it, don't just eat a bunch of junk because it's not meat.
What about me?
From the start, this hub may have implied I was promoting a vegan lifestyle, but though I greatly admire many vegans and share many of the same concepts when it comes to food, I have no desire to go vegan.
I think the myths of vegans being weak and nutrient deficient have been debunked by many who have health which is far above average. From my understanding of nutrition, I would argue that eating meat isn't bad, the problem is in how we do when it comes to eating meat.
Let's look at some modern day food practices:
1. Meat is cooked in unsaturated oils: When these oils are heated, a chemical change takes place, causing the production of trans-fat. Saturated fat is better to cook with because it adapts better to heat.
2. Meat hangs around the wrong crowd: When meat is covered in some sorta thick sauce, the sauce is the culprit. You also have poor choices for sides, such as fries, biscuits, and vegetables with every bit of nutrition cooked out of them.
3. The big corporations don't care: If the animal you're eating has lived a life full of sickness and disease, how the heck is it going to give you nutrition. The video to your right shows a glimpse at how typical chicken nuggets are made and though kids eat them more than anyone else, they could care less.
I have a great deal of respect for people who raise animals the way they're supposed to be raised and don't want to sell people the parts of an animal that should be fed to dogs. Ultimately, people have always eaten meat and the cruelty lies in making chickens live in a dark cellar and feeding them genetically modified grain to fatten them up, throwing cows in a muddy pit, etc.
People have always eaten meat, but we haven't always eaten it laced with hormones and antibiotics. We also haven't always eaten genetically modified foods, which are most likely a cause for the rise in food allergies, because the body doesn't recognize them. Fresh fruits and vegetables should ultimately be the main part of our diets and meats should be a small fraction.
Most Americans eat very few raw fruits and vegetables, which explains the rising rates of sickness and disease. Some steamed vegetables may not lose all their nutrients, but fried or grilled and you might as well be eating chalk. Many of the plant foods we do consume are full of chemical pesticides used by the corporate farms. There's also too many false health claims in terms of food. To finally bring this Hub to a close I'll site a few:
1. Soy is healthy: It's health claims are refutable and it's one of the top GMO foods out there. It's used in most of the processed foods we eat and it has been linked to illnesses such as thyroid cancer. So if you're gonna eat a burger, eat one from grass fed beef, not the unhealthy tofu stuff.
2. Artificial sweeteners are a healthy alternative: Sugar is as bad for you now as it's always been, but artificial sweeteners such as aspartame have no business stating claims that they can be a part of a healthy diet. In terms of diabetics, the reason, it doesn't cause an insulin spike, is because it's not recognized by the body as food. You're putting a chemical poison into your body when consuming this stuff.
3. Milk prevents osteoporosis: Though I believe milk can have health benefits, those health benefits are reversed when it comes to chemically processed milk thrown in a plastic carton.
4. All Natural means All Natural: The word natural has been thrown on food packages as if natural anything is a joke. What I take it many of these companies mean the food comes from something that was once a plant, I guess that means cocaine can be called natural too then.
That's all I'll write for now. So that I don't get into any trouble I'll state that the claims in this hub are based on research I've done and conclusions that I've personally made from that research. All in all, know what it is that you're putting into your body and feeding to your kids, don't just accept what's stated on the front of a package.