04 Nov My Thoughts On Being Vegan
My thoughts on veganism…
There’s a lot of talk and discussion right now about whether you should go vegan, what the potential benefits are, and what the right thing to do is.
My position on this is neutral, and can be summed up by taking a look at the bigger picture here. I’ve discussed these all with close friends and clients who are vegan, and it’s always refreshing when spoken about in an open discussion how aligned we all are amongst different dietary practices.
If you have strong ethical inclinations to going / being vegan, then by all means you should go / be vegan. There’s no question here. There are many reasons here that range from environmental, climate change, animal cruelty, spiritual etc. The important thing here is that your ‘why’ for being vegan comes from within, and has a strong underpinning. It should be personal to you, and not come from simply watching a Netflix documentary (which in the context of Gamechangers, is all about performance (which is another story in itself), and not focused on ethics).
With regards to health and performance, it’s important for us to look at the overall picture here.
If you think by going vegan and simply replacing all meat for ‘fake meat’ products, you’re missing the point. I’m not sure a vegan diet driven by fake meats is the way to go, or at all healthy in the long run. This only makes sense if your reasons are purely ethical. Long term it’s too early to say what the implications are, but I can’t see it being good for you.
When you might hear of people feeling healthier and performing better by going vegan, it’s going to be from adopting a true whole-food plant based diet; whereby you by default will be eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and so taking in more fibres, micronutrients and all the good stuff for your body. This effect will be amplified in those who may not be eating as much of this on an otherwise omnivorous diet.
At the same time, by going more plant based with the aim to improve health, you also ‘live’ healthier, and adopt better lifestyle habits, such as training, activity, less alcohol, less junk food, calorie control, etc…
Comparing a more plant based, healthier lifestyle here compared to a more sedentary ‘Western’ diet is always going to be more beneficial for you in every way.
What would be more interesting to look at is all lifestyle factors being equal, how does a ‘health conscious’ omnivorous diet compare to a ‘health conscious’ plant based diet. I’m not sure it’d be too different at all.
Because the bigger picture here is the ‘health conscious’ lifestyle; whereby you train hard 3-4x a week, stay active on a daily basis, control your calories and fill your plate with lots of fibrous plants.
We can talk about studies and research, but the truth is there’s a study for everything, and we can cherry pick to support any argument, so I want to refrain from citing anything here.
I used to eat meat 4-5x a day, going through a kilo a day. 2 years ago I decided to cut this down to one serving per day, as I knew it just couldn’t be good in the long run. In time I will likely cut this down to a few times per week, because I agree that it’s better for the environment and planet overall to eat less meat.
Will I completely eliminate it? I’m not sure. I don’t have a strong enough ‘ethical why’ right now for that (which is what I see as being the key differentiator and reason for those who eat meat and don’t).
For now, I’ll live a healthy lifestyle, focus on eating lots of plants, add some meat into my diet, and keep the focus on the bigger picture of everything I’ve spoken about above.
I want to finish this by saying there’s no right or wrong. Do what’s right for you, and respect everyone’s decision around you; there’s no need to force opinion on either side, and so long as you’re happy in what you’re choosing, go for it. The only constant I’d seek is for all of you, meat or no meat, is to focus on keeping your big picture habits in mind.
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