I grew up eating meat. I grew up in a family of hunters. I grew up on a lake. My dad owned (owns) several hunting rifles, fishing poles, filet knives etc… We also owned an ice fishing shanty. EVERY prom, homecoming, special occasion picture of my sister and I growing up are in front of our fire-place and underneath some mounted fish that our dad had caught.
My sister once walked into our dark garage straight into the carcass of a deer. On more occasions than I can count my mom cooked dinner while my dad fileted still flopping fish on the kitchen table. I will refrain from posting any hunting pictures…your welcome.
I have only choked once in my life…on a squirrel bone…yes, a squirrel bone. My dad held me up by my ankles and shook me until it dislodged (I’m sure he learned that technique from the Red Cross:)).
One of my favorite snacks growing up was chicken necks, gizzards and hearts. I remember sitting on our front porch with a bowl of them and a salt shaker…. Keepin’ it classy!!!
You can’t make this stuff up.
I say all of this to say, I have not always been a vegan. In fact, I was far from it for most of my life. I did not grow up in a family of “tree huggers” that set me on the path of healthy eating. One of my specialties while I was in college was a hot plate meal of ground beef, beef rice ‘r’ roni, a can of corn and melted cheddar cheese on top. I loved my #2 meal from McDonald’s, 2 cheeseburgers, fries and a diet coke (of course) for $2. I loved it, had it my way, nacho supremed it and then some. A healthy salad was iceberg lettuce, cheese and heaps of ranch dressing.
I dabbled while I was in college with a vegetarian diet, mostly for weight loss. Then, just decided that I liked food too much and started eating the way I normally had. Just to set the record straight, I can throw down. I love food, I love to eat. I think about food quite a bit, it is very important to me. I have never been one of those bird eaters who diet.
I have never worried so much about my weight, I have been blessed with some great genes. However, once I started working in an office environment where food seemed to just materialize I gained about 10 pounds and my cholesterol hit 211. I remember my Dr. telling me to lay off the butter… so that was all I did.
Then, when I was pregnant with my second child I developed an aversion to meat. I could barely look at it without wanting to hurl. I have always had a love of animals and just preferred not to think about where my food came from. The more I read about meat production and consumption the more it made sense to me. It started to become difficult to turn a blind eye. You know better, you do better, or so I have heard:)
Finally, I ended up seeing a television show produced by Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) called 30 days. This particular episode centered on animal rights. It was my tipping point and I decided right there and then that I was done with animal products. I knew too much to turn my back any longer.
My reasons for going plant-based started there and have grown exponentially since then. The more I learned about the benefits going vegan had on animals, the environment, world hunger and most notably our health and wellness the more passionate I became. This was no longer a lifestyle, this was a crusade. I not only felt better than I ever had health wise, I also ate with a clear conscience. Not only did I not miss meat or cheese for that matter, I loved the new foods I was eating. I realized that I had the tools to help others change their habits as well. If this gizzard eating, squirrel choking girl can do this, anyone can!
I will be sharing in the weeks to come some reasons to check out plant-based living. The impact you can have on our planet. The myriad of ways you can shape the future of humanity. Ways that you can virtually bullet proof yourself against most of the diseases that plaque our great Country.
Keep reading my friends!
Your Vegan Friend