I was hesitant to type this up because my reason for adopting this lifestyle began from a vain place. However, I feel it is important to be honest with you, and maybe some of you are currently in a similar situation. Sometime around October 2015, I was struggling with body-confidence and I spent hours every day searching the internet for ways to lose weight. To be fair, this did lead to me adopting some healthier behaviors such as eating less junk food and finding my love for exercise. I was losing some weight and gaining some confidence! The problem was, once I started seeing these results, I wanted more and I wanted them immediately.
All of the weight loss blogs I would read were about calories, calories, calories. These websites insisted that I just needed to start counting my calories and keep them below a certain number. So, I followed their advice and restricted my caloric intake. I was obsessed with tracking everything I ate and knowing exactly how many calories were in my food. I was losing more and more weight, but I was MISERABLE. I wasn’t consuming enough food to fuel my body and brain so I felt constantly tired and couldn’t think clearly. I thought if I wanted to keep the weight off I would have to live the rest of my life logging my food intake to make sure I was restricting enough.
Luckily, in one of my desperate YouTube searches for weight loss tips, I came across some vegan YouTubers. I started watching their “What I Eat in a Day” videos and was amazed at the insanely huge portion sizes they ate! There was a whole community of people telling their followers to eat MORE instead of LESS, and they were fit! I saw their glowing skin, energetic personalities, and toned bodies, all due to eating an abundance of whole-plant foods. Watching these inspiring videos led me to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I stopped counting calories and was developing a healthier relationship with food. I realized healthy eating can be exciting and I was experimenting with delicious smoothie bowl recipes and finding nutritious alternatives for my favorite junk foods. At this point, though, I was not yet vegan. I didn’t see the point of being 100% vegan if I was already happy with myself again.
However, I finally realized it was not about me. The YouTubers I watched had been recommending a couple documentaries, and one day I was so bored that I decided to actually watch them. I had no idea what I was in for. The first that blew my mind was “Cowspiracy”, which elaborates on the impact that animal agriculture has on our environment. According to “Cowspiracy”, animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined. Also, livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide each year. That is over half of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions! Cows alone produce 150 billion gallons of methane every single day. Further, it takes 1,000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk. See more statistics at http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts/
The next documentary I watched was “Earthlings”. While everyone knows killing animals for food is not the most humane process in the world, seeing it with your own eyes is a whole new perspective. For example, the animals are usually manipulated to grow unnaturally large so they can produce more milk or eggs than normal. Because their legs cannot support their huge bodies, the chickens may die just by not being able to reach their food or water. Once animals are too exhausted to produce eggs or milk, or they are large enough to slaughter, they are jammed pack into trucks and taken to the slaughter house where they will meet a slow death by having their throats slit, typically while still conscious. Unless of course we are talking about chickens, in which case they are consciously thrown into scalding hot water to remove their feathers first. I had no idea I had been contributing to such a cruel industry that is destroying our environment. I no longer wanted to be any part of it and I knew I had to go vegan.
Veganism is so much more than a personal choice: it is our responsibility to the Earth. I cannot wait to share more posts and help you in your journey so we can change the world together.
Talk to you again soon,
Love Karlee <3