One of my reasons for creating this blog is to continue to learn what it means to me to be a vegan and what I can do to be the helathiest that I can be in this pursuit. So when people ask me if I am feeling better (healthier) being vegan, I always try to tell them that being vegan is about the nonhuman animals and not my health. Improved health can be a welcome and wonderful result of a vegan lifestyle, but it is not the purpose or the goal.
Dr. Jameth Sheridan, whose passion and candor I greatly admire, states that being vegan is not a guarantee of good health. We, as vegans, can follow what he labels an ethical junk food diet (chips, French fries, soy protein isolate, sugar, processed packaged foods and oils, for example), and be as sick or sicker than our carnivorous/omnivorous counterparts. So, some of us may quit being vegan. We say it is affecting our health in a negative way, and therefore, is not a good diet (way of life).
In essence, we have jumped ship because we are out there paddling a canoe with a kayak paddle. No wonder we are going around in circles. And we all suffer as a result. First and foremost, I think about all the nonhuman animals who are trapped in the cycle of our abuse
There are varying stats out there about how many nonhuman animals (land and aquatic) are “saved” each year by one vegan. And by saved, I mean, by not eaten as food. I have no way to confirm these numbers but this is the number by which PETA stands.
…each vegan saves nearly 200 animals per year.
So, this is a good thing for the individuals who are spared (as in supply versus demand). Secondly, if more of us were to follow a whole food plant based diet which can be part of the vegan lifestyle,vwe all would have a chance to be healthier. As such, we would be able to use our new found vitality to contribute to a stronger, kinder and more compassionate society. Presumably, we would start farming (no mono crops to feed nonhuman animals) in a sustainable way that would not continue to destroy our planet and might even contribute to the planetary healing that needs to happen.
I know, there are a lot of ifs and “presumablys” in my dialogue. This hope of mine does not address the urgent issues of pollution from the tar sands, from the overuse of plastic, from the destruction of rainforests for palm oil . But, I am addressing this hope for the sake of the nonhuman animals. This is what I can do at this time, in this moment, in this forum!
If we can become a kinder and gentler society, then perhaps we can make different, better choices in the other issues that are affecting nonhuman animals, us and our planet. So, I am realizing that while my veganism is not about my health per say, it really is. The healthier I can become from following a whole food, plant based diet, the less contribution I make to the ongoing suffering of nonhuman animals. Health equals energy. Energy equals action and clarity for me. And I want more of that.
To this end, I have been researching some of the diet (for lack of a better word) programs out there that are designed to help us restore and maintain our health. I try to stick to those that cite scientific studies and in most cases, are run or supported by medical doctors. I am intrigued by the low fat, high starch diets that seem to be taking center stage.
My research includes:
Dr. John McDougall
Dr. Joel Furhman
ENGINE 2 DIET
Annie’s Vegan View
This is my journey that I would like to share with you. Check out upcoming posts for my decisions about how I am planning to achieve this end and how I am doing in the short and long term.
You can be certain that I will make adjustments along the way based on the results and my continued research.
May all beings be happy and free.
4 thoughts on “VITALITY AND VEGANISM”
You’ve hit the nail on the head, Anne. Vegan is about compassion and caring for sentient beings. I strongly believe that we are here as stewards of the earth and all its living beings and non living, ecological components.
I’m reminded about one of the quotes in my collection; it is by The Venerable E. Nandisvara Nayake Thero (PhD):
“To those who judge the degree of (a) culture by the degree of (its) technological sophistication, the fact that the Australian natives live in the same fashion now as they did thousands of years ago may imply that they are uncivilized or uncultured.
However, I would suggest that if (a) civilization be defined (by) the degree of polishing of an individual’s mind and the building of his or her character, and if that culture (reflects) the measure of our self-discipline as well as our level of consciousness, then the Australian Aboriginals are actually one of the most civilized and highly cultured peoples in the world today.”
Hi Cindy, That is a very interesting concept about being the stewards of the earth. We have much to do then to stop the bleeding and to correct the wrongs,
I love it that you have a collection of quotes. Makes me think about something like that for me.
I have never heard of the person you are quoting, but I will take some time to research her/him.
Yes, I agree that technology, while useful, does not grant us any particular status and that simple living has so many benefits for us and those around us-still working on that one!!
I know exactly what you are saying about veganism being about the animals and not us, however I usually phrase it as “veganism must be primarily about the animals first, however the effect it has on our physical, mental and spiritual health is a very good side effect” of being vegan.
I will look up the research you have mentioned from Dr John McDougal and Dr Joel Furham. It sounds very interesting and I am always hungry to learn more. Thanks for sharing this info you have gathered with us Anne. Loving your website.
That is a nice way to frame this very important truth. Thanks for sharing. I am glad that my website resonates with you.