If you have spent any time pondering moving over to a 100% plant-based diet, I have one question for you: what are you waiting for?
Look, I get it. I have lived with a vegetarian (latterly vegan) for coming up 17 years. We had a mutual understanding of eachother, she wouldn’t hassle me to quit meat and I wouldn’t take the piss out of her for eating like a rabbit. I had a latent guilt though, one that started in childhood, yet I held on to my meat-eating ways for far more years than I wish I had.
I try not to live with regret. I shoved the thoughts about the pain and misery I was causing to the back of my mind. I let the sanitised packaging convince me that it wasn’t an actual animal I was ingesting but, of course, I was kidding no-one. Apart from myself.
The beginning of 2016 was when I decided to remove meat from my diet, apart from fish. Vegequarian, I called it. Again, I did some justification and convincing that it was OK to eat fish – they had no central nervous system and so on. It helped that a tin of tuna bore no resemblance to a living creature and that prawns looked like pygmy willies. But I felt guitly still and also felt a bit silly justifying it.
But it was a step forward. Headed into 2017, I made a resolution to myself: look into plant-based alternatives. I am very strict with my diet and had spent years honing it to fuel my exercise activities whilst keeping my bodyfat low. I have some kind of body dysmorphia issue which causes me anguish over my bodyfat levels and factoring that stuff in made my decision harder and slower. I knew where I was with chicken, tuna and prawns (my staple for a decade) but had no idea about chick peas, legumes and broccoli.
It took just a few documentaries to convince me to make the change. I hadn’t yet determined what I would eat instead but I simply couldn’t face eating another animal so, much sooner than expected, I went plant-based. And, yes, it did (and still does) cause me a bit of confusion but I haven’t regretted it for a second.
I know all the arguments against – hell, I have spouted them all! – but they are all moot points. One of the most common is that humans are meant to eat meat. Maybe, but we can survive without it. When we were a new species on the planet, fighting to survive against the odds, not sure where our next meal was coming from then, yeah, kill a mammoth and eat that. Surely we have evolved since then? We have also multiplied to a level that is, frankly, unsustainable. If we continue to multiply in the rate we have in the last couple of centuries, a near future earth will not be able to provide enough food, energy or shelter for whatever unlucky inhabitants are alive at that time. One way that us humans could help ourselves would be to eat a plant-based diet. In doing so, millions of acres of land currently sacrificed to the altar of the McBurger can be released to grow food that many more millions would have access to.
We are no longer barbarians. In the same way that previous generations used arsenic for medicine, until they learned better, science is proving beyond doubt that a plant-based diet is healthier for the average human and is a key to longevity.
It really is this simple. If you answer “yes” to any or all of the following questions, you are probably overdue a change.
1) Do you want to be healthier right now?
2) Do you want your later life to be healthier?
3) Would you like to live longer?
4) Do you want to feel better about yourself?
5) Do you want to feel better about your choices?
6) Do you want more energy and vitality?
7) Do you wish that you weren’t part of the machinations that cause the torture, misery and ultimate death of billions of living, sentient, feeling creatures every year?
8) Do you want to change your life?
Don’t just think about it. It may be hard at first, you may miss certain foods, family and friends may not understand. But so what? Just do it.