So why veganism?

April Farmers marketAlthough I have not eaten meat for over 20 years, I have eaten fish, eggs and butter on and off. However, with my recent trips to India, where I find it so easy to be vegan; as well as working on 2 yoga retreats for a total of 6 weeks with vegan food, I really wanted to try to keep it up.  Not only is the food amazing but obviously there are the ethical reasons behind it as well as the nutritional ones:

Ethics

This is obviously a huge one and the way animals are treated for our sakes is pretty outrageous.  I am not going to go into too much detail here, but I am learning that it’s not only about the fact that we are eaten animal produce but how by having milk, for example, it may be depriving the calf of its milk in the meantime.  It has just therefore given me food for thought and I just wanted to share this.

I am also sure that everyone is pretty aware of some of the ethics surrounding this and obviously there are plenty of documentaries out there to watch if you are thinking of cutting out animal protein…

Nutrition

Due to the awful conditions animals are kept in, they more often than not catch diseases where antibiotics are required.  They are then fed GMO food and whatever else, as well as given growth hormones to get bigger quicker.  That is all going inside of us…

On top of this, when protein is cooked it is denatured, turning it into a completely different structure.  This means that the protein is not able to carry out its task, be it carrying haem (iron) or magnesium around your blood, building up your muscles, or contributing to your hormone messengers etc.…

Ayurveda                 

On a recent yoga retreat with an Ayurvedic specialist, it was quite strongly drummed into us as to how inflammatory animal protein can be, which started making me think twice about eating fish.  However, what stopped me more in my tracks was the fact that from an Ayurvedic perspective, meat or fish is also dead decayed matter!  From their perspective (as with Traditional Chinese Medicine), food is not just about enjoying it, but its giving you the prana, energy, qi, whatever you would like to call it, and that does not exist in dead matter, obviously….

Ayurveda does not however dismiss meat completely. It instead talks a lot about your constitution or your dosha and what is good for your dosha to keep us in a state of balance. I will explain this in more detail in a blog post soon! 🙂

However, in summary, meat affects each dosha in different ways:

  • For a Vata, meat produces negative energy of the mind, increasing anxiety, so they are told to try to eat meat only during the weekends when they are more relaxed. They are not however told to stop it completely because it actually has a strengthening effect on the body.
  • For a Pitta, they should have it maximum once a well as it can increase their anger.
  • For a Kapha, meat increases fat (like for like) and they are therefore advised to be vegetarian. If they are to eat meat, it should be chicken, turkey and some fish maximum once a week.

So here are some facts for you, but I am not trying to preach to anyone here.  I am more explaining the reason for me wanting to try veganism, following my other blog posts.  I still have my moments though, because as a Vata I do sometimes feel the need for more nourishment and strengthening.  It is also not that easy to eat healthy vegan food all the time, especially when you are out and about.  Hence my blog on healthy eating on the go!

Whatever you decide, I think just becoming more aware of where you source your food and changing your habits accordingly, is a good start.

If you want to try vegan, do make sure you are doing so healthily, to ensure you are getting all the nutrients your body requires.  See my posts for some inspiration! 🙂

But, if listening to your body means eating animal protein; please at least consider the inflammatory nature of it and have it less frequently; and try to eat grass fed, organic and well treated produce to at least help on some levels! 🙂

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