Thursday, November 12, 2015

My friend Sally went vegan and got sick.

Veganism doesn't make you sick. It's a myth.
Your friend, Sally went vegan and got sick? So what? Maybe Sally was an unhealthy eater to begin with. Maybe she relied on processed foods for the majority of her diet. You can be a total junk food junkie and still be vegan. You can do the same as an omnivore. Point is that no matter what diet you follow, you will get sick if you don't consume sufficient calories, vitamins, nutrients and minerals.

Maybe Sally was already sick. Maybe that's why she went vegan and it was too late for it to do any good. 

So many factors here.

Maybe Sally was just hungry. When switching from a SAD (Standard American Diet) to a vegan diet, many people simply don't consume enough calories to live on. It's a simple mistake that's easily remedied. Vegan foods are nutrient dense, but not as calorie dense as non-vegan foods. So, in order to get enough calories on a vegan diet, you have to eat larger quantities of food.

So much for that eating like a rabbit theory, right? Vegans eat a lot of food! Piles of it! And yummy food besides! It's full of flavor and good nutrition.

Luckily, nutrients are a non-issue with a vegan diet. I know. Everyone has told you that vegans don't get enough protein. Actually, the opposite is true. Non-vegans get too much protein. Processing it all is a burden on internal organs. It can lead to kidney stones, gallstones, bladder issues, heart problems, cancer and much more.

A good vegan diet contains everything you need for optimal health without the protein OD. It's not difficult to balance your diet, either. Just make sure you eat all the colors, include plenty of nuts, beans, seeds and other legumes, take your B-12, which, incidentally is something non-vegans need too. And that's about it. As long as you weren't sick before, you'll be just as healthy as you ever were. Possibly healthier.

So your friend Sally got sick on a vegan diet? I suppose she could have because a person can become ill on any diet, vegan or otherwise. That doesn't mean the diet is at fault. What it means is that Sally wasn't paying attention to her nutritional needs. Or, like I said, maybe Sally was already sick. Never assume.Some of the connections you make are false. And connecting illness with veganism is one of the most common false connections you can make.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Connecting with vegan hypocrites – Or not

Not all vegans are perfect. Does that make them hypocrites?
Some of my best friends are vegan hypocrites. Or at least that's how others look at them. I have a different viewpoint because I'm still transitioning myself. Here it is.

So, you have a friend who constantly preaches about veganism but wears leather shoes because that's all they can afford or eats cheese once in a while or just has no willpower at all. Does that make them a hypocrite? I don't think so. It just makes them fallible, like everyone else on the planet.

I don't believe that a transitioning vegan having a lack of willpower proves that veganism is ineffective, wrong, unnatural or unhealthy. I'm one of those people who's not a perfect vegan. I'm not afraid to admit it. But I am determined to fight the good fight against my lack of willpower until I am 100% vegan or as close to it as I can possibly get.

And I'm not about to stop extolling the virtues of veganism, simply because of my own weaknesses.

Practice what you preach?

Is that what you said? Do you mean like how some omnivores claim to love animals but eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner on a daily basis? That's pretty hypocritical, isn't it? There is a huge difference between being a transitioning vegan and not caring or not trying at all. At least the person who spreads the word about being more compassionate is trying. At least they're speaking the truth. At least they're aware there is a problem and not blindly bowing to cruel traditions.

Change does not happen overnight.

You know, it's like those people who expect every U.S. citizen to speak English instantly. Like, as soon as they attain citizenship, the sparkly fairy sprinkles language dust over them. She says the magic word and voila! The entire English language is imprinted on their brain right then and there. Have you ever tried to learn another language? It's not easy, you know? Have you ever tried to change a 30 plus year habit? That's not easy either. It takes time, courage and perseverance.

Sure, going vegan is an overnight process for some.

We should all admire their strong will. But let's get real. Some people need a little more time. And just because someone is one of those people, well, that doesn't mean they're a hypocrite. Many of us stumble on the path to greatness. Some of us get started late. Some lose their way. Some are not as adaptable as others. Sometimes family members or friends or traditions or something else altogether gets in the way of our ultimate goal. That's true, no matter what we're working toward. Going vegan is no exception.

The point is to get your feet on the path to compassion.

While it's not ideal to consume animal products of any kind in any way or quantity, it's certainly better to do something than nothing. And guess what? Spreading the word is vitally important, even if you're not a perfect vegan. Because maybe someone is listening who does have the willpower to go all the way right away. Maybe a lot of someones are.

So put one foot on the path, take another step and another and another. Pretty soon, you'll be there. And if on the way someone calls you a hypocrite, who cares? Just keep stepping! Hold your head high! You are working your way toward being part of the solution. That's something to be proud of.

Every day I try my best to be kind, compassionate, caring and considerate.

Some days I fail miserably. Does that make me a hypocrite?
Some days I triumph against all odds. Does that make me a complete success?

The answer to both questions is no, of course. No one is all evil. No one is all good. No one is capable of living up to every expectation they have for themselves. Because everyone is human. Even transitioning vegans. That doesn't make them hypocrites.