Friday, 4 November, 2016
Mike Jones is never going back to eating animal products: here’s why.
**This blog is based upon personal experience: everyone is different**
If one thing is for sure, I’m not going back to my old ways. Since I’ve made the switch to veganism, my body thanks me from the bottom of its heart, lungs and stomach. But the great thing I’ve found since the big lightbulb moment is that I felt relieved both physical and mentally: no more would I have to endure the thought that the food on my table was once a living, breathing, sentient being.
My ‘lightbulb’ moment was quaint and mostly unexpected. Thinking back, I’m now ashamed of the fact that I stuffed my face with food made out of the flesh of innocent animals. But that’s not how I felt then.
During my non-vegan days, I would just sit at the table, chewing down my food in silence, thinking about 1000 other things beside what was on my plate. And then, one day, a though hit me. And the jolt that I felt was so powerful, it was like being hit by a bus.
Like always, I was just about to sit down in order to enjoy a quiet meal. I can’t remember what exactly I was having that day: pork, or maybe chicken. It does not matter now. And as I was eating in silence, a thought occurred of what it’s like knowing that the only thing you were raised for was to fill the bellies of every Tom, Dick, and Harry out there.
Of course, after some time, these thoughts of anguish and excruciating pain and remorse got worse, up to the point where I started crying my heart out like someone told me that one of my parents died.
Needless to say, that day passed without me even touching anything resembling food. The next day, I threw all that disgusting food in the garbage bin, and munched on a piece of celery to fill my aching belly. From that moment, I knew that I couldn’t stand the thought of knowing that a single animal had to die for me.
Do I miss meat? Not all. The benefits of veganism mean that there are so many things that I don’t miss about my non-vegan days: here are eight of them.
1) Having fatigue
From the moment I’d get out of bed until I climbed back in again, I was constantly tired and drowsy. In fact, there were some mornings when I couldn’t conjure up the necessary energy to snooze the alarm on my phone.
My rhythm was the epitome of sluggish. I barely had enough energy to crawl out of bed or take a shower or to get dressed for work. Work itself was hard. Nearly every time I had something really important to do, my body would have sent up these strange ‘shut down’ signals, even if I slept like a baby through the whole night.
Medically speaking it was said to be fatigue: too much fat and calories stirring inside me, turning me into something half alive and half dead.
Since I’ve switched to my vegan diet, all my fatigue problem faded away. I’m full of energy most of the day and fit as a fiddle. Without a doubt, I won’t be missing sleeping on my keyboard anytime soon. I also found out that I wasn’t getting enough Vitamin B12 as a meat eater, which contributed to the problem. I now take regular supplements, something I’ve managed to find out about since going vegan!
2) Having trouble sleeping
Yes, you’ve guessed it. The side effect of eating too much meat is having trouble going to sleep. And it wasn’t about digestion. It’s not like I would gulp a full dish of burgers and greasy French fries 5 minutes before hitting the sack but, all the same, I find it hard at times to get to sleep.
I would lie on the bed admiring the ceiling, thinking about what Michelangelo would have done to it if he had had his way, in anticipation of that sweet slumber. I would have had to wait around several more hours before sleep took pity and me.
And guess what? The very next day I would have woken up feeling like someone sucked out my will to live.
Since I went vegan, I’m a much better sleeper. The Z’s usually come around before my head hits the pillow.
This turnaround was thanks to swapping out the carbs for protein, and eating more meals to get enough calories. Since I’ve adopted veganism, meals are much lighter and more fun to prepare and yes, easily protein-heavy!
3) Being moody
I’ve always been the moody type, but since I’ve gone vegan, l no longer feel grouchy or sulky. In the past, everything seemed to piss me off, especially when morning came. I know that most people are not themselves early in the morning, but I was the epitome of morning grouchiness. Some of my work colleagues have even told me that in the morning I’m something of a cross-breed between Godzilla and a zombie!
Needless to say, veganism was the cure to my gloominess, though first I had to do some research. Mood swings can be linked to missing essential amino acids, like glutamine, phenylanine, DLPA, and Tryptophan. Eating complete proteins like quinoa helps, as well as making sure you get a wide range of plant-based foods. I also found that chia seeds are a great help to my mood and energy levels.
Cleaning? Taking out the trash? Playing with the kitten? Going for a walk? What are these tortures you speak of? Back in those days, I was grateful if I had the energy and determination to get dressed and crash on the couch.
I had tons of stuff to do, but not enough stamina to do it. Cold showers and vitamins did nothing for me. I was just lazy and determined to let everything fall apart. But not anymore, thanks to my wonder diet.
Well, the reason why I was lazy, is because I lacked the determination to do something with my life. I was always feeling hopeless, no matter the situation. After the switch, I felt full of energy, like a jolt of electricity was running through my body.
This, I believe, is because veganism is more than what goes through your stomach: in order to better the world for yourself, animals and the environment, you have to better yourself.
5) Food comas
Everybody enjoys a hefty meal now and then but even if my meals weren’t all that big, I would still feel bloated, full and, yes, quite guilty.
I didn’t know what rationing my plate was. Usually, before dinner or lunch, I would take a bowl from the kitchen, fill it with random stuff from the fridge and dig right in. Of course, every meat-rich meal was an open invitation to a fully-fledged food coma. Never again!
6) Wondering if I’m going to end the steak or if the steak is going to end me
I really liked steak. Beef steak, pork steak, you name it, I had all of them. However, I didn’t like the idea of having a stroke. A steak might have seemed appealing at that time, but a big bowl of fat stuck on my heart and in my veins didn’t sound like something to look forward to.
7) Having bad skin
Talk about having bad skin! In my non-vegan days, I was like a chameleon. My skin sometimes had a greenish tint, followed by a yellowish one. I had a lot of pimples, and I could never get rid of that blasted acne.
On top of that, everybody kept saying that I looked quite spry for my age, even though I was only 25 years old. I found out that to get rid of my gator-like skin, veganism was the answer.
Why did my skin look so nasty and old? Because before I turned my diet around, I ate too many sweets and fatty foods!
8) The guilt of eating innocent animals
Eating a piece of meat is one thing, but knowing where it came from is entirely another. One of the things that strengthened my resolve was an article about how lamb meat is processed, with a picture of a cute lamb that was about to be sent to slaughter.
Never again will I eat another piece of meat, knowing that an animal had to give its life so that my belly will be full.
By Mike Jones
Mike Jones is a professional writer with a focus on health-related issues. He is also a proud vegan and contributing editor for .
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