Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Veganism - Tried the waters & here is what I feel.

Most of you may not know me, so here is a brief about myself. I have been training in martial arts and various fitness routines for the last 30 years, have done my Diploma in Sports Medicine, am a qualified English teacher, have an insane appetite for training, love good food, enjoy cooking, teach meditation and healing, am a personal trainer, a life coach, a martial artist and most importantly am Human.

Nowadays food is often broken up into the numerous food groups and eaten by selecting what we feel we need more (proteins, carbohydrates etc). Well for me food is much more than that, it is one of the physical ways to nourish our body, mind and soul. The food we eat is vibrant with the energy of the person cooking it as well as the person eating it. Have you ever wondered why the food cooked by a mother or a loved one tastes so good? Well it is simple when food is cooked specially for us by a loved one it is cooked with love and that energizes the food with positivity. This makes us feel  nice and happy when we eat it. Have you ever wondered why most religions and cultures believe in saying a short prayer to thank for the food they eat before they do eat it? Well am sure we do not need food in front of our eyes to thank God / the universe or anyone for it. We can express gratitude at any time of the day. I feel the concept of offering thanks for the food we are about to eat has come about so that no matter what mood (angry, upset, depressed, happy, bubbly) or energy ( positive or negative ) the person cooking has charged the food with we bless or charge the food with positive thoughts of gratitude. This makes the food more nourishing for our body, mind and soul. 

 My Tryst with different eating habits including Veganism -

Being a personal trainer and a martial arts instructor it is important for me to understand the effect of different eating habits on the body so I can train people who follow such diets. With this is mind I have been a vegetarian for over 3 years, have lived on only raw fruits and vegetables for over 6 months and now am a Vegan.
Before we go further I would like to mention that these are my views and are based on simple logic and not clouded by any propaganda of any sort.

It has been about 5 + months now that I have gone Vegan. In these 5 months I have had the opportunity to interact with many vegans from all over the world. In my opinion being on a Vegan diet is good for our health on many levels.

 Let us go through what is my take on Veganism - 

It is surprising to see so many vegans convinced and vegan because of the so called "Cruelty " issue. Lets look at this logically. If we are against cruelty then we should all go stay in a cave like hermits. Yes I love animals and am against ill treating or harming them. Man is cruel in many ways. Say you are a manager and you shed all your workload on those working under you - You are being Cruel. If you are a bully or beat up women, your wife or children after getting drunk - You are being Cruel. If a person who is homeless and has not eaten for many days, asks you for some money and you refuse - You are being Cruel. I can go on with numerous examples of cruelty that man commits against another human. Coming to animal cruelty  - I agree that it is wrong to force cattle to constantly produce milk all its life. We do not need milk for survival no animal needs milk all its life to survive and thrive. Well man is an animal too. So why torture and keep drugging cattle with hormones so that we can have a glass of milk or a slice of cheese. Coming to animals slaughtered for meat - Well I have often heard vegans say things like - I have seen how the animal suffers at the slaughter house, it is so cruel hence I have become Vegan. So by that logic if there was a way that the animal would not go through the ordeal at the slaughter house and yet be chopped up in to a juicy steak would you eat it?? Well if cruelty is your only reason for being Vegan then you should be okay with eating meat if its cruelty free. In many countries we now get Happy Meat - that is meat from animals that have lived a happy life on an open ranch, had freedom to run around, eat grass from the fields and so on. So all the cruelty mongers should be okay if this so called Happy animal is slaughtered without cruelty. I feel there are people who by their religious beliefs are vegetarian ( I respect that totally ), or are gluten and lactose intolerant who are in many ways vegan out of no choice. These people go around making outrageous claims and pics. I have seen pics on Vegan groups and forums of cattle supposedly being skinned alive and then thrown whole in to a meat crusher. Well lets look at it realistically, you can not skin an animal alive firstly because it would kick its legs around and keep fighting making it impossible to skin. Moreover no animal will be alive after being skinned as the pictures show and claim. Any animal including man would die even before they are skinned say 1/4 of their body. Then the pictures show the alive and breathing cattle being thrown after being skinned in to a meat crusher. Well cattle have big strong bones and if you are going to throw the animal whole in to a meat crusher you are going to jam and spoil the machine in just one animal. So realistically most of these pictures and posts on vegan groups are a hoax. Then there are futile arguments between meat eaters and vegans that plants also are living and so on. Well scientifically it has been proved that plants feel pain too and even sense that we are going to cut them even before we do. So the plant goes through more cruelty than an animal in many ways. As we keep breaking the vegetable and fruit from the plant causing it pain and  suffering every time we do so. Is it that just because the plants can not make sounds or it does not have legs to kick around in protest, it is not considered cruel???? If cruelty is your reason to be Vegan then only eat vegetables and fruits that fall off the tree or plant on its own. Well am sure that is not feasible for even 0.000005% of people on the planet to follow.

Vegans talk of cruelty and when I posted on a group about Figs being a non vegetarian fruit (yes Figs are non vegetarian fruits as every fig ripens only after a fig wasp enters it lays eggs and then dies inside. The eggs hatch and the baby wasps fly out but the mother wasp that dies inside is obviously absorbed by the fruit while it ripens) and as vegans do not consume animal product a true vegan should not consume Figs. Well these same so called people who are Vegans because of the cruelty factor got upset with my post and started deleting my comments. Isn't that Cruel??? Anyway I left that group out of protest and started a group on Facebook  called - Vegans for Health. -

A group is meant to be open for all to discuss and express their views not to be cruel and delete them.

Well I feel if you are living in the world and among people being Vegan as you are against Cruelty is being hypocritical and trying to put up an image of being holier than thou. So I always suggest and try to reason with my fellow Vegans that be a Vegan for health and not because you saw some video on cruelty. I feel being Vegan has numerous health benefits and am a Vegan for health. 

The animal products that we consume in our daily life are milk & its products, meat, fish, eggs, honey
Lets look at the few reasons why being Vegan is good for health -

Milk - It is not needed by man or any animal after the initial few months or year from birth varying from animal to animal. Moreover animal milk does not suit humans and in fact causes the calcium in our body to deplete rather than increase as is popularly believed. Animal milk is also high in casein. About 85% protein in milk comes from Casein. Casein is one of the biggest and best promoters of Cancer, it is a carcinogen. 
So consuming milk is not good for our health. Do read this book for more details - The China Study.

Meat / fish - Meat is quite a good source for nutrients like creatin, protein and so on. However nowadays to meet the huge demands for meat they are being fed and injected with loads of growth steroids and hormones. This makes them grow big and fleshy in a very short span of time. When we consume them we also ingest the growth hormones and steroids. This is one of the reasons for increasing child obesity worldwide. I do not consider consuming steroids or growth hormones as healthy.

Eggs - Just like meat the hens are injected with huge doses of hormones making them lay many more eggs than they would normally lay. This is the reason why many have started calling eggs vegetarian as there is no life in the egg from the start. It is just a chemical concoction forcibly created by the hen due to the hormone overdose.

Honey - Most of the honey we get nowadays is 70 + % synthetic. The companies dilute pure honey with glucose and other ingredients to make more quantity and therefore what we think is honey is mostly a gooey and sticky mix of chemicals and is not natural. In the good old days honey was freshly removed from the hives and sold as it was harvested. They would only chop of less than 30% of the hive so that the bees do not loose their home and their colony is not left homeless. This is very difficult to practice on a large scale when the demand for honey is so huge.

So after considering all the above food groups I believe being Vegan is good for health. A student brought out a good point that Plant life is the only form of life on Earth that sustains on the five elements of nature (sun, water, soil, air & space) hence their superiority. Moreover plant food is easy to digest and the nutrients in them get absorbed better than the nutrients from animal foods.
Many Vegans and vegetarians have this phobia of not getting enough protein because they do not consume meat. Well if you eat a well balanced diet consisting of all the vegetables, fruits, seeds, pulses and nuts you will be getting more protein than your body will actually need. From the time I have gone Vegan I have not specifically consumed any protein shake or food. I use to drink soy milk before but have not touched it in over 3 months and am still building muscle mass without specifically eating protein rich vegan foods. So just relax and nourish your body with good food. 

This article is not aimed at finger pointing or blaming anyone. It is aimed at creating awareness about the real and logical reason to be Vegan. I have benefited in body, mind and spirit by being Vegan. Are you ready to be a Vegan for health???????

We welcome you to Vegans for health -