From Vegetarian to Vegan

For all my years as a vegetarian I reckon I was as far away from taking the leap to veganism as my meat-loving friends. Sure I wasn’t eating meat but dairy was definitely on the menu. How else do you eat pasta and beans? Weren’t vegans just a little bit extreme – ok a lot!

There were key distinctions missing.

Like Johanna’s story I too had a love affair with cheese but also with low-fat milk and natural yoghurt – and I felt pretty righteous about my choices. Unlike Johanna I hadn’t really connected the dots regarding the farming practices that allowed me my milk in my tea.

So let’s connect some dots. 

First up, health.

When I came across the notion that plants and plants alone could; a) give me all that I needed nutritionally and b) prevent, and in some cases, reverse major diseases, I thought “why haven’t I heard of this? Why are we getting sicker and sicker as a species and not running with this impressive body of evidence?”

What is good for baby calves is not good for us.

Also those righteous low-fat dairy products have higher amounts of unwanted animal proteins. The low-fat moniker is not synonymous with health (other low fat products are usually highly processed and laced with salt and sugar).

It’s not so pretty down on the dairy farm. Mother cows have it rough. There’s nothing clean and green about it and it’s time to really take a look at the impact our food choices have on the environment.

The dairy industry is HUGE and they have all manner of slick ways to convince you to consume. Do we really believe drinking milk will help us lose weight? They’d like us to think so. Do not confuse science with advertising.

So how is life without the cheese? It’s dandy thanks – I truly don’t miss it. My crackers are happy with hummus; my sandwiches love seared tofu or avocado stuffed with salad veges, pickles, olives … ; muesli and blended fruits are great friends; ice cream alternatives are easy to make; and pizza without cheese? Delicious!

Take the leap! You won’t regret it.

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