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Why Did You Go Vegan?
RalphWell, our family (including our new 17 month old girl) has been entirely vegan for about a year now, and we are so much more healthy for it! My wife had been vegetarian since her early twenties, but I had only played around with being vegetarian until late last year...
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My water-only fast lasted 18 days, and I literally suffered through the detoxification process, a testament to what a lifetime of inattentive eating can accumulate in the body (and at the time, I thought I was healthy - hah!). The last two weeks, I was rather weak and spent a lot of time in bed. A perfect opportunity to read every book I could find on various eating lifestyles and such, and sort out this eating thing once and for all.
I read and was amazed by "Diet for a Small Planet", "Diet for a New World", the "Vegan Sourcebook", "Mad Cowboy", among others. I researched on my laptop the cruelty and cover ups involved in my casually ignorant attitude towards what I was putting in my mouth.
When I resumed eating, I was committed to a strict vegan diet. My wife didn't know what to think at first, but she was glad I had become vegetarian and surprised that I chose to be so extreme about it. Then I suggested she read some of the books I had read during my fast. She did, and as quickly as we could give away or dump all of the cruelty-involved products in our house, we did.
Looking back, I have never (and I mean it) felt this healthy or "clean". My body has continued to detoxify itself as a result of the much more sane food choices I am making these days. I am lean and muscular and definitely surprise folks when I tell them I am vegan. They say I don't fit the stereotype of a "sickly-looking strict vegetarian". The joke's on them, I assure you.
My wife and our little one have also seen much improved health compared to our (meat and dairy-eating) friends and family. When they are sick, we remain healthy. When a cold or flu goes around, they get it for weeks and shove down the antibiotics while we "suffer" for a few days before coming around.
As it goes, I am now the "chef" of the household, and I always make sure there are at least 3 raw-food dishes and 1 or 2 cooked food items (cooked grains, fresh baked bread, ...) to chose from at all times. I spend at least 2 hours in the kitchen daily, preparing the meals of the day and tending to my sprouts. This is usually in the morning while all are still asleep, and I have to say, it is a very satisfying job!
By keeping fresh, organic food including salads and sprouts, bean dishes, raw nuts and seeds, veggies, tempeh, tofu, fresh juices, fruit smoothies and other delectables at the center of our family's diet, I know I am playing a vital role not only in our family's health and wellbeing, but demonstrating respect for all life around me, including the planet we share.
Our little one loves her vegan diet, and really enjoys beans, nut butters, sprouted bread and fruit of all kinds. She is growing like a sprout and thriving as well as her mom and dad on our new vegan lifestyle. The most difficult part in raising a vegan baby is dealing with family and friends who, and I see it over and over, always seem to wince when they watch us give our baby a bit of tofu or bean salad. Now I can certainly handle the criticism, as can my wife, but to imply that we are not raising a happy, healthy child because we are all vegan is just stupid and uninformed.
Living well is the best revenge, or so they say. To us, that means being vegan and respectful of all life around us, and always being present and conscious of the food decisions we are making and their impact, not only on our bodies but on all living things.
I wish you peace on your journey!
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