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| | |-+  When I stopped eating meat...
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« on: March 04, 2014, 08:37:13 PM »

I appreciated the attached article a great deal and I really want to share it.  I stopped eating meat and any form of animal by-product (milk, eggs, butter, cheese) in December of 2013, thereby becoming what is referred to as a vegan.  However, this shift wasn't sudden.  It was the culmination of two years worth of reading and research on the benefits of a plant based diet combined with a shift in my eating patterns which saw me consuming less meat and more vegetables, fruits and nuts months in advance.  Mind you, what I aimed at changing was my lifestyle, not merely my diet.  My goal was to get fit and healthy.  As I delved into health statistics, discovered pictorial displays and available filmography dedicated towards educating the public about their meat supply, what I learned was the unnecessarily inhumane and indiscriminate methods that are rife in the production of meat and its by-products.  When I finally made my move towards what I felt to be a more conscientious way of life and fully embraced a plant based diet the resulting reaction from the people who were close to me was surprising.

They got upset.

Now I initially found the reaction puzzling.  Many people were annoyed that I'd gone to such an extreme and couldn't relate to what I was saying about health, fitness and the ethical aspects of consuming meat.  Sure there are pros and cons to eating meat but it is, to quote the article, not a "morally neutral act" and the consequences are immediate though not necessarily immediately visible.  However, despite my attempts at explanation, education, dialoguing and sharing, what I encountered was a backlash from a community entrenched in a culture that advocates strenuously towards exploiting animal life.  There was strong pressure for me to reconsider and re-align...arguments were made that I was hell bent on making myself ill, that man is naturally designed to eat meat, was being excessive to whatever end, etc.  Religious lore has also played a role, I think, in enforcing this widespread superiority complex that promotes a casual attitude towards animal cruelty in farming practices (both land and sea).  Meanwhile, as my weight/size dropped (a natural consequence to a plant rich diet balanced with consistent physical exercise/activity), whispers began to circulate at my workplace (where the outcry was loudest) that I had an eating disorder and an intervention was even discussed.  As much as it all made me laugh, the larger picture isn't lost and pressure continues to be applied in concert to save me from a decision I made because the majority will not accept it, either because they fail to believe or understand an alternate viewpoint outside of the mainstream ideology despite how informed my own personal action may have been.  It has become an interesting experience in group conformity versus individual autonomy.  

http://www.forksoverknives.com/we-are-more-than-what-we-eat-the-hidden-benefits-of-eating-a-whole-food-plant-based-diet/
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