Sunday, April 22, 2007

What I've Learned Since Going Vegan

-- It took me 16 years in life to go vegetarian, and another 13 to go vegan. As passionate as I am about veganism, I'm not going to convince anyone overnight.

-- When people say, "I could never be a vegetarian", it means the gears in their brain are churning.

-- As years pass, you'll find that friends and coworkers become vegetarian, and you can be proud that you were an influence in their decision.

-- Just because that 450-calorie chocolate chip cookie is vegan, that doesn't mean I have to eat it.

-- So many foods are vegan, including Oreos, Laffy Taffy, Cracker Jacks, Twizzlers, potato chips, and soda pop.

-- Simply being a vegan doesn't mean that I am healthy.

-- It's best to just eat the bread that might have a trace of egg or whey, rather than annoy the waiter with endless vegan questions. That trace amount won't harm me, barely harms even one hundredth of an animal, and the waiter and other diners won't think of veganism as insanely complicated.

-- Make it look easy to follow a vegan diet, even the few times when it's not.

-- Over dinner, when asked "So why are you a vegan?", it's best to avoid details of cholesterol-laden arteries, tethered veal cows, and unanesthetized branding and castration. A simple answer like, "I learned what the animals go through, and I was very disturbed and don't want to be part of that. And, it's much healthier and better for the environment," will suffice. A reference to look at later, like meat.org, will help them understand.

-- It's best to just laugh at questions about whether plants have feelings too.

-- I still don't have the perfect answer to, "Do you mind if I eat this steak in front of you?" My best response: "It's an omnivore's world, I'm just living in it."

7 comments:

herself75 said...

but I've missed your talk of surgical procedures over dinner ;)

..and mom did work on a study at UConn that concluded that plants can sense fear and pain.. I'll have to see if she can dig it up for you...

Jody from VegChic said...

I have many similar thoughts.

Sorry to hear you couldn't do the marathon. I actually thought of you on that cold/windy/rainy day and wondered it you'd be out there. I'd planned to pop in here and wish you luck, but kept forgetting.

Glad the training is going well. Passover was ok for me. I did skip soy this year, so it was tough---but do-able.

Not sure about the next PPK thing. We didn't have the dessert potluck yet. We did have dinner at Grasshopper a few weeks back. I'll drop you an email if they plan anything soon.

BTW - There is vegan Indian buffet on Saturdays next store to Garden Grille in Pawtucket.

KleoPatra said...

i am SO going to keep this in my head:

When people say, "I could never be a vegetarian," it means the gears in their brain are churning.

AND

"I learned what the animals go through, and I was very disturbed and don't want to be part of that. And, it's much healthier and better for the environment" as an answer is groovy, Vegan Doc.

TOUCHE'!

This tho:

Just because that 450-calorie chocolate chip cookie is vegan, that doesn't mean I have to eat it.

i might have to take umbrage with. i'd eat it! :o)

CRWilliam said...

When they ask why I am a Vegan, I sometimes have said ...

"I can't afford the health insurance. You have health insurance, right? Well, so you don't have to worry about it if you need a triple bypass, or high blood pressure medications or get arthritis or ...! But I don't have health insurance to cover all of that, so one reason that I am a vegan is so I won't have to worry about any of those medical problems."

Haha. Makes them think about what they are doing to themselves.

VeganDoc said...

Crwilliam, please be careful. I'm not sure if you're joking about not having health insurance, but a vegan diet isn't a guarantee that you'll never get heart disease. Vegans can and do get coronary disease, but typically it's later in life than in non-vegans. I distinctly remember taking care of a vegan man with a very severe heart attack.

Veg-a-Nut said...

Hi Doc,
I am glad to hear you are doing well in your training.

I love the thoughts you have on being vegan. I love them. So true about being healthy. I told my husband last night we need to STOP buying foods that are empty calories. (Organic,lightly salted potato chips) INCLUDED!

I try so hard to eat only homemade whole foods. Proccessed are just too full of *stuff* even if it is vegan. It is the only way I can keep myself from nose diving. I am happy this way and feel so much better.


Thank you for always having so much insite that is valuable to all of us who read your posts.

William said...

"a vegan diet isn't a guarantee that you'll never get heart disease. Vegans can and do get coronary disease, but typically it's later in life than in non-Vegans" -Heather

It's academic now, since MA has legislated mandatory health insurance.

But I suspect that any vegan who gets heart disease later in life falls under one or more of the following categories:

* not a true vegan (many "Vegas" cheat, periodically or episodically)

* not a long-term vegan (heart damage from prior dietary abuse)

* may be a stupid vegan ... who eats lots of transfats and (vegan) saturated fats

* obese vegan ... obesity itself will damage the heart, along with joint cartiledge (esp. knees & feet), and much more. Some can easily be vegan and obese.

* may have a condition of congenital heart disease, a fate from birth, which may not manifest itself until a person's older years
(Note: An amazingly high frequency of 2% is given for congenital heart disease!? ... Aside: WTF is up with that? Do other animal species have such high rates of such disease? Or is CHD a symptom gifted to children by parents due to their smoking and/or drinking alcohol and/or doing other "recreational" drugs while engaging in sex that can lead to pregnancy?)

* damage from viral or bacterial infections

* damage from chronic high blood pressure? (Caveat: this may be a red herring, in the sense that it may be viewing cause and effect backwards.)

* etc. (I'm sure there is more.)

Lucky for me, I have no CHD. Also, I do not fit any of those risk-factor categories listed above.

Although I deliberately minimize exercise, I'm in excellent health with total cholesterol measured at 127 a couple of years ago (LDL=62. , HDL=48)

I ascribe my excellent overall health and heart health to my low-fat, low-calorie, vegan diet. (And good genes help.) Vegan diet is not enough ... for heart-healthy benefits, the vegan diet must also be a low-fat diet, with minimum saturated fats and no transfats. My dietary fat in total (from all sources, including that in all foods consumed) is about 17% of total calories, which is quite low compared other western people. (Fat % determined by entering ALL foods consumed into (www.fitday.com) program. Average calories per day was 1,950 cals/day for year 2007. And since my caloric burn rate is also about 1,950 calories/day, my diet keeps my weight in balance.