When I was 14 years old, I became a vegetarian. I was a freshman in high school, and it was an older, cooler sophomore who convinced me that this was an important moral step to take. I would spare animals from suffering. Less grain for livestock would mean more food to feed the world. I would live a long, healthy life.
As time went by, I added more and more restrictions to the way I ate. I tried to eliminate all fat, sugar, and salt from my diet. I fasted. I experimented with veganism and macrobiotics. I obsessed over what I was eating, and then obsessed over my obsession.
When I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area at the age of 23, I was not a well woman. Plagued by a list of ailments, I turned to acupuncture to help me regain my health. The acupuncturists convinced me that I needed to start eating meat again in order to be truly well. After an extended internal struggle, I did. Sure enough, I began to heal.
And that was the beginning of the second leg of my journey with food. I was willing to eat meat, but not from factory farms. I began learning about local food producers and sustainable agriculture. I learned that while keeping animals in feedlots did not support the health of the planet or its people, letting animals graze on pastures did. I began to eat seasonally, and to shop at farmers’ markets.
I began to understand what it was that I had been truly hungering for in all those years of self-deprivation and restrictive dieting: I wanted connection. I wanted to know where my food came from, and who grew it. I wanted to sense the turning of the year: asparagus in spring, corn in summer, pumpkins in autumn, and beets in winter.
I had become a locavore—someone whose diet consists mostly of food grown near where she lives. I abide by no harsh strictures; I just buy from the local farmers and ranchers I love. I now eat everything, and with pleasure and satisfaction. And finally, I am well fed.
Veganism is not about deprivation. There is such an abundance of foods from the plant kingdom that it is easy to be compassionate and eco-friendly and also become more healthy. That people call this ethical lifestyle “deprivation” and frankly I call this just another excuse to continue as before.
I am not obsessed with it. It is integrated easily with my daily life.
Also exploiting animal who are grass-fed rather than in feedlot is STILL exploitation. Sugar coating the business of exploitation by giving it some “health” aspects is morally bankrupt. Also grass-fed animals emit even more (climate changing) methane than non-grass fed animals.
Please do your research. The only ethical lifestyle is a Vegan lifestyle because it truly does the least harm. If you care about the greater good, you need to care about this.
Veronique | 10:57 am, February 2, 2013 | Link
Hi, if you did the vegetarian and veganism gig properly, you would not have felt unwell. Im vegi 30 years and vegan 2 and I feel wonderful. Im just after eating my 6 bean chilli and some vegan garlic bread. There is no such thing as humane murder or happily enslaved animals, whether they are in a field or a factory, they are all murdered in an abbatoir, dying in fear and terror before their time. In the dairy industry, female cows are raped to artificially inseminate them and are impregnated and milked dry and at the end of it, they are burgers, they male calves are shot or put in veal cages. Im sorry that you are deluding yourself that you are leading a good healthy holistic life by eating murdered animals who are sourced locally. 56 billion animals are murdered every year, causing havoc to the planet, the animals and human health, please get out of the little bubble you are in and realise you are ingesting the negative energy of death, taking a tortured animal into your body. There were reasons why you became vegan and vegetarian in the first place, please re-connect with those and do it in a healthy way this time. Thank you from the animals.
Susan J Caldwell | 11:39 am, February 2, 2013 | Link