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Vegetable Soup for the Soul: My Thoughts on Veganism

I have a lot to say about veganism, but without going into the environmental impact of eating meat and mass-producing milk and eggs or the animal cruelty issues, here is why veganism is so great.

Rewind to 2007: I am 9 years old living in New Jersey. My typical day of eating would consist of milk and cereal for breakfast, a pastrami sandwich with Muenster cheese for lunch, and on a good night, steak and mashed potatoes for dinner. My favorite snacks were Dunk-A-Roos (what a throwback) or Nutella sandwiches.

Fast-forward to 2017: I am 19 years old and still enjoy each one of those meals. My snack choices may have changed slightly, but if given the chance I would totally munch on Dunk-A-Roos and Nutella sandwiches.

One difference between 2017 and 2007 is that I have acne, and I blame it on puberty. I also gained a slight lactose intolerance, but have been ignoring it because ice cream tastes good. An​other difference is that 9 year old me knows her food pyramid and that meat and dairy is definitely important to be healthy. 19 year old me learned about veganism and how protein and vitamins, like calcium, can be sourced by other foods besides meat and dairy. I also learned that meat and dairy are actually BAD for you (and the environment). By 2018, at 20 years old, I decided to become vegan.

DAIRY = THE DEVIL

Okay, so maybe saying dairy is the devil is a bit extreme, but hear me out.

Milk is made from mother cows to provide hormones and nutrients for baby cows to grow. Are you a baby cow? Of course not. Do you need those hormones to grow into a full size cow? No! Studies have been done that show the link between dairy and acne (because of those hormones). Since I have gone vegan, my acne has cleared up entirely!

I have also confronted my lactose intolerance and did some research. Some humans become lactose intolerant as adults because we cannot properly digest lactose. That is because we stop producing the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose. Adults don’t have that enzyme because we are not made to drink milk as adults. Mother Nature is literally telling you to stop drinking milk.

MEAT EATERS ANONYMOUS

Meat is flesh. That in itself should be vomit-inducing. Especially when you eat chicken or shrimp and there are veins, so gross. Every time I bite into a cheeseburger, I think of biting into a cow. Also, the food these animals are fed is processed and filled with unnatural chemicals that you are now putting into your body. 

Even organic meats can have so many negative effects. Meat has links with causing cancer, especially cold cuts, as the nitrites are horrible for you. It also makes you sick in other ways. Most food poisoning situations are caused by meat or dairy.

VEGANISM IS GREAT, I PROMISE

Since becoming vegan, I have felt so much better about myself and the food I am putting into my body. If you live in a big city, like me, there are endless choices of vegan options.

I would not recommend becoming 100% vegan right away. Do your research, watch documentaries on Netflix, and start at home. I started by choosing vegan snacks, which is not hard at all, as most snacks are already vegan. Then, at restaurants I would choose plant-based meals. I started being about 50% vegan about 2 weeks after starting. By week 3 or 4, I was 90-100% vegan. This is a lifestyle change, so I am sure on holidays I will have a little dairy or meat, and that does not negate the rest of the year. Think about the animals saved by even one meal without meat.

Ultimately, I am happy with my choice and can see the benefits already. Veganism already has my heart and I hope you decide to take my advice and try it out for yourself!

 

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