In honor of World Vegan Day yesterday, I wanted to take some time to reflect on my experience since going vegan. I want to talk about why I decided to do it, and what the results for me have been. I have discussed this to some extent in the past, but I want to go a little more in depth. (Spoiler Alert) Going vegan is the best choice I have ever made! Hopefully my reflections will help to encourage you to make the change or help reinforce your reasons for going vegan.
As I have mentioned in the past, I didn’t know much about the vegan movement until I watched the documentary What The Health. Before watching this documentary, like most people, I thought vegans were just crazy people who wanted to be different. I had no idea about the health concerns involved with eating meat or the effects animal agriculture had on the environment.
After watching the documentary, I started reading every book on the topic of plant based diets and the risks of the standard American diet that I could get my hands on. After gaining an entirely new perspective on what I eat and the animal agriculture industry as a whole, I knew I could no longer eat animal products or support this industry in any way.
Having a strong why statement (along with this blog) is the main reason I have found it so easy and rewarding to become vegan. I decided to go vegan because I did not want to contribute to the destruction of the planet, the harm of animals, and want to stay as healthy as possible.
Concerns about my health were the main reason I originally went vegan. I have always been in good health but after learning about the benefits of a plant based diet, I knew I should make the switch.
Last summer I got really bad heartburn for a span of a few weeks. Initially I thought I was just sick so I shrugged it off. But after a few weeks of being in pain every time I tried to eat or drink something, I knew there was something wrong. I went to the doctor and got prescribed some medicine that cleared things up. But I wondered why I was getting heartburn at such a young age. I realized that I started experiencing the pain shortly after eating a heavily fried meal that was almost exclusively of animal products.
A 20 year old college athlete should not be getting heartburn. This was some what of a wake up call that I could be eating better. Now that I eat a plant based diet, I know I am fueling my body with clean, healthy food. I am also helping to save animals and not supporting an industry that is destroying the planet.
A number of people have asked me the same question. Will you go back to eating meat after the basketball season is over? This is not a temporary change. After learning the truth about how animal products are made, I am not going back. This is a lifestyle change that I plan on sticking with. It would be too difficult to start supporting the animal agriculture industry again. Plus, I am in the best health of my life, so why go back?
World Vegan Day was a great opportunity to reflect on my choice to go vegan. Hopefully yesterday helped you focus on why you decided to go vegan or why you are thinking about it. I have no regrets about going plant based. I have also never met a vegan who regrets it either. Give a plant based diet a chance, you will be happy you did!