When we say the word vegan, for many who enjoy their meat, negative connotations arise of political, balaclava-wearing animal rights activists. Chris is a chef specializing in plant-based food and expresses dislike toward the veganism label because of the political connotations and has a different approach to his diet and lifestyle.
I am vegan by definition, but I only use the term for convenience. I believe that lifestyle is individual and I prefer to avoid blanket terms because there are many other things I choose not eat besides animal produce. For every junk food vegan complaining about what people eat, I can guarantee that the junk-food omnivores would mostly be eating wheat and soy anyway, so it is all unnecessary details that they are focused upon when there is a deeper issue this all stems from. Most likely, the person who eats for convenience is caring very little about what their body actually needs and is unlikely to care about an animal in a factory somewhere. Besides, junk food veganism marketed to a niche is expensive (cardboard-textured meatless bacon anybody?). It is bullshit that a healthy diet is expensive. How is what you are eating already not expensive? In fact, how is what most people eat not a complete waste of money? I don’t mind paying a bit extra for quality; I’d rather that than constantly crave bad food. Celebrities don’t have specially designed diets for no reason, they do it because it’s high impact and works; they don’t deprive themselves or crash-diet to achieve a desirable body.
I believe that health comes through happiness and happiness through health and that it’s symbiotic. I feel it is important to be conscious about what you eat because all ‘dis-eases’ stem from stress, which impacts your body in some way. Your body is the primary interface that interacts between your source and physical reality and we have a duty to take as good care of it as we can. Your body has no idea what your hobbies or jobs are, it is simply interested in maintaining itself and it strives for wellness. I indulge in my vices occasionally and my body easily deals with hangovers and comedowns so I don’t feel physically taxed the following days; it looks after me. If you were a hunter-gatherer you would be very concerned about maintaining good health and would learn about your environment in order for you and your community to stay alive. We have neglected our responsibility to care about our health in exchange for convenient, pre-packaged, chemical laden foodstuffs that starve our bodies of vital nutrients. My little sister refuses to eat anything that isn’t processed beyond recognition and drinks energy drinks to keep functioning, she is now in hospital and doctors are doing tests to find out what nutrient deficiencies are causing the swelling in her legs. She is an example for why it is important to eat well, rather than take painkillers to mask the symptoms of not eating well.
The personal relationship between nature and the hunter-gatherer, from the agricultural age, when families grew food between them, diminished at the advent of the industrial age, and with it mass food production. Now we are transitioning into the technological age, we should use it to our advantage by spreading information but instead we’re using it to create barely edible ‘foodstuff’ in labs. We’re getting more disconnected from the original source that provided for us, and we’re using technology against ourselves when we should be using it for ourselves. If you are privileged enough to be reading this, you have technology and intelligence to your advantage, why not make the most of it?
As a metaphor, when I was younger and played fantasy RPG’s, the reason why I enjoyed it so much was the control I had over my character, I could design, train and feed it. You essentially play God. You use the environment and available resources to gain experience, level up and collect the ‘rare candies’. It’s always your desire to make that character the best and have a fun game experience by being the strongest through strategy, otherwise you (frustratingly) fail the game. Now I am older, I am both the avatar and the God in my environment with access to great things in this reality to help me reach optimum health in order to live life in a positive way. It’s exciting to live my life as if it’s a fantasy game and notice the results first-hand and to feel my powers increasing. I even have more access to creativity because my head is clearer. Because I am ‘God’, I like to have as much control over my life as possible and considering I am privileged to have access to the best foods from all over the globe, I am interested to see how far a human can develop when they consume plenty of nutrient dense ‘super-foods.’ God only eats the finest foods known to man! I feel that learning about food, educating others by talking and sharing will be very beneficial for the people and planet of the future. God is also loving and kind. If you make healthy decision regarding food, you’re likely to make healthier decisions in other areas of your life; it’s an exercise in keeping present and conscious and sensitive both spiritually, physically and mentally.
I can’t attack the meat industry without attacking mass-production, profit-driven industry in general. It doesn’t bother me if people eat meat as I understand that life continues through sacrifice and nothing on this planet is benign (besides fruit perhaps), but gratitude is often absent. Not only that but meat takes a long time to digest and most people don’t even eat the parts of the animal that contain the vital nutrients. There is something very needless about eating a mostly-meat diet. It is easier to get vital nutrients by eating a wide variety of plants. You can get omega fatty acids and iodine from seeds, marine vegetation and more, the potential is huge and because they are so healthy you don’t need to consume a lot of them. You only need a tiny pinch of Spirulina and you can almost survive off chia seeds alone, do some research and slowly incorporate them into your current diet. It might not sound appetizing but your body will adjust and thank you for it.
As for militant vegans; you’re a person striving for well-being, how can you achieve that if your motivation is to put people down and try to change people without their happiness in mind? I find it’s more effective to lead by example rather than by dogma. I feel that all these action-based issues are stressing you to your detriment, whereas if you put your happiness first, it would shine and more people would be interested in your secrets. I first went vegan because my friends were and it was convenient to get into eating vegan food. I somehow developed an animal-rights motivation too, using shock tactics to change people but I grew out of that a while ago. I don’t see why I should impose negative emotions on other people, because it’s not a good place to start. I don’t believe animal exploitation is right, but I have decided not to make it my personal problem, instead I’ll take pleasure in looking after myself and allow that respect to grow further.