Saturday, March 28, 2020

Vegan-YES or Vegan-NO?

For all of those that come from my Instagram you probably know that a few months ago I did a " 10 days vegan challenge". It was more for me than to share my experience but a lot of people asked me, and keep asking me even now, how it was. So, here I am talking about the how, the why and the final thoughts. 

First of all, let me explain what being vegan means cause I realized that a lot of people are still confused.
Being vegan doesn't mean not eating meat, that's being vegetarian. Being vegan means no meat, no derivates of any animals ( no cheese, no milk, no eggs, no honey...) and, for the very devoted vegans, no use of any product that contains animal things inside or being tested on animals. 
The number of things that are in our supermarkets and shops that contain animal products is actually HUGE! You don't realize that till you actually pay attention to it. From candies to yogurts, from lotions to make up. 

But why should someone become vegan?

There are different reasons that push people to become vegan: for the animals, for the health, for the environment, for ethical reasons. 

The exploitation of animals is not the only reason for becoming vegan, but for many, it remains the key factor in their decision to go vegan and stay vegan. Having emotional attachments with animals may form part of that reason, while many believe that all sentient creatures have a right to life and freedom. Specifics aside, avoiding animal products is one of the most obvious ways you can take a stand against animal cruelty and animal exploitation everywhere. 

Well-planned vegan diets follow healthy eating guidelines and contain all the nutrients that our bodies need. Some research has linked vegan diets with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.
Going vegan is a great opportunity to learn more about nutrition and cooking, and improve your diet. Getting your nutrients from plant foods allows more room in your diet for health-promoting options like whole grains, fruit, nuts, seeds, and vegetables, which are packed full of beneficial fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Meat is not environmentally friendly. Consuming it is actually one of the worst things that you can do for the Earth. Meat production is wasteful and causes enormous amounts of pollution, and the industry is also one of the biggest causes of climate change. Adopting a vegan diet is more effective than switching to a “greener” car in the fight against climate change.
For me the "10 days vegan challenge" was more of an evolution. For the last year, I have drastically reduced the amount of meat consumption. At first, it wasn't really related to the planet nor to the animals it was more a taste choice. Wasn't really loving the taste of meat anymore. Since I was little vegetables and fruits have always been a nightmare to me. Never really loved none of them, but growing up I started trying some of them and little by little added them into my favorites list. 
During this summer I started getting obsessed with documentaries and as Netflix offers a very good amount of them, I started nourishing my brain with information about everything and anything interesting. Then one day I came across the "What the health" documentary, followed by the "Conspiracy" and then "A plastic ocean" and so one till I realized that the consumption of meat is not only bad for my health but it is for our planet as well. 
I started reading articles about the husbandry of animals all around the world, the waste of meat around the world and the impact of cows on the environment and realized that it was just too much: I had to try and be vegan!
My mistake was how impulsive I've been, I really decided to try it from a day to another with no food researched, with no in-between so I found it very very hard after few days as I felt so limited. I started searching for recipes and how to replace meat. The best way to explain it is probably by listing the Top and Flop of this experience. 
The tops have to be:
- I discovered new recipes ( I might share that with you if you're interested in another blogpost) ;
- I was more open in trying new things and found myself loving some;
- I saved money;
- I enjoyed spending time in the kitchen cause almost all the recipes I tried were new. 
- I was part of saving the planet from pollution.
The flops are:
- It was super hard to find any kind of tasty alternatives when it comes to sweet treats;
- Hard to find alternatives everywhere in restaurants. Even tho, a lot of them are trying to add at least one vegan recipe into their menu you can't really find that EVERYWHERE you go. 
- I love cheese, I put it everywhere. That was the hardest thing to me. I don't like tofu, I can't eat soya cheese (as I am allergic) and seitan is just too hard to find. 
- I haven't lost weight. To replace the meat I had to use a lot of carbs, so it hasn't really helped in that short term diet. I think that in the long term the impact could have been more noticeable. 
So, at the end of the day, the real question is: "Is it worth it?"
 Well, to me the challenge was worth it. I really felt it as a challenge: sometimes it was hard, sometimes I had to motivate myself and at the end of it I was really proud of myself. 
Today, I feel more vegetarian than a vegan. I think that the process hasn't really been completed in my brain. I just love some of the non-vegan things such as cheese, cakes and sometimes even milk. I know that I don't have to abuse the consumptions of these things and I do my best, now after the challenge, to do not. We have to be aware of the impact we cause on this planet and I totally feel my impact on it even if I'm just a little grain of sand in the ocean. 
What I suggest to all of you is to try it even just for a few days and see how your body reacts, how your brain reacts and how your soul does. 
We are living our life to experience and to learn every single second of it. So, let's try doing it all together by respecting our selves, the others and our beloved planet earth. 

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