The fourth annual Vegan Month of Food is here! It’s the Vegan MoFo, and I couldn’t be more excited! You might remember my MoFo posts from last year. Basically, vegans across the internet pledge to post every day about the awesome power of vegan eats.
Since I think there are a lot of new readers in this space, I’m going to kick off the MoFo this year just like I did last year: talking a little bit about why I went vegan. I know a lot of you guys are vegan, too, and I’d love to hear your stories in the comments! Please, feel free to share – this kind of discourse is what the MoFo is all about!
Actually, I have another reason for re-hatching this story. There’s a person in my life that’s going through exactly the same thing I did back when I went vegan, and she and I have been talking a lot about food.
Back in…what? 2005? I was pescatarian and super duper into riding my bike. I rode that thing everywhere. Seriously, I’ve never been in better shape than back then. So, you can imagine my surprise when my doctor told me that my cholesterol was high. And not just kind of high. It was seriously high. He wanted me to start taking Lipitor.
Lipitor?? I was 25! No freaking way was I going to start a daily drug regimen at 25. Instead, I told my doc that I’d try changing up my diet. We scheduled a follow up appointment for 3 months later, and I cut eggs and dairy out of my diet the same day.
It all started for health reasons, but the more I read about how those eggs and dairy products made it from the farm to my fridge, the less I wanted to do with any of it. I’ve always loved animals, and reading about horrors like debeaking made me never want to go back. What’s debeaking? In factory farming environments, chickens will often peck each other. The solution, of course, isn’t to give the chickens more space. Instead, they use a machine to cut the ends of their beaks off:
Three months went by, and my cholesterol retest came back normal. It’s been normal ever since! No drugs required. Nice try, Pfizer!
So, for a little while there, I was eating seafood but no other meat, eggs, or dairy. Meanwhile, I was reading more and more about mercury in seafood, pollution from fish farms, and the way that overfishing was destroying our oceans. Every time I ate seafood, I started feeling sort of ill. Finally, I decided to quit animal products all together. It felt like the right choice for my health, the environment, and for animals.
I’ve never looked back.