I experienced Christmas witnessing purchasing of paper to be torn off and thrown out. Gifting of plastic knick knacks that brought a few minutes of laughter then to be tossed into the Salvation Army bin to alleviate any guilt of a product that will last on the planet for thousands of years. It also opened my eyes how to excess we consume food in the weeks leading up to 25 December, the one day intended for celebrations. Food, which nourishes our bodies, have become something of decadence. And because we do it every day in my first world, there was no appreciation of the decadence but an expectation. It became apparently that the way I was eating was encouraging and supporting a way of farming that is not sustainable for our planet. There is no way that we can have truly free range hens in a sustainable manner, to feed my dozen eggs a week diet. Once I made that connection, I knew I had to make a change. I did not think I would be able to give up eating meat, nor did I think my friendship circles would be able to accept what I did most often with them, sharing meals that included meat, so I decided I would stop eating meat 6 days a week. The 1 day a week would be my wild card to feast with my friends.
Being an active individual, my first concern was getting enough protein. I embarked on a quest of researching a vegan diet for athletes. Might as well look at the extreme. If athletes can perform and stay healthy on a vegan diet, It would be ok for me and my moderate activity on a vegetarian diet. It was the first time I had clarity about how much protein a body actually needs, how much protein plants have, and how achievable it is to be an animal protein free athlete.
Interestingly, my research that stemmed from protein deficiency concerns lead me to other evidence of what animal protein does to the human body. There is an abundance of resources out there which I won’t go into details. In short, animal protein leads to the production of IGF-1 that results in muscle cell growth, but also cancer cell growth. Animal protein also results in the production of TMAO that leads to the inflammation of the body, which causes much of the lifestyle diseases we experience in the modern first world.
I was sold. I went from fully fledge omnivore to eating meat one day a week. And within weeks, adopted a whole food plant based diet.