Am I Vegan?

When I talk about my health journey and what my lifestyle is now I often get people asking ‘Are you Vegan?’, So I have decided to put it out there one and for all. But first what is a vegan? This is a person who avoids the use of animal products. There are a number of reasons why they do this some it’s an ethical choice for others it’s a health choice and others it’s both.

When I started my journey into a healthy life I resented vegans, most people would have the same image of some skinny hippy chick shouting meat is murder, I would actually look for studies that I could use in defence of my carnism life style.

The thing is the more I looked the more I found research that supported a plant based lifestyle is the healthiest lifestyle to follow, I also found there are two groups the whole food plant based group and the vegan group. I really believe these two a quite different.

First off lets look at the Vegan lifestyle, people choose to become vegan for three reasons, they want to be ethical towards all animals, they care about the environment or because of the health benefits, or any combination of these reasons. The thing to remember is you can be vegan and still be unhealthy, there is plenty of junk food that is vegan.

Where as someone who is on a whole foods plant based diet is following this for health benefits, although you consume mostly plants you may still use animal products, such as leather, eating honey, or even having a night out from you diet and eating a late night kabab.

For me my journey started by cutting out sugar, then meat, and as I progressed I really noticed the change in my healthy I decided what else can I improve, so I gave up on the cheese and finally out went the milk in me coffee to either a plant based milk or I’d just have a long black. Occasionally I would slip up, by ordering a pizza and forget to hold the cheese. I considered myself on a whole foods lifestyle.

As I continued my journey and really looked into our food sources and production I was really gaining a lot of exposure to animal agriculture, not only from an ethical point of view but from an industry point of view as well. I found myself feeling a sense of guilt towards the way industry treat animals and just how unsustainable animal agriculture is. It is for these reasons why I choose to avoid animal products as much as possible.

Do I now judge non-vegans, defiantly not. I see people how aren’t vegan as someone who hasn’t been exposed to the same information and resources that I have, or for some reason they just haven’t made the connection between the ethical treatment of animals and what is on their plate it all comes down to what a persons values are at that point in their life.

Being vegan also doesn’t mean you instantly become an activist, it is like any lifestyle choice, some people just keep to them selves doing the best they can where as others may be more passionate about it and want to spend their message neither persons wrong and once again it is all about what your values are.

As health is such an important part of my life and is what I value most and very passionate about it, I see being a vegan as an opportunity to share the information to others in the hope that they may make changes in their life so they to can benefit and improvements in their health, not just physically but also mentally.

With so much information at our finger tips it is so easy to get caught up in all the different studies and material that may conflict with the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. It is important to take all the information on board and weight these up against each other, having this information allows you to make a more informed choice, you will also find what resonates with you most. Personally I believe in the benefits of a vegan diet and have seen the evidence to support it, the best I can do now is stick to my own path, lead by example and stay true to who I am. I’m always happy to have an open discussion and hopefully change some lives.