Early in 2012 I started reaching out to vegan friends on twitter to ask them to share their testimonials. My hope was that by getting vegans to share their stories we could educate and inspire others and give people first hand accounts to replace perceptions or stereotypes. I’m incredibly grateful to those that have participated. Their stories speak for themselves! If you enjoy the series please let us know!
I was fortunate to be raised a vegetarian, in a family which was and still is very health conscious. I was rarely sick growing up, which I believe had a lot to do with the healthy diet I was eating; it consisted of mainly foods grown in my parent’s garden. I didn’t start to experiment with a fully plant based, vegan diet until I was 21. I read the book “Skinny Bitch” which made me question why I was eating dairy. Think about it…Cow’s milk is meant for baby cows, not humans and why are we drinking another species’ milk as adults?! No other species on the planet does this! Soon after this, I was dairy and then egg free.
As soon as I gave up dairy I noticed huge changes. For starters I lost 5 kilos (10 lbs) without even trying, if you want to lose weight give up dairy and the weight will literally fall off you. Cow’s milk is meant to grow a baby cow to the size of an adult cow! It’s really fattening and unless you want to be a size of a cow, give it up! I found out my allergies and eczema were also triggered by dairy. Not long after eating dairy my nose would be running, my eyes would be itchy and I’d start sneezing. That was proof enough for me to quit dairy for good.
I didn’t find giving up eating eggs difficult because I’m still able to bake cakes, cookies and muffins without eggs. There are many egg replacements and vegan sweet recipes that don’t include eggs, so I found it a really easy transition. If a person has heart problems a doctor will likely tell you to give up or cut back on meat and eggs. The reason for this is because eggs, meat and dairy clog your arties. William Castelli, M.D – director of the Framingham Heart Study, the longest-running clinical study in medical history, says of the heart disease epidemic, “If Americans adopted a vegan diet, the whole thing would disappear. Americans have been “brainwashed to eat meat”.
Many people ask if I will ever eat meat or if I am curious to what meat tastes like? The truth is, because I have never eaten meat I don’t consider it food… It’s hard to explain, can anyone else relate? I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to eat meat, plus research proves meat is not beneficial to our health – It’s just unfortunate big companies benefit from us eating meat!
If you look at our bodies you will soon realise we are not designed to eat meat – Let’s compare our anatomy with real carnivores. A real carnivore, like your cat and dog, has razor sharp canine teeth designed for ripping and tearing. Our molars a large and flat designed for grinding fibrous plant material. The jaws of a carnivore move up and down – they tear the food and swallow it whole. We can move our jaws up and down and side to side to ground the food.
Our intestines are also much longer in comparison to carnivores. A carnivore intestine is 3 – 6 times the body length whilst humans are 10 times. All animal proteins produce carcinogenic compounds – even more so when cooked. Therefore, the least amount of time it is in the carnivore’s body the better. Meat literally rots in a human’s stomach because it takes so long to digest.
We are lucky that we can get all our vitamins and nutrients from non-animal sources that in turn don’t have negative impacts on our health, the environment and animals. Why not experiment with a plant based diet and see if you experience any positive changes? I promise you will!
You can follow Jessica on twitter @LiveHealthyJess and at her blog, Live Healthy Simply. Jessica is a fantastic chef and her blog has lots of great recipes. I have also featured her as a guest chef here and here.
If you’re feeling inspired and want to submit your own vegan testimonial please read this post. You can also read the interview Kasey Minnis (@veggiemightee) did with me about this project on This Dish is Veg.