If someone told me two years ago, that I would be a vegetarian, I would have laughed in their face. My favorite food was chicken tenders and hamburgers, but something happened the second semester of my sophomore year. I saw the documentary, “Forks Over Knives” and my life was forever changed. I learned about the benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet and I was appalled that more people didn’t know about this lifestyle. I saw documentaries about factory farming and my heart shattered for the torture that was being done to these animals every second for our consumption. I learned about the damaging environmental effects that animal agriculture has on our planet. I informed myself about the benefits of this lifestyle and said my last goodbye to steak dinners. And truthfully, I didn’t want to eat that way anymore. I started looking at food as fuel for my body.
I know some people do not agree with my lifestyle because it is a challenge to the standard American diet. But I’m not here to threaten your food choices, I’m here to share how my life changed when I changed what I ate. And I have never felt better.
When I gave up meat, I felt so much lighter. I wasn’t dragged down by my meals anymore and I had endless energy. I read the book, “The Starch Solution” by Dr. John McDougall and learned about the diet we as humans have thrived off of for centuries. The focus of my meals became starches with fruits and vegetables. When I stopped limiting my carb intake, started eating an abundance of complex carbohydrates and gave up dairy, I felt happier and full of life. Carbs have a bad reputation because of the fatty foods that we eat with them. Breads drenched in butter, five cheese pastas, meat lovers pizza; these are the foods that cause Type 2 diabetes and other countless diseases. In fact, the protein in milk includes a growth hormone (IGF-1) that may promote the development of cancers. Meat and dairy is completely unnecessary for a healthy body.
Once I started eating this way I have received opposition of all sorts.
“Where do you get your protein?”
But have you actually ever heard of someone with a protein deficiency?
I loved bacon too, until I educated myself about animal cruelty and the direct affects it has on our health.
When I gave up meat, my view of the world dramatically changed. I felt a deeper sense of compassion for all living things and felt compelled to promote change. Of course, I'm a college student and I do not eat perfectly all the time, but being a vegetarian and eating a plant-based diet most of the time has helped my health dramatically. I'm not here to challenge peoples’ food choices, but help promote the countless benefits that a whole food, plant-based diet has on our health, our society, and our planet.