I can’t believe it’s been this long
Where has the time gone?
Although it’s true that I have been some version of vegetarian since I was 18, I was one of those veggies who swore they would never go vegan. That’s just crazy, right? Of course, I said this about running marathons, too, and look where that got me. I’ve now run 10 of those.
Besides the standard question about where I get my protein, I often get asked why I choose to eat this way. My standard answer is that I went vegetarian for the animals and vegan for my health. That’s how the transition went for me.
I don’t like the idea of animals suffering for my own sustenance. It’s not necessary. And once I saw that I could survive without meat, I also learned more about how damaging animal agriculture is to our environment. It’s also extremely inefficient.
Here are a few facts about the animal agriculture industry that may surprise you:
- It takes 11 lbs of grain to make one pound of meat.
- Animal farms are the largest producers of methane on the planet.
- Animal agriculture is the largest market for antibiotics in the United States contributes to the evolution of superbugs.
- Cows have best friends and feel emotions, actually crying before slaughter.
- Male chicks are ground alive, saving the females for egg laying.
- It takes 2,400 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef.
The longer I’m vegan, the more empathy I have toward all living creatures. I’ve even rescued bugs from my home! After all, if I ever find myself in the wrong place, I hope someone will guide me to safety, too.
And in my effort to become healthier, I think I’ve achieved that. The biggest overall change is in my symptoms of asthma. I used to get bronchitis 2-3 times a year. I haven’t had it once since going vegan!
I had a physical last week. And although my cholesterol was once only 142 after going vegan, it’s now 151. My HDL cholesterol was under 50 at that time but is now 56. So I attribute part of the rise to taking my “good” cholesterol to a healthy range. And my hemoglobin is 14.3. So I’m definitely not anemic!
I even made this transition to vegan after I started running. Although my speed has declined as I’m now pushing 50, I still manage to complete long distances with relatively quick recovery. I definitely attribute this to reducing inflammation through my diet.
There are so many windows that going vegan has opened for me. With so many questions asked about my lifestyle, and especially how it affects my running, I decided to start writing about it, which is how my blog was born. Through the blog, I was asked to speak at our local VegFest last year! And my writing has evolved to include helping edit my local run club’s magazine. None of this would have happened without going vegan.
Following this lifestyle is easier than ever. So many more products are on the market to make eating meat and dairy-free more convenient. And I’m thrilled that in my town, more and more restaurants are becoming vegan-friendly.
So, there you have it. I have evolved into one of those crazy vegetarians who went vegan, and my life is far better for it.
Peta (statistics about grain and water usage and methane production)
Ned Hardy (information about cow behavior)
RSPCA (information about the chicken industry)
Thank you for reading about my vegan journey!
As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.