Thinking of Going Vegan or Vegetarian but You Don’t Know Where To Start? Here’s Some Advice…
Most people assume if you’re vegan that you must not like to see cute little piggies and cows getting slaughtered. It just breaks your heart so much that you just decided to take one of the most essential proteins that we as humans eat and just ditch it from your diet for the sake of the animals.
I’m not saying that this isn’t a huge part of it, because once you open your eyes to the way we treat our livestock in this country, it definitely does help you avoid meat and dairy for that reason alone.
I became vegan for other reasons.
My husband was suffering from some health issues and through trying to help him I started reading about the issues he was having and dairy and meat were large culprits. He had very bad excema and psoriasis on his skin and one of the largest culprits for these outbreaks turned out to be dairy and meat! In fact, many infants in the US suffer from excema and many parents have found that by removing dairy from the infant/toddlers diet can clear it all up. If you’re going to try this, you need to give it at least 3 or 4 weeks before you will notice any changes while the body works all of the animal proteins out of the system.
My husband had seen every dermatologist at the board of dermatology for Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties and none of them could help him with a natural way to get rid of his excema and psoriasis. They instead wanted to give him prescriptions so hard core that he would have to take a liver functionality test prior to taking them because they are so hard on your body.
I happened one night to look up excema and psoriasis in this book, Prescription for Natural Cures, which is a book written by a medical doctor and a naturopath. They said that dairy and meat were large offenders for people that suffered from these skin disorders and it also explained why which made a lot of sense to me. My husband and I completely removed dairy from our diets and after one year his skin was completely cleared up! At one point he was off dairy but was eating a ton of chicken and his skin got really bad again. I learned that this also has to do with animal protein build up as well as the arachidonic acid in chicken as well.
The more I read about health problems and diet and disease, the more it all came back to dairy and meat.
I became vegan in 2006 and it is a hard road in a sense because so many people look at you funny and it’s hard to eat out, but once you have the knowledge in your head it motivates you to keep going with it.
It is a lifestyle change. It is literally experimenting with things like rice milk until you find things to eat that still feel like comfort foods, but are healthier for you. You dont have to eat only salad every day!
So, there are a few books that I would highly recommend reading. They look a lot at scientific evidence on diet/disease link trends in America as well as other countries. As well as discuss the really screwed up things we do here like our horrible factory farms and other disgusting farming practices that we standardly use here that the UK and Ireland have banned for years.
The only other person that has read this book that I had read that turned me into a vegan is Monica, my co-blogger! She just started reading it at the end of May of this year, as you can read in previous posts, and she hasn’t even finished it yet but she has already gone completely vegan as well as her three children. She said that she looks at food completely different now and she sees how it was affecting her body and her children’s bodies.
That book is called The Food Revolution by John Robbins It is an easy read in the sense that he has facts throughout the whole book so you can start by just kind of scanning through it and looking at some of the facts and then you’ll probably end up wanting to read more once you look at the scientific data that has been gathered.
The next book that I highly recommend is called The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. This book explains the findings in a 27 year (and still going!) study on different counties in China where meat and dairy are heavily consumed and other areas where they eat mostly plant based proteins and the staggering links between diet and diseases that they suffer/die from. Over 800 links were found and then published in scientific journals about this study. This is the largest study ever done on humans. The New York Times called it “The Grand Prix of Epidemiology”.
The man that wrote the book, T. Colin Campbell, grew up on a dairy farm and began his career in biomedical sciences trying to come up with a safe way to make pigs and cows grow faster so that we could produce meat quicker and cheaper. The goal was that by producing meat faster and cheaper we could help eradicate hunger throughout the world. We could get animal protein over to third world countries because they thought it was the lack of animal protein in these people’s diets that was causing their malnutrition.
The more studies he was involved in the more it became clear that the people with the highest consumptions of meat and dairy were the ones that were dying of liver cancer, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, etc.
This book is the one that NFL Football player Tony Gonzalez read and after only the first 40 pages he had already decided to go vegan!
Another book I would recommend is The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Living. This is a great guide to understanding what your body needs to function and what foods you need to eat to keep your body in top performance. It is very well written and a guide that I find myself referencing constantly.
Another book that helps with the transition, I think, is a book called Vegetables Every Day. This book has nothing to do with being vegan, it is just a cook book that has very simple and yet incredibly tasty ways of cooking vegetables. Any time he calls for butter I just substitue with olive oil.
Also, if you are starting by trying to avoid dairy, there are a few ingredients you should know about that are actually dairy. Any time you see whey or whey protein or casein or casein protein, it is derived from dairy. Casein is the main protein found in milk that has been strongly linked to type one diabetes in formula fed babies who’s formula was made with cow’s milk. Also it takes dairy approximately three weeks to fully work out of your body, so if you are still feeling bloated and farting a lot it’s likely not out!! Also, soy milk often makes people feel bloated too so you may want to try rice milk or almond milk if soy is giving you bother.
Another book that is not too scientific but focuses more on ways you can make the transition to vegan living and why you should do it is called Skinny Bitchand the authors also have a book called Skinny Bachelor about men being vegan as well as an incredible cookbook called Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.
If you have any questions or comments or you want to share about other books, movies or blogs that you have found that have helped you, please log in and post a review or leave a comment below.