5 Reasons why I chose a plant based lifestyle.
1. Animal rights / Compassion. Most people do not put much conscious thought into a lot of the decisions they make in their life. It would be good practice to spend at least a few hours researching and rethinking a lot of the decisions we make in our daily lives. One decision being what we put into our bodies for fuel. Ghandi once said: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” If there is any truth to this statement, then we as a nation of humans are not doing very well. After watching the documentaries ‘Meet your Meat’ and ‘Earthlings’ over 10+ years ago I decided to change to a plant based lifestyle. I won’t get into the specifics of how animals are treated here because I think part of the process of making conscious decisions is doing the work to educate yourself, but if you consider yourself a true animal lover you can’t make a distinction between animals you keep as pets and animals you eat. Making a distinction only shows you love how certain animals make you feel (Animals that you love and animals that you love to eat). This is the common selfish and self serving view that false ‘animal lovers’ have. IE you shouldn’t be outraged when dolphins are killed for food in Japan as you take a bite of your sushi and you shouldn’t be outraged when some countries eat dogs while other countries are outraged Americans eat cows. You either love ALL animals or you don’t. There should be no distinction between species only when it’s convenient for you. “I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.” – Abraham Lincoln.
- Thought experiment: What if aliens invaded Earth, enslaved the human race and put us into farms where we were kept in tiny pens with no room to move, abused physically (beaten, cut, burned) on a daily basis, fattened up and then slaughtered for their food source? Would we not think these aliens were disgusting and barbaric? We are those aliens…if you eat meat you are contributing to this treatment whether you want to acknowledge it or not.
2. The Environment. Arguably the smartest person who ever lived, Albert Einstein, said “ “Nothing will benefit health or increase chances of survival on earth as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” This statement is eerily coming to fruition. Industrial animal agriculture is where the majority of animal food products come from. While most people are concerned with electric cars and solar panels they fail to realize that the food they eat has the greatest impact on the environment. If you care about straws and plastic in the ocean, if you recycle, if you limit your use of plastics…none of those will have a greater impact on the environment than if you stop eating animal products. I recommend books like ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’ and documentaries like ‘What The Health’. Industrialized animal agriculture is the leading cause of the following:
- Greenhouse gas emissions (combined)
- Rainforest and habitat destruction
- Freshwater depletion/consumption
- Freshwater pollution
- Species extinction
- Ocean dead zones
3. Personal Health. A lot of studies have come out in the past few decades that show clear links between meat consumption and disease. The agriculture and pharmaceutical industries have done a lot of work and have spent a lot of money confusing people. Billions of dollars have gone to marketing and promoting the paleo and keto diets. I recommend books like ‘The China Study’ and Documentaries like ‘Forks over Knives’ and ‘What The Health’. The World Health Organization recently included processed meats as a class 1 carcinogen (same as cigarettes). I do not want to take any chances with my future health. This is not a gamble I want to get wrong and have done the research accordingly. Make no mistake and do your research for yourself and you will find that meat consumption has been scientifically shown to increase the risk of dying from the following:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory disease
- Kidney and liver diseases
4. Biology. While the jury is still out on what humans have evolved to eat. There seems to be a lot of confusion because of the limited anthropological data. I would like to eat a diet that resembles what my ancestors evolved to eat. I have done research I am comfortable with and I am putting my money on the frugivore diet (fruits, vegetables, greens, nuts, seeds and some occasional grains). Here are biological traits of a frugivore as it relates to humans:
- Eyes: Humans see in trichromatic color which helps frugivores see fruits and vegetables in trees. The majority of carnivores and omnivores have evolved to see motion rather than color (because their food was moving) and thus those animals see limited monochromatic color or black and white.
- Teeth: Humans have blunt canines and flattened molars for mashing and grinding fruits and vegetables (common with frugivores). Omnivores and carnivores have sharp fangs for tearing flesh.
- Jaws: Human jaws have lateral, forward and up and down mobility to mash and grind fruits and vegetables. A trait common with other frugivores. Omnivores and carnivore jaws only move up and down for tearing flesh.
- Hands: Omnivores and carnivores have paws with sharp claws for tearing flesh. Humans, like other frugivores, have prehensile hands with opposable thumbs for climbing trees and picking fruits and vegetables (no claws).
- Digestion: Omnivores and carnivores have a short acidic digestive system for processing and expelling meat quickly. Humans have a long alkaline digestive system for processing fibrous plant material.
5. Karma. I’m interested in Eastern philosophies (buddhism, taoism, hinduism) and how they view the universe and notion of karma. I simply don’t want to eat another being. I don’t want its suffering, energy, chi, life force, prana, karma or whatever you want to call it in my body. Knowing that another being suffered so that I can have a meal is pointless and unnecessary to me, especially when you consider reasons 1-4.
If you have any questions or want to have a discussion please email me.