Week 1 of Going Vegetarian

Russ Jamieson Health, Spirituality

herbivore-dinosaurs

Vegetarians and vegans seem a little smug, don’t they?  I used to think they had a pompousness attitude, but in reality it’s not them, it’s your perception of them.  This is a defense mechanism.  I thought of them this way because of my own guilt, shame, and denial.  I knew deep down that what they were doing was right, and what I was doing (killing and eating animals) was ultimately wrong.  This deep seated belief told me that they were more enlightened and conscious beings, more aware, and more aligned with the world and the creatures that live among us… I didn’t like vegans and vegetarians because it forced me to face that part of myself that was playing into ignorance and buying into the system.  I honestly never thought I could do what they do.  I thought it would be too hard.  Deep down I knew I shouldn’t be killing and eating animals, but I did it anyway.  I was too lazy to make the change and found the standard American diet to be far to convenient to make any changes.

About a week ago I watched Earthlings, a documentary on how we use animals for food, entertainment, clothing, medical research, etc.  I watched the whole entire movie and it was tough to watch.  It really made me question if I should continue eating meat and dairy products.  Most of us don’t see a living animal when we go to the grocery store, we just see frozen chicken breasts in a plastic bag ready to be thrown in the oven.  We are very ignorant as to what is really going on in the meat industry and inside factory farms. We are so far removed from the slaughter house that we don’t feel anything towards the living creature that was violently slaughtered in order for us to eat it.  After watching this movie, I could no longer claim ignorance to what I was contributing to.  I’ve seen other documentaries like this in the past, but none have been able to convert me.  None have been so powerful.  You have to watch this movie.  Here are the first 9 minutes of the movie.

Full movie can be seen here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLkRG0Ygjgk

I always thought the optimal human diet was the paleo diet because this is what humans have lived on for thousands and thousands of years.  My ideology has changed and I see that it’s time for us as human beings to evolve and adopt a more compassionate way of living.  There is also the science that states plant based diets are healthier, but i’ll get into that later.  Think about it, if you had to go and butcher the animals you ate, would you still eat animals?  I doubt many of us would.

I honestly felt quite terrible after watching this movie because of the suffering and fear I have contributed to over the course of my life.  I have been responsible for the death of literally thousands and thousands of animals, and for what?  We, as humans, have the means and moral obligation to stop eating animals.  Not only morally, but also environmentally.  To produce all of the animals we eat requires tons and tons of resources like grains, space, and water.  Here is a great video on the toll meat production takes on the environment.

It takes 1800 gallons of water, yes 1800 gallons, to make one pound of grain fed ground beef. That’s insane!  I truly believe that in the future we will look back on the meat production industry and shake our heads in shame.  We will be amazed at how inhumane we were to these animals.  It’s not only morally wrong and environmentally damaging to eat animals, it’s also bad for your health.  Dr. Michael Greger of nutritionfacts.org talks on the science of plant based diets and how they can prevent and sometimes reverse the top 15 causes of death in the US.

Now, going vegetarian doesn’t mean you should just live off of meat free junk food.  You still have to be getting nutrient dense foods.  My diet this week has consisted of salads (bok choy, red leaf lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, carrots), beans, nuts, some cheese, blueberries, black berries, raspberries, apples, bananas, dried fruit, whole grain cereal with almond milk, and of course lots of green tea.  I do plan to cut out cheese eventually, but I’m just starting out and want to pace myself.  I encourage you to try and make a change in yourself as well.  If you can’t go cold turkey (that was terrible), then try cutting back on the amount of meat you eat each week.  Start small and work your way into a more vegetable and fruit based diet.  If you do go vegan, you will need B12 and vitamin D supplements.  Dr. Greger talks about this in his video above.  You should also add some flax seed to your diet as well to make sure you’re getting enough omega 3s.

It’s been a week and I’m really happy about my decision to become a vegetarian.  I already feel better (physically, spiritually, and mentally).. I feel more aligned and in tune with everything.  I have more energy and I’m looking forward to how this will influence other areas of my life.  I don’t want to be a part of this terrible industry any longer and I hope you don’t either.  Lastly, it’s very easy to become a vegan or vegetarian these days as there are many food options out there, so don’t be worried that you won’t have anything to eat.  Here are some of my meals.. They may not look great (I’m working on my cooking skills), but they taste pretty good and are very healthy, so that’s enough for me.

Burritos and Shake

Salad Bean Burrito with Blueberry and Banana Shake

 

Salad in Spinner

Just a salad.. nothing to see here.. keep it moving

Whole Grain Cereal with Banana and Berries

Whole Grain Cereal with almond milk, Blueberries, and Blackberries… Delicious

I’ll leave you with this last eye opening video by Dr. Joy

 

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Russ JamiesonWeek 1 of Going Vegetarian