By Krista Allen
Vegan = Understanding Supply and Demand
My family and friends consist almost entirely of avid meat eaters, and that is their personal choice.
Over the past 3 years of being Vegan, I have learned a lot about creating delicious plant based meals and I’ve made some pretty kick ass Veganized meals that have fooled my unsuspecting dinner guests.
To the shock and awe of a table of satisfied carnivores, it’s always a pleasure to announce that no animals were harmed in the making of that meal!
I often am asked “Why on earth would you choose be Vegan? Wouldn’t it be easier just to eat meat and dairy?”
My Vegan Journey
Well, for me … the choice to eliminate animal products from my diet has been rewarding on both a personal and spiritual level, however, it wasn’t initially “easy” … but it is my personal choice.
“But the animals are already dead …” some would say “…The meat would be wasted if people didn’t buy it!”
Okay, I get that point, and it’s a damn good point.
However, if the demand for meat wasn’t so insatiable, there wouldn’t be such a desperate need to supply it!
But, I didn’t always think that way.
We live in a time where the convenience of mass produced meat and dairy products, outweigh the inconvenience of taking the time to understand how the daily intake of these foods affect our bodies, the environment, and the animals in question.
It’s been like that for as long as I can remember.
As a kid in Texas, I certainly wasn’t informed about the cruelty to living creatures in slaughter houses, or what the heck greenhouse gas emissions were, or even how eating miserably diseased and hormonally injected animals were effecting the health of me and everyone I loved and cared about.
It was just NORMAL to eat meat at every meal! I was told that meat was a good, healthy source of protein, and that milk did my body good, and I just assumed that EVERYONE over 45 years old must be at risk of a heart attack and/or would have to take a lot of pills for their “old people” health aliments.
I heard about all the hormones in the foods approved by the FDA, but I still ate it and loved it, and figured I would just take one of those magic pills when I needed to, down the line. But I had time, and I was “fine”!
The thought of not eating meat and dairy, seemed to be a formidable challenge that I would NOT partake in, thank you very much!
I started hearing terrible stories about factory farming cruelty, but I couldn’t bring myself to actually think about what the animals went through to get on the plate.
“No way! Like, oh my God…Too Sad!!”
So, I did what any misinformed, gullible, and convenience addicted American gal would do … I adapted an “ignorance is bliss” mentality and continued onward through the fog.
That was my go-to thought process for most of my teenage years, playing with the idea of being a vegetarian because I wanted to prove to my mom that French fries could get me through anything.
Okay, that didn’t work very well for me, but it was fun for a second.
I attempted going off meat again in my twenties… But didn’t have the time or the attention span that I felt was needed to be a successful veggie. … And NO ONE I knew shared my curiosity at that time.
I read a few books and tried few things, but my families concern for my protein intake forced me to give up my quest for a no meat diet.
When my son was a baby, I found myself with a terrible sinus infection, due to bad allergies.
I went to the doctor and he put me a Z pack, which at that time was the new super charged antibiotic.
I was still nursing my son, and he warned me to stop breast feeding until the antibiotics were out of my system.
Seemed like a fine plan!
On the drive home from the pharmacy, with my new fancy prescription tucked away in my purse, I thought about what my doc had said.
I shouldn’t breast feed because of the antibiotics, but it’s okay to give my baby the milk from cows that have antibiotics in it?
From that point on, I was on a mission to understand the effects of food sources that were processed with hormones and antibiotics and the benefits of a whole foods diet and alternate protein sources. It wasn’t easy and yes, it was very inconvenient, but my son’s health was clearly more important to me than my own.
It took my maternal instinct of wanting something better for my son to get me to wake up to a different way of thinking.
I went back and forth for a few years, tossing and turning in my hypothetical sleep to finally understand the connection between what I eat, how it’s connected to my emotional and physical health, my true love of animals and actually make the change in my life.
It’s a vicious circle out there that goes something like this:
It starts with the supply and demand for meat and dairy in our nation based on our own family eating practice and the deception of advertisements with seemingly well-meaning products, so there is mass breeding of tortured animals at a rapid pace to supply the demand of meat and dairy … then use of multiple hormones is needed to make bigger and faster growing animals to keep up the pace of production … overpopulation of these animals and the disconnect of compassion brings on severely confined conditions for the creatures of circumstance who are so sick from birth on, they require antibiotics to survive until they reach their ideal weight for slaughter … all the while living a depressed, abused and awful existence … the greenhouse gas emissions caused from the chemicals and the mass overpopulation of these animals continue to affect our suffering environment
But at least you got the value meal right?
I guess they do that to keep money in our pockets for our doctor bills that will ultimately follow.
And then the circle continues … until we really get sick or we make a choice to see things differently.
The truth is, we as a society, just don’t connect to the reality that the CAUSE of so many issues in our bodies and our environment are often the EFFECTS of our mass consumption of meat and dairy and use of chemicals and pesticides.
I wish more people cared about earth, people and animals as much as they cared about who they believe created it all.
Most of us do believe in a greater power or a God.
We go to Church, Temple, Synagogues, Mosques or we pray to the God within us, we love our families, we struggle to be better people, we do the best we can with what we know and hope like hell that we can get it right at some point… or at least a little better than our parents did.
That said, I am grateful to the companies that do care about the quality of life of an animal, even though they are bred as food sources. There are lots of companies that understand how important it is to give animals freedom, to keep them happy, and not to pump their bodies full of poison or fill their soil with chemicals.
I think those folks are doing a hell of job for the people that choose to eat humanely, and they should be applauded for their efforts. I believe that just cutting down on the intake of meat would make a huge difference in the health and wellness of our nation as a whole.
Every little step counts.
What if everyone really tried a little harder to live a kinder, cleaner life?
What if consumers made the demand for organic whole foods and a plant based diet greater than the demand for meat and dairy…
I know it would be supplied.
We just got to make the request.
Can you even imagine?
Here’s a challenge for your ego:
Would you be willing to try no meat or dairy for a day? A week? Two weeks?
Could you be willing to TRY?
Let me know if you are up for it, because I’d love to walk with you on your journey and hear your thoughts!
There are SO MANY brilliant resources out there today to help you on your journey!
There are incredible recipes sites and blogs and books and restaurants and AMAZING plant based meats and products that taste delicious! I know that if I had these things available to me when I was on-the-fence about an organic plant based lifestyle, I would have been so happy!
Connect with Krista on her website http://www.veggieboomboom.com
Keywords: Krista Allen, vegan, Veganized, hormones in the foods, factory farming cruelty, vegetarian, alternate protein sources, go meatless, plant-based meats, organic plant-based lifestyle, animal rights