It’s the end of week two on the plant-based diet, and so far so good. There’s been a few here and there instances when I’ve “broken” the diet, but still no milk or meat, and I try my best when out. The most surprising thing to me has been people’s feedback to my decision. I didn’t think people would be against it or not supportive of it, but the people closest to me have actually been the worst.
When I told my best friend over text her responses were, “nooooo”, “is it healthy to do that? Isn’t it a ton more effort?” By her response I felt kind of heart broken. Eating a plant-based diet is not a “ton more effort,” and I actually think it may be less. At restaurants, I don’t suffer from not being able to choose between the options because there are usually only one or two. At home, a majority of my time preparing my food is mainly cutting up my fruit and vegetables, which I would be doing either way. The biggest burden so far has been dealing with people that aren’t supportive.
I also know that my friend is an animal lover so her response took me by surprise. I just don’t get how someone can see a cow, a pig, a chicken, or a goat and think “aww how cute! I love them!” and then in that same week or even same day eat bacon and eggs, a steak, chicken wings, and ice cream. My decision comes partly from wanting to fuel my body from healthier foods, partly wanting to reduce my carbon footprint, and partly from not wanting to support an industry that relies on the suffering from innocent animals.
This past week I traveled back and forth from Philly to Chicago. I had two days of meetings in a hotel, and I have to say their food options were not at all suitable for a vegan. Lunch day one was two slices of eggplant, lettuce, tomato on grain bread. Lunch day two was a slice of zucchini, two slices of squash, a thing of lettuce, a tomato slice and smear of hummus on grain bread. At least during day one I had tofu scramble for breakfast, and a quinoa, black rice bowl for dinner. But after day two when I was traveling home I felt completely depleted. I scheduled a Caviar food delivery from a vegan pizzeria while I was in the airport in Chicago to arrive at my apartment shortly after I landed, that’s how low my energy levels were. Because I didn’t want to faint I did eat the pretzel mix provided on the plane that had a million ingredients listed.
Overall, I’m not going to let others opinions make me change my decision. I haven’t yet told my parents, and I know it won’t be well received by my Mom. When I told my brother, he said it was stupid and that humans wouldn’t have gotten smarter if it wasn’t for meat. I looked that up and I found what he had been referring to, “Food for Thought: Meat-based Diet Made Us Smarter” by NPR Science Desk. I thought title was a bit like click-bait, and it is because it makes two claims on how humans grew bigger brains that contributed to us spending less time eating, chewing, and digesting our foods, eating meat and cooking. Since it is unknown when fire was created/discovered, there is no telling if cooking came before, after, or at the same time as when we began eating meat or when our guts shrank and how brains grew. Either way this content was looking at our earliest ancestors and has nothing to do with how our dietary habits should be in this day and age. I hope over time that my friends and family will grow to be more understanding. And my friend already has, the day I told her she actually had a dinner with colleagues and someone there was vegan who basically addressed all her concerns. It’s funny how that kind of worked out.