Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Vegetarian/Vegan

This post is mainly just for me to jot down some thoughts I'm having. I've toyed with the idea of vegetarianism for years, and actually went meatless for about a 6 month period a couple of years ago. Of course we all know that I love animals so that was always a huge motivating factor for me, but not motivating enough to overcome the ease and convenience, and deliciousness, of meat eating. Not motivating enough to take huge leap outside the box and label myself "vegetarian" or "vegan." Here in the south you might as well grow a 2nd head. I didn't want to deal with explaining myself to people over and over, or to inconvenience others who might be cooking for me.
Well now that I'm a mom, my interests have changed. Now the health of me and my family trumps all of the above. I am very, very seriously considering making the switch to veganism. Here are the things I have recently read and/or seen that are the catalysts for this giant overhaul.

The China Study is fascinating and infuriating. It is very science-y, but I challenge you to read it. It is basically saying that animal consumption increases risks of most chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimers just to name a few. It also explains in detail how these studies get covered up by the industries and government. I'm not one to jump on every conspiracy theory bandwagon that rolls by, but I'm a scientist by nature who needs explanations and this data is jaw dropping.

Whitewash- think cow's milk is good for you? Yeah, I did too. If you don't want to tackle The China Study yet, start with Whitewash. I have been dairy free since last summer and now I have no plans to go back to consuming cow's milk and I certainly won't be introducing any dairy to Lucy.

Earthlings and Food Inc both focus a lot on animals. Earthlings isn't just about food, but more about how we are all creatures of the Earth and on the exploitation of animals by humans. It is extremely graphic and hard to watch. But I forced myself because if I can eat it, then I should be able to watch it. Food Inc talks about animal issues some but it also exposes a lot of the government/lobbyist/industry issues of why our government issued food recommendations do not match up with what science says is healthy for us.

Ok, that's all pretty rambling but I needed to get it out of my head and into words a bit. I know this is very non-mainstream and that makes people defensive. For some reason, saying you are a vegetarian or vegan is threatening to a lot of people. I'm beyond the point in my life where I will make major decisions for myself and my family because they conform to societal norms. I'm hopping out of the mainstream because the mainstream is polluted, overweight and unhealthy.


5 comments:

lindsay said...

I started reading China Study not long ago. IM LOVING IT. I have also ditched dairy... I've been having skin (eczema) issues and it seems to be doing better sans dairy. The part in the book on autoimmune/inflammatory and how dairy "blocks" your body from reacting properly was enough for me. (I know I am not wording it totally right)

Will have to check out whitewash. I think it's cool that Lucy is getting a leg up on healthy diet! Food Inc is a good one too.

Jess said...

I think there are many compelling reasons to go veg, and I think anyone's choice to do so is valid and it doesn't bother me any if people make that choice.

Those who are pretentious about their choice are bothersome, but I'm sure that wouldn't ever be you!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

i have so many times considered going vegan because I do believe the data in these studies, but I just haven't made a 100% switch

Kim said...

I can't believe you don't do dairy! How can you live without cheese?! I could def be vegetarian minus hamburgers. Thanks for the reading though. I'm going to read the links. Good luck!

meneta said...

Shelley said you were considering some changes on the food front....I've been reading ALOT in the last 3-4 months and have made the switch to vegan

Sometimes I may "mess up" a little when I discover there is a trace of milk or dairy in something but for the most part I am totally switched

I started this whole journey in an effort to discover how to cut my meds on migraines. I ordered some material online about natural remedies for migraine relief which led me to read about PH and acid in the body from animal protein. This lead me to read some books about PH, then I read "Veganist" by Kathy Freston.

I also read China Study and watched part of Food, Inc - that was all it took for me. If you have not read Alicia Silverstone's "The Kind Diet" - you should give it a read and she has a blog also that is good.

I'll look forward to your recipes -I want to try the one you listed on Kale - have been wanting to try it.