There aren’t 30 days in February
Yes, I know this. I’ve only heard of Veganism and how it is riddled with ‘dangers’ and ‘malnutrition.’ People say that according to scientists, it is a fad diet that is sweeping the nation. I would like to know who these scientists are, because I have not found such test cases. I happened upon a video on Youtube called “Vegan for 30 Days – The Test Friends” posted by Buzzfeed on Sept 8, 2015.The video showed four begrudging individuals who agreed to go on a Vegan diet for thirty days and recorded their experiences.
The video was a waste of their time, in my opinion. They had four test subjects, all of whom either regretted participating or were against Veganism. They did eat Vegan food, but it was so bland and unvaried. Anyone who has a Pinterest account could tell you that a plant-based diet much more than beans and rice. The biggest let down of the entire video was that no one learned anything. I had questions like: What is Veganism? Did it make you healthier? Did it make you more active? Did you feel like you made an impact on your morals or habits? Why would someone be Vegan? Can’t Vegans eat junk food? Are they forced to cook all their own food? Does eating animal meat and bi-products really effect the environment or economy in anyway? What is marsala? So. Many. Questions.
So I decided to find my own answers by delving headfirst into the lifestyle and culture of Veganism in order to learn by not only research and testing but personal experience as well. But in order to get the full impact of what I’m doing, I would need to live a Vegan lifestyle. From January 31th to February 29th, I will be doing a thirty day Vegan diet experience the way I think it ought to be done.
It’s the first question I’m asked. The simplest response is that I’m curious. It’s one thing to read a case study or focused survey, but to really experience the nitty-gritty of what it is you’re studying. Consider this analysis a love child of the controversial documentary “Super Size Me.” I highly recommend it.
The second reason is because there is a double standard to it. One group of nutritionists and doctors will say that it a Vegan diet is too restrictive and will lead to bad health and will permanently damage your body. But another group says that Veganism is the ultimate diet that when monitored correctly and with proper education, it can help extend your life and bring out massive benefits to you in every way. Then we have a very big group that chooses the lesser of two evils by saying that Veganism is a fabulous diet, but it should never be a long term lifestyle. We have omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans dying at forty of diet related health problems and then we have 80 year old omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans who have more energy and stamina than college students. I once met a 110 year old angel of a woman who told me the secret to a long and happy life is bacon. In a world full of instant information, we are creating questions faster than we’re getting answers.
The third reason is that I want to be healthier. One of the golden promises of being vegan is that you will be healthier than you’ve ever been. I’m fairly active and I take care of myself, but I always get caught up with food. I could be okay for months of healthy square meals and cooking my own food, then be blind sighted by cravings for meat and sugar. I don’t even really like meat all that much. The only reason I eat it is that I’ve been told my entire that that I need meat to live. But what if I didn’t have to? What if I could find a way that I could get a healthy lifestyle, satisfy my cravings, and never have to play the denial game when I order a steak.
I’m intrigued by this group of individuals that promote compassion and non-violence, but are one of the most stereotyped sub-cultures on a global scale. I want to know what they eat, how they live, what they think, and how they effect the world around them. I want to create clarity from this double standard created from a world with too many questions and not enough answers. While my ultimate goal is to be healthier, is being Vegan really the best choice for health and prosperity?
What do you even know about vegans?
In order to see how much I’ve really learned, I want to talk about my current understanding of Veganism. I don’t know a lot, and I apologize for how primitive and prejudice this sounds, but it’s essential to address by own bias so that it doesn’t enter into my research. At the end of the thirty days, I want to see how my thinking had addressed.
When I hear the word vegan, my first thought is a very strict vegetarian. Isn’t “vegan” a shortened version of “vegetarian?” I think of a person who is very steadfast in their morals and beliefs and inflexible to criticism and medical care. I think of people who obsess about what they eat all day. They’re constantly thinking about calories, nutrients, fats, proteins, and ingredients. I think of people who truly care for the environment, for animals, and for people but often feel as if they are trying to convince a brick wall to move. I don’t think vegans eat a lot of junk food, but eat lots of veggies and nuts. I don’t believe they eat a lot of bread, though. I think that Vegan is a lifestyle, not just a diet. It’s something that permeates your daily routine and values. Ultimately, a vegan is someone who wants to make a positive impact on the world and to be compassionate towards all beings, but really toe the line of being over the top.