Today is the last day of a 21-day trial of a vegan diet. Overall, it was far easier and more satisfying than I expected it to be. In fact, there was only one day in which I was really disapponited I couldn’t eat something non-vegan; that was my boss brought in some delicious muffins his fiancée made.
Why did I do this? I needed to change some things in my life desperately. I began the year with a diagnosis of high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and high LDL cholesterol. I’ve been obese for many years now. I need to change and obviously, everything that I’d tried before wasn’t working.
I can verify that I’ve lost six pounds, and that my blood pressure has gone down significantly, and I expect that the other numbers have as well. My energy has been higher, my thinking clearer, and I’ve had less a tendency to “crash” when I get home after work.
Besides health, another thing that interested me in a vegan diet are the environmental benefits. The overwhelming amount of grain grown in the world (not just the US) is fed to livestock. If you think that beef cows graze grass on farmer Jone’s ranch, the reality has been quite different for a long time. I’ve known that the deforestation of the Amazon has been caused by farmers burning trees to create more farmland, but I didn’t know until recently that that great rainforest is being burned mostly to grow grain for beef cows.
In 2006 a United Nations study affirmed that raising livestock for food contributes to massive deforestation and climate change. If the existing farmland of the world were re-purposed to feed humans instead of cows, pigs, and poultry, not only would be there far more food than we need, but we’d soon be converting vast quantities of it back to its natural state.
So, am I going to stay vegan from now on? Probably not in the strictest sense. I’m not an absolutist. I might have some dairy now and then, fish from time to time, and meat occasionally. But I’ve no doubt that my daily meat and dairy habit is over, and good riddance. I feel better than I have in a long time.