Tonight a dear friend of mine told me that she is becoming vegan. I was surprised when she asked me if I had any advice to give her, being a mere pescatarian (vegetarian but I eat fish) myself! Unfortunately I couldn’t offer her any specifically vegan pearls of wisdom, however, the conversation did get me thinking.
Now this may be a slightly impulsive decision, and it isn’t in any way one that I’m setting in stone; but I have decided rather spontaneously to join her in her voyage into veganism. I’m going to try it for a month and see how I go. If it doesn’t work out for me – or if my mother decides to disown me! – I can always go back to my regular pescatarianism (or even vegetarianism), if it’s more appropriate.
Some of the reasons that veganism is something I am interested in attempting are:
- I am an avid animal-lover and hate to think of the conditions and lifestyles so many creatures are forced to live through, just to feed our 21st century first-world consumerism society. Having watched a number of documentaries on the topic I do feel strongly about the issues surrounding animal welfare, rights and exploitation.
- I feel hypocritical being a pescatarian – why should I eat fish if I don’t eat any other meat? It’s not as though fish are lower on the animal rights hierarchy or inferior to other animals in any way.
- And it’s not as though all the farm animals providing eggs and dairy produce are treated any better than the animals that get killed for meat themselves – so why condone the exploitation of some animals, and not others?
- Looking into the future, a plant-based diet is much more sustainable and eco-friendly. Why not start now?!
- I want to feel super connected to and at one with all aspects of nature and the living world, and practice compassion in the most extreme form I can.
- I want to feel pure and healthy, energised and empowered and I think it would suit my lifestyle just fine and make me feel clean…
- …and proud of myself too.
- I like being different and not following societal norms. I believe it’s something I could become passionate about and advocate for myself with more research and knowledge around the subject.
- I will aim to show my body the love and nurture I haven’t shown it for a long while by using this as a marker of a new chapter in my emotional and physical recovery.
- I think mentally and practically it could help my eating disorder behaviours and cognitions if I do this effectively – I hope eating clean will help me value my body, health and self more highly and feel more motivated to perpetuate that state of being, in both mind and body.
- I think it may also help minimise the element of fear I have around certain meals/ eating-related events and perhaps enable me to state my needs around food more confidently and with an explanation I feel safe using.
- It is so much better for the environment in terms of pollution, global warming, efficient land use, deforestation; ultimately it would lower my “carbon footprint” by a significant amount.
- It’s a challenge and I like feeling as though I am working towards a goal/ am achieving personal targets.
- I don’t mind what other people do, or how or what they eat. This is a personal decision, one which fits in with my lifestyle, ethics and desires, and one which I feel will help me in my overall recovery process.
I will officially start tomorrow, the 1st of June 2015. (I will use Sunday to investigate more fully and have an ‘orientation’ day, but want to start on the 1st of a month because I am pedantic like that 😜.)