Why I Went From Near Carnivore Status to Dropping Meat All Together

It’s one thing to just cut meat out of your diet but having a reason why you want to cut it out is far more important. Having a powerful why is what drives you and motivates you to stick with it for longer than a week. In this post I share my why, the reasons I felt change was necessary and what keeps me motivated.

Let The Questions Pour In

Do you eat a plant based diet or live the vegan lifestyle? If so I can be pretty positive that you have been asked multiple times by now why you are doing it, right?

It seems like not many people can fathom why you would want to give up meat, followed by the same response’s. I commonly hear people commenting, “I could never give up meat” and “I don’t know how you do that, I never could” oh wait and of course the most popular one “how do you get your protein?” treating protein like it is some rare gem which cannot be obtained through plants.

People seem to have a hard time accepting why you would want to change your lifestyle so drastically but I always found it hard to answer them because there are so many reasons. That’s where this post comes in, I want to share with you some of the reasons why I went from a farm boy living off meat to cutting it out completely.

The Netflix Trap

A large lifestyle change must be motivated by something, I mean you usually are not just chilling on the couch and suddenly decide “I don’t want to eat meat anymore.” Although I wont lie after the amount of chicken breasts I ate from competing I was getting me pretty darn close to that point.
 
So where was my first point of contact with the plant based lifestyle?
 
Well duhhhh, like most Netflix documentaries. Now I know making a life changing decision off a Netflix documentary is ridiculous, but that was just the spark, the research came after.
 
Knowing how fanatical I am about the human body, nutrition, and health I was recommended the documentary What The Health. This by no means changed my mind and I do think some of that data seems skewed like the comparisons he makes between foods and cigarettes. But on the flip side he did have some good facts which got me interested enough to do some research for myself.
 
The next thing I did from there was of course the only logical thing to do after getting that spark of interest.
 
Watch all the other vegan Netflix documentaries.
 
I mean that’s what most normal people would do, right? I also picked up a little book called The China Study. A book more commonly talked about over actually being read because of the lengthy research and facts, but being one of the largest comprehensive studies on human nutrition ever conducted, it was worth the read. 

Whats Scarier Than Cutting Out Meat? Cancer Is

That brings me to the first reason why dropping meat seemed beneficial to me, for my health and well-being.

Now I’m not going to lie, cancer scares the crap out of me. It’s one of those diseases which doesn’t discriminate and effects all people, at all levels of health. With that being said I like to try and take as many measures as I can to avoid the risk of getting this horrible disease.

Dr. Campbell (author of The China Study) mentions in his book that in multiple peer reviewed animal studies, researchers discovered that they could turn the growth of cancer on and off by manipulating casein levels. Just in case you are not aware, casein is the main protein which is found in milk.

Now I know what your thinking “but milk didn’t cause the cancer it just accelerates the growth,” which is true, but there are so many alternatives to milk these days which taste better and are loaded with protein. Granted I would love to get more information from human studies to say this is for sure a fact, but why would I want to chance that?

I have also read that only 5-10% of cancer is genetic meaning the remainder 90-95% is solely based on lifestyle, diet, and environmental factors. Not too surprisingly vegans are said to be at the lowest risk for cancer but lets remember, eating a vegan diet does not necessarily mean you are eating a healthy diet free of processed foods so try to make wise choices.

The Grim Reaper Hung Up His Cloak and Came Back As Heart Disease

Heart disease is another one of those horrible diseases which I would love to do all that I can to avoid it.
 
Heart disease is said to cause 1/4 of the deaths in the United States coming in around 610,000 people every year and only increasing.
 
In fact heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in North America. So with those horrifying stats, I know that I do not want to be a part of that number, and luckily we can pretty easily avoid it.
 
Of course proper exercise is also a huge part to avoiding this disease, but another great way to avoid it is through a plant based diet. Wait it gets better, even if you have arteries which are clogged, it has been shown that a plant based diet can reverse the disease.
 
In the Cleveland Clinic (one of the best cardiac centers at the time), 18 patients with heart disease were prescribed something a little different, a whole food, plant based diet. The result? It stopped the progression of the disease, but on top of that, 70% of the patients saw an opening of their clogged arteries.
 
Dr. Dean Ornish, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, also completed a very similar study resulting in the same consistent results.
 
Whether your in it for prevention or trying to reverse any damage which may be done a plant based diet can help. If something as simple as a diet change can drastically reduce the chances of me getting the #1 killer across North America, it almost seems like a no brainer.  

Our Favorite Blue Marble Floating Through Space

So I’m sure the majority of us know that vegetables are healthy and that we should eat more of them, I mean our parents have been telling us for years while growing up to eat our vegetables.

But there is another reason why you should eat your veggies and it’s so much larger then you and I.

I have always been very fascinated with space and learning more about our planet and all the things that surround us. One of my favorite TV series that I admittedly have watched multiple times is Cosmos a space time Odyssey (which if you have not watched it, you should, its mind blowing.) It really shows us how big space is and the vast amount of galaxies that are out there.

But another more important thing it shows us is how much we need the planet we live on, Earth. There is no other planet, that we have found yet, which we can call home. Any planets or moons which look like they might be habitable are just so incredibly far away that it would take multiple lifetimes to just reach the planet.

We currently do not have the technology to travel fast enough to reach any of these planets within a person’s lifetime. So we need Earth to call our home, and we should be doing all that we can to keep this blue marble floating through space, habitable for decades to come.

Those Cows Sure Got Some Gas

I know pretty well everyone should be able to agree that we need Earth to live, but how does that have anything to do with eating a plant based diet?

I’m sure we have all heard of greenhouse gases, C02 and its effect on global temperatures increasing, if not you have been under a rock for some time now and welcome to 2018 (soon to be 2019).

From looking into the past we know that our planet goes through cycles and the increase of C02 is a normal phenomenon which through history we have seen it rise and drop. But with almost 8 billion people on this planet it would be impossible to say that we have had no effect on this increase.

Animal agriculture has a large contribution to this, probably larger then what we have actually measured, let me explain.

Cattle release a methane gas which is a lot like carbon dioxide but it has more of a negative effect on climate change (it’s said to be 23x worse). On average, one cow is capable of producing the same amount of C02 over a year as a car burning 1000 Liters of gas.

Where it really adds up is when you multiply that number by the 1 billion cattle on the planet, it’s like having another 1 billion cars on the road producing C02.

But it gets worse, all that cattle takes a great deal of land to raise and feed them, about 1-2 acres per cow. So with over a billion cows on the planet, in theory that should take up somewhere around 1 billion acres or more to keep them fed and happy.

That land doesn’t come for free and without cost, we need to clear the land to prepare it for the cattle which in a lot of cases means clearing forests for grazing land. One of the strongest things we have for fighting those increasing C02 numbers, trees, and we are cutting them all down to replace them with animals which produce more C02.

That is not including all the other animals which we have over populated for our increasing appetite for more meat, granted they may not have as large of an effect as cattle but still an effect.

Animals Should Not a Commodity

Now don’t get me wrong, I love animals and seeing how they are treated is just sickening. If you have never seen the documentary Earthlings, it’s worth a watch just to be aware of what is going on to get the food on your table.

Animals are treated as any other commodity and handled in such a inhumane way which lets be honest is there a humane way to raise an animal that is “just food.”

I can sit here and describe it, but I don’t think it would be as powerful as seeing it for yourself so I would recommend watching it.

But like those animals being bred for food, our pets greeting us at the door, the animals out in the wild, and even us, we all depend on things on Earth staying the same. None of us could be here without the perfect balance of all the things we call planet Earth. The size of the planet, the atmosphere, all the unique features we have on this planet which we all depend on to live.

The Extinction Crisis

A whole species of animal can be effected from a global temperature shift or from habitat loss, with extinctions on a rise it is scary to think what the future may have in store for us.

I read something the other day that scientist are estimating we will lose 30 to 50 percent off all species by mid-century.

Each year the storms seem to be getting more frequent, larger, and more powerful causing more havoc across the world. Here in Canada the winters have been getting more and more mild each year (I’m not complaining). The amount of huge forest fires that have been decimating hectors of land yearly and the lack of rain to put them out.

Our population is on the rise, we need more land to house all these people and we need even more land to feed them. Yes, eating meat may have worked in the past when the population was half of what it is, but with that number on the rise and knowing the amount of resources it takes to raise that meat, is it truly a sustainable food source?

More nations keep accepting the western diet and with that shift the amount of meat consumed is increasing. What that means is less forests (clear cutting for cattle), large amounts of fresh water and feed to make these animals grow and a large contribution to the atmospheric greenhouses gas in the form of methane.

Everything Around Us Is Changing, Shouldn't We Be Changing With It?

When I was a young kid here in Canada I very distinctly remember winter. Being bundled up in layers of snowsuits we would go out to conquer the feet of snow by building igloo type structures throughout the yard.

That was pretty well half the year and not a chance would the temperature raise above freezing.

That has drastically changed over the years, we are seeing more rain then we ever did before and above freezing temperatures almost weekly in the middle of winter! That was unheard of when I was a kid, we lived in a deep freeze and would be lucky if temperatures raised to -10C.

Winter is not the only thing which has changed, watching how the storms and fires have been progressively getting larger and more devastating over the years has really got to make a guy wonder. This global warming thing they keep talking about is becoming real and more apparent each year.

Yes it may be Earths normal cycle, the Earth has seen this before, followed by an ice age, but there is no doubt in my mind that we have not accelerated this.

I would love to be a Father and hopefully one day even a Grandfather, but for that to happen this planet needs to stay here for some time, well at least until we get this whole space/time travel thing figured out.

I want my children to be amazed by all the animals that we share this planet with, not have the majority of them go extinct. If things keep progressing the way they are, the only animals we will have here are the ones which are domesticated or ate.

I also want to be healthy enough to see my future grandchildren and be physically able to enjoy their company. So until I can afford my electric car and solar roof one of the best ways I can do my part is by cutting out my meat consumption.

I love animals and my health is obviously very important, but the well being of our planet and ecosystem is far more important. Without it none of us would be here and without it staying somewhat constant there will be no home for generations to come.

Taste buds change, muscles will still grow, but our planet is not going to fix itself without the help of the billions who reside on it and heaven forbid you may get a little healthier while doing it.

If you found any of this information helpful, do me a favor and pass it along!

Now that you know some of the top reasons why I have decided to cut meat from my diet, I would love to hear about you. Leave me a comment and let me know why you chose to lead a plant based life.

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