Exploring Culture – Becoming Vegan, So That’s What Amazing Feels Like? Part 1

DSC04488Recently, some of you may have read my article Exploring Culture – 30 Day Vegan Challenge. There is so much to write about my recent journey to a cruelty free lifestyle, but I am proud to pronounce I am now vegan, though, with a couple of minor exceptions.

The best part is, I feel both mentally and physically healthier then I ever have, and it’s great!

I plan to be vegan while living in western society and access to the foods I require is relatively easy, this may sacrifice some of my comfort, but I am happy that my sacrifice will benefit other animals and people in the world. Though, I will really need to assess my long term health in the time to come.

Currently, my frame of mind is; If I am off in a remote environment, such places like bush, jungle, forrest or mountains. With other cultures over seas it is not possible to have a pure vegan diet, I may consume animal products, though I will be sure to source food from animals that have not lived a horrible life like they can have in farms. Saying this, I have been losing the taste for meat and it would not surprise me if this idea would repulse me in some time. I do have plans to travel to some remote areas where it will be hard to live off a vegan diet, though I will do the best I can as each situation arises.

The journey of my first 30+ days of being Vegan had some crazy ups and downs. This experience has attracted far more attention from those around me then I ever imagined. Far more then any thing else I have done in life. I have really impressed some people and earn’t great admiration. Already since I went vegan I have had other friends follow or go vegetarian. Some have just realised it is an idea to cut down on animal products, replace animal products with alternatives when possible and learn to appreciate and not waste these products. It makes me happy a decision I made has had a positive flow on affect to others. Saying that, I have been up against a huge amount of negativity that I am sure will be a battle for some time ahead. It is truly disturbing the way some friends and people have acted. Some of the comments that have been made that show zero disrespect for the lives of animals, and other humans are alarming. Not only have I come up against harsh comments, I have had people deliberately trying to trap/trick me into eating animal products, or have friends laugh rubbing rotting flesh over my food.

I have been constantly asked ” what do you crave “. I thought about this one day and realised – The main craving I have had since becoming vegan is others on the same wavelength, that understand why I would make such a choice, to talk to and assist me those times it became difficult. 

Before starting I carried out a bit of research, though this was no where near enough. I spent a lot of my time in the first week reading and learning as much

This is me trying to feed goats leafs and pat them in Tonsai.

This is me trying to feed goats leafs and pat them in Tonsai.

as I could. I read a few books, googled many questions and watched some pretty incredible documentaries. I learnt that 2 of my biggest idols, Russel Brand and Chris Liebing (a techno producer) are also Vegan. I also learnt that someone who I presumed would feel strongly against cruelty to animals, The Dalai Lama is not even vegetarian. Someone who preaches so much love and compassion, still eats animals. More surprisingly then this, I learnt Hitler, one of the worst people in history that had no respect for human life was a Vegetarian (possibly vegan). Hitler actually planned to make Germany a country of vegetarians had he won the war. Though I am glad Hitler did not win the war, imagine a country of Vegans. I also learnt that there is many successful people in all aspects of life that are vegan such as Pamela Anderson, Scott Jurek ( long distance record holder) Ben Stiller, Bill Clinton, Ellen Degeneres, Avril Lavigne, Carl Lewis, Brad Pitt, Prince and so many others. It was also interesting to learn that the amount of Vegans in the US has doubled from 2.5% to 5% in the past 2 years. I feel as though with a shift of consciousness happening with the global population as well as movements  such as those against Genetically Modified foods and the increase in healthy lifestyles such as Yoga and the uprising in raw food diets that the shift towards veganism is only going to increase. I have also learnt that a lot of Anarchists are vegans and at the extreme end of this scale are what they call ” Freegans “. It is amazing the amount of connections I have pieced together in the world and all it’s different cultures purely by changing my diet. It is great to find others that have similar beliefs and interests as myself are more similar then noticeable at first.

I think it is best to clarify what made me decide to become vegan. It is hard to say where it all begun. I have always loved animals. I think from conditioning

This Foal was only born around 8 hours before this photo. So beautiful.

This Foal was only born around 8 hours before this photo. So beautiful.

I never stopped to think about how animals lives are impacted by my lifestyle. Even working on farms I never really thought about it. I just accepted it as life. Some time this year I started getting this urge, voice or energy inside me telling me not to eat animals. It is hard to explain. It was a feeling that crept up inside me and got stronger and stronger. I also noticed some friends I really admire that are also vegetarian or vegan. I think this combined with slowly becoming aware of the harsh treatment of animals from pages my friends have shared on Facebook is what did the trick. It is the Dairy industry that disturbs me the most. The fact Dairy cows will only live up to 4 years old, instead of 20 due to the way they are bread to produce 10x more milk then they naturally should. Being milked by machines 4 times a day in dark warehouses exhausts them. Also, all this is after they are raped by a machine to impregnate them and their calf is ripped away at a day or two old, to be penned up in a feeding pen on it’s own and sold as veal if it is a male. This as well as the way chickens are penned up with no room to move and a lot of other harsh treatment of animals. Sure we can go on about how bad it is when they are killed, but at the end of the day I do accept that part as life. Not many of the worlds in habitants get a nice natural death. Nature is brutal, I accept that. But nature doesn’t involve planning the date of ones death before it is even born and using violence and fear to control it purely for materialistic reward. It’s not as though we are really allowing the circle of life to happen. We have messed about with it. I would happily donate my body to be fead to animals when I died instead of buried or burnt. This is what would have happened for thousands of years. Most people would probably think this idea is shocking, but that just shows how obscure peoples perception of reality can be. Rituals at death such as burial and cremation are really there for the weakness of our minds.

As well as these reasons, I believe the world is being over populated and that our environment can’t handle this. In some parts of world people are struggling to eat and more land is required to be cleared and it takes more water to produce protein from animals. It would require less of the earth for people to populate if more of us lived of a plant based diet. Also farming has a negative impact on the environment with pollution and the use of water.

I could go on for hours about the negative impacts on the earth from the way farming is now days. If any one would like to learn more I can point them in the right direction.

If animals were treated better, I probably would never have stopped eating them, but this would mean I would have never learnt the amazing health benefits of being vegan for my body, mind and spirit. In part 2 I will talk about the amazing health benefits I now feel from my new diet, such as having intense clarity in thought, as well as a constant vibrant energy. I will also talk about some of the difficulties I had to overcome in my transition.

This speech highlights most of the benefits of becoming vegan for those who are interested.

Ian at Bucketlist

Hi, I’m Ian and I have made it my life mission to travel and experience everything this world has to offer. Follow me on my quest to live outside the boundaries of conventional society and see the world through the eyes of all our fellow inhabitants. I hope to inspire and motivate you to make your own path in life and push your own limits.

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