“I don’t use the word “vegan” or “vegetarian.” I don’t like those words. People who chose to eat that way chose to because of ideological reasons. I don’t want to denigrate their reasons for doing so, but I want people to talk about plant-based nutrition and to think about these ideas in a very empirical scientific sense, and not with an ideological bent to it.” -Dr. T. Colin Campbell
After putting up the quote from Dr. Cambell, I realized that I should elaborate for those that know my ever changing ethical beliefs about eating, and why I like this quote so much.
I have been vegetarian for now over 25 years. I originally made the choice as I considered is a way to live more simply, as it means surviving lower on the food chain (all the necessary grain, corn, water etc needed to produce meat). As I learned about factory farming, it was easy to incorporate reduction of animal cruelty into my reasoning for remaining vegetarian. I even at times was willing to consume small amounts of ethically raised (free range) meat. Though I have felt strongly that this was important for me, I have always respected that others need to form their own decision in regards to ethics, and have remained judgement free about other people’s consumption of meat.
Now that I am becoming educated in plant-based nutrition, I remain non-judgmental as far as the ethics of whether or not we should eat meat and consume dairy products, however, as I learn the health benefits of a whole food plant-based diet, and experience the benefits of having switching my own diet, I find it increasingly difficult to watch people I care about miss out on these benefits. I know that everyone has to find their own path, and will only realize their own benefits after making their own lifestyle changes, but I feel a growing urge to give this gift that I have found through my own lifestyle change. If I had found a free vitamin that offered all the same benefits, I would be dolling it out to all my friends so that they could experience the same. Unfortunately lifestyle changes are not something you can hand out, and I have to be patient and wait for others to become willing to change.
But I will say for the record, while everyone struggles with their own ethical decisions of how they should eat to care for their planet, other species etc., I encourage everyone to transition toward a point when they can try, for 4-6 weeks, a whole food, plant-based diet to experience their own benefits, and then make a decision about whether or not to eat meat and dairy products for health and vitality. Is it not worth a few months of your life to experiment with something that can offer you more energy, better sleep, easy weight management, and lowered risk of disease and illness? I am here to help you 100%, just let me know what you need.