I didn’t do it for the animals.

The first thing I read this morning was an article about veganism and how a plant based diet has the possibility to cure diabetes. And I wanted to say something about myself, that maybe you already know. 

I switched to a vegan diet in 2012. The worse year of my life. The wake up call.

First I did it because I was ill. I spent several months with almost no energy to get out of bed and thinking I was about to live a painful life forever, my joints used to hurt as if I has needles stuck between them. And I wasn’t even 30. I went vegan and have been back and forth from vegetarian to vegan for a year and a half (I have made exceptions when I considered it appropriate and most times I did this my body had something to say afterwards), I started experimenting, listening, changing, trying to maintain a vegan diet while keeping my social life active (which is very difficult when everything served has bacon or cheese in it and when you order a vegetarian salad people ask you if you want chicken to go with it) and tolerating the comments and judgments from people around me (and also experiencing love from people who understand and support me and make an effort to avoid losing our friendship because of food).

A week after I started being a vegan the pain associated with my disease had cleared 80%. I now very rarely feel any discomfort, I have more energy than I ever had, I feel awake and happy, and strong. I feel good about myself and what I do.

A year after, I haven’t had any crisis or flare ups. I am healthy. In case you’re worried about my protein I can say I am strong and I get enough vegetable protein from delicious food that I cook. My skin is healthy, my muscles have grown and toned. I am a yoga student and a diver. I practice. I dive. I work. I travel. I party. My blood work is only lacking vitamin D (in Belgium, really?).

I didn’t do it for the animals. But in the end you know what? It feels good to know that what I put in my body is alive and didn’t scream with rage before being slaughtered. It feels good to know that I am doing some good and less harm. That my eating habits contribute to the planet, just like sorting waste does, just like not littering does, just like not killing does.

It came as a by product to my vegetarian/vegan diet: I am doing less harm. Ahimsa. As a yogi there is no way to deny it. You can accept your responsibility, and decide not to comply with this principle, we are all free to do that, you can also decide to get in fights with your neighbor, to be envious of your friend, to be unhappy with what you have, you can decide to live in the past and not stay in the moment, you can do any of this, accept your responsibility, and live like that, no one is perfect and we all go through that in different ways and different moments of our life. What we cannot do is deny it. Becase we know. Ahimsa means doing less harm. And eating animals does not do less harm. It does more.

As a side note, although I have no evidence that vegans are more bendy (and I haven’t done any research on that) I would put money on it. If you want to improve flexibility try a vegan diet for a month while you practice daily. You will tell me what happens. I really want to know.



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