Welcome back to the final week of my series: Why I Choose Vegan. The first week I discussed Animal Rights and Factory Farming and last week I tackled the global impact of our meat consumption. Until very recently that would be it. Although I knew of other benefits of veganism, that’s all they were: benefits. In the past two years, however, I have been on such an amazing journey with my mind, body, and spirit that I now place the holistic health of a vegan diet and lifestyle near the top of my reasons for this choice.
Why I Choose Vegan: Part Three
Striving for Holistic Health
Up until recently I took my good health for granted. That veganism was the healthy choice was never much of a consideration for me in transitioning to that lifestyle. I was, in fact, making a lot of poor decisions about my health, despite my vegan diet. But then something amazing happened, something truly miraculous (and I don’t use that word lightly). I found out I was pregnant.
Being pregnant was nothing like I expected it to be. I used to think it was weakness. I believed it to be the root cause for the oppression of women for all of history. But for me pregnancy was empowering. The fact that my body was strong enough to create life still takes my breath away every single day. I began to see my body and spirit anew as I grew in respect for abilities, endurances, and compassions. This respect shifted me from the inside out and I could no longer take my health for granted. On January 23rd I discovered just how amazing my body truly was as I delivered my daughter into this world. It took a well of internal and external strength I didn’t know lived inside of me. And in that moment of pushing her out in to this world I was deeply awed by the power of the human body, and thus forever changed.
With this transition, as well as my new responsibility as a breast-feeding Mama, health became a leading reason why I have continued to choose the vegan diet. There is growing popularity and scientific discovery pointing towards a plant-based diet being the healthiest for a human body. In 2006 Dr. Colin Campbell published his 20 years research project, The China Study, which quickly became one of the most convincing health arguments for a vegan diet as well as one of America’s best selling books on nutrition. The China Study, among other influential research, writing, and film has begun a movement, altering the way mainstream Americans think about healthful eating.
- Factory farmed animals are fed a cocktail of artificial hormones and antibiotics that are disrupting human hormone balances and causing developmental problems, reproductive problems, and leading to the development of cancer
- Heart disease and diabetes can be reversed with a plant-based diet
- There are virtually no nutrients in animal-based foods that are not better provided by plants.
- Carcinogenesis have been found to be turned on by animal proteins and off by plant proteins.
- Plant based food is 100% cholesterol free; reducing cholesterol levels dramatically reduce the risk of heart attack
Besides it being instinctual that eating a whole foods, planet-based diet is the best thing for my body, an increasingly large amount of research makes it difficult to deny. And now that I understand the incredible gift of a healthy body and mind, I am dedicated to honoring this gift so that I can continue to live well for myself and my daughter.
For more reading on the health of a plant-based diet:
- The China Study, Dr. Colin Campbell
- Forks Over Knives, Lee Fulkerson
- Sustainable Table
- Vegan, The New Ethics of Eating, Erik Marcus