The “V” word, Vegan is feeling so inflammatory right now.
Actually that’s not the best descriptor given eating vegan means you eliminate the most inflammatory foods. More on some of those soon.
I’m sure you know what I mean though. Many non-vegans are so provoked by the term vegan. I can appreciate how people might feel so much more comfortable calling themselves plant based so as not to incur the wraith of those who may have encountered one of those often talked about (less often actually happened upon) “angry vegans”!
Personally I’m proud to call myself vegan and I expect anyone to judge me by how I conduct myself. By my actions and intent rather than based on some biased, dated old stereotype. Having said that, I also wish we wouldn’t get so hung up on names and definitions.
Some animal rights purists will argue that “you can ONLY be vegan for the animals” it’s not about the environment or your health.
Really, isn’t it such a waste of time arguing over any of this? Whatever anyones reason for eliminating animals products from their consumption habits I’m happy they took that step and confident their circle of compassion will expand to include seeking to avoid harming animals purely for the sake of not wanting to cause unnecessary suffering.
Anyway, this is a round about introduction to todays Month In Review show. I’ll chat a little food, no exercise today and I’ll share what’s been rockin this past month and what’s been a tad more struggle street. Above all, my intention is to make this content applicable to YOU and creating and keeping a fit, healthy plant strong body.
Let’s start with what’s been rockin, and it’s the conversations I’ve been having with both clients and strangers on the street about aligning your actions with your values and beliefs. I’m coming to understand
Why Being Vegan For Ethical Reasons Is Easier.
Sadly I’m also painfully aware that just in day to day life living in a non-vegan world, Being Vegan For Ethical Reasons Is Harder.
To dig in with what’s easy. I have a dear client who defines himself as “predominately plant based.”
Now this is one of the most successful gents I’ve met in my life. It’s a true privilege to spend time with him. He’s committed to drastically cutting animal products from his diet (not lifestyle just diet) for health reasons. He found Dr Michael Greger book How Not To Die incredibly compelling, he gets to spend time with his enthusiastic vegan animal rights activist trainer twice a week and yet last week he admitted: “Kate I’m so good when I’m in control of my food. When I’m at home. When it’s just me and the family. I eat purely plants. I enjoy it.”
And then this insanely dominant, driven, high flying gent proceeded to tell me how he doesn’t like to be the odd one out or cause inconvenience in social settings. I was baffled.
I inquired: “So I imagine in business, you make decisions based on your goals, values and what you’re looking to achieve? You’re not going to capitulate to make someone else feel comfortable right?”
My client looked somewhat modified at the suggestion! “Of course not!”
As I suggested to my client, his approach to plant based eating is wishy washy. It’s not locked and loaded, aligned with his most important values and beliefs. Accordingly, when a traveling companion suggests a cheese board, he just goes with it.
Or when he gets meat and cheese sandwiches at a board meeting he just pushes it round the plate.
If he were to get crystal clear on his WHY behind wanting to eat plant based and to build the emotional intensity around that why I know he’d find it easy to speak up when dining with non-vegan friends. Or put together a document of nutritional requirements to pass on before regular board meetings.
I feel so strongly about this. I think it’s vital those of us committed to eliminating animal products from our lifestyle vote with both our mouths and our money and demand better plant based meals. We won’t get anyway by settling quietly.
If your WHY is that you’re Vegan For Ethical Reasons it’s so much easier. There’s no denying that if you consume animal flesh or excretions someone died for that moment of pleasure and convenience. Or in my clients case, more often moment of displeasure and capitulation. There’s no shortage of footage to watch to assure yourself of just how preposterous the use of the word “humane” is in relation to killing an animal who does not want to die.
Thankfully the idea of aligning his eating actions with his values and beliefs really resonated with my client. If you find yourself less consistent than you’d like to be with your animal free eating actions then I hope it resonates with you too. Of course you can really amp up the emotional intensity of any WHY.
It might just take a little more effort for the non “ethically motivated” vegan. I would suggest choosing words and even values that carry as much emotional intensity as possible when thinking of the actions you want to take and the actions you want to avoid.
For example: If I was vegan for my health predominately, I’d focus on the Freedom being my ideal health gives me and the Integrity I feel when I’m taking the actions to get me there. Conversely, I’d also feel Weak and Lazy if I chose the easy convenient action over the one aligned with my goals, my values and my beliefs.
For a step by step approach to eliciting your values and beliefs with a goal, I have you linked up with a previous post / podcasts here: Smart Simple Fat Loss: Align Your Goal.
So far as, Why Being Vegan For Ethical Reasons Is Harder?
This seems to be something I’m podcasting about more frequently as it’s top of mind. It’s harder to switch off to all the hideous atrocities we needlessly inflict on animals when your driving WHY is ethical. The evidence is constant and overwhelming. I imagine if Health is your primary why, you might find the bodies in supermarkets less appealing however likely they don’t trigger anger, sadness and extreme frustration.
In show E639 I cover: The Cost Of Being Vegan and 3 Self Preservation Strategies.
To move onto the topic of FOOD, I want to talk about phytoestrogens in soy.
For years I avoided all soy products as I believed the propaganda that estrogen in soy would lead to extra fat storage in my hips and thighs and man-boobs for the gents. The irony here is double edged.
First, the phytoestrogens (or dietary estrogens that are naturally occurring compounds in plants) in soy can actually have a positive impact. I’d like to get an expert such as Dr Michael Greger or Dr Milton Mills on the podcast to discuss this more in-depth however in brief, I’ll hand over to Dr Michael Greger from nutritionfacts.org to explain:
“Soybeans naturally contain a class of phytoestrogens called isoflavones. People hear the word “estrogen” in the word “phytoestrogens” and assume that means soy has estrogen-like effects. Not necessarily. Estrogen has positive effects in some tissues and potentially negative effects in others. For example, high levels of estrogen can be good for the bones but can increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer. Ideally, you’d like what’s called a “selective estrogen receptor modulator” in your body that would have proestrogenic effects in some tissues and antiestrogenic effects in others. Well, that’s what soy phytoestrogens appear to be. Soy seems to lower breast cancer risk, an antiestrogenic effect, but can also help reduce menopausal hot-flash symptoms, a proestrogenic effect. So, you may be able to enjoy the best of both worlds.”
Second, you know that terror so many of us felt at the thought of extra female hormones flooding our bodies? How hilarious that we’d avoid the milk of a plant at all costs while greedily guzzling the milk of a 1,500 pound dairy mum who is constantly kept pregnant? A mum who’s been selectively bred to produce ten times the milk she would naturally. A mum is forcibly impregnated every year and who’s body is flooded with bovine hormones. Not to mention antibiotics. Or pus from the mastitis her nipples are afflicted with as she’s constantly being milked.
Side note: In the US the FDA allows 750 million pus cells in every litre of milk. In Europe, regulators allow 400 million pus cells per litre. Here in Australia there’s ZERO limit on the amount of pus that is allowed in our milk. I use “our” very loosely as obviously the milk was never meant for us, however we’ve been indoctrinated to believe “it does a body good.”
For more info I’ll link to an article on 17 Reasons To Wean Yourself From Milk Today:
Did you know the milk industry is not allowed to make “you need cows milk for calcium” claims anymore? Cows milk has been shown to have high levels of estrogen and growth hormones that promote disease over the long term. Studies have shown that people who consume dairy products on a regular basis have higher levels of a hormone call IGF-1. Insulin-like Growth Factor. This is not something you want more of. IGF-1 is a known cancer promoter.
Yes, we need calcium for our bones however again, oh the irony: Dairy consumption is actually associated with weaker bones. To be transparent there’s dispute so far as the exact science here. It may or may not be due to the acid-forming quality of animal protein leading to bone loss however isn’t the fact that you don’t want more IGF-1 compelling enough? Add to that the reality that dairy is the second least efficient food to produce (after only beef) and of course the extreme animal cruelty and surely it’s a no brainer?
So 100% we need calcium and also 100% we don’t need it from cows milk. In show 516 I cover: Easy Vegan Calcium Sources: Leave Cows Milk For The Calves!
My struggle-street this month has been in relation to horse racing. My Aussie friends will be all too aware of the footage hitting our screens recently in the lead up to “The Race That Stops The Nation” aka: #DisgraceThatStopstheNation aka: The Melbourne Cup.
For my overseas friends, horrific undercover footage has revealed to the general public the appalling treatment of young Australian race horses sent to slaughter once they are no longer deemed profitable. The only thing surprising to me was the public out cry. I know how we treat our animals raised to be food, why would we treat our animals raised to race for our entertainment be any better?
The common factor is the use of the word “our.” These thinking, feeling, loving and suffering individuals are merely products to be bred, owned, sold and slaughtered at whim. I guess the public assumed there might be some degree of truth to the marketing propaganda sold to us by the racing industry. I was under no such illusions after seeing the marketing portrayed by animal agriculture verse the reality for those thinking, feeling, loving and suffering products bred, owned, sold and slaughtered at whim.
I’ve struggled with: How to respond effectively to friends, family, clients and colleagues who eat animals and yet also are appalled by the cruelty in the recent race horse slaughter footage.
In the hope that’s it’s also of value to YOU, here’s an A,B,C of considerations I constantly remind myself:
- Awareness of intention. Those individuals that share their horror are likely sharing it with YOU (the friendly vegan in their life) to make a connection. To show compassion. Their intention is likely very genuine. They care for these majestic animals. Have hope that this is an indicator they can extend that circle of compassion.
- Be supportive not judgmental.I can’t recall a time when judgement was ever effective. I’m sure I’ve turned a few people off inadvertently though. Once I’m aware of someone’s genuine intention – and of course I can’t know their intention however I’m going to assume the best – I look to reinforce rather than race in with my brutal vegan #truthbombs.
- Create a connection between the animal they have compassion for and ALL THE OTHER ANIMALS! This is a chance to plant a seed rather than try to hammer home those brutal truths. Perhaps something like: What do you think the difference is between those horses we use for entertainment and slaughter and the cows we bred for meat and slaughter? The tone and level of rapport / trust you’ve built here is everything.
If I ask a question like this I’m genuinely coming from a place of curiosity. I want to understand the difference as this person sees it. I’m open to being proven wrong. I’m open to having to dig deeper and do more research. I’m not trying to “catch someone out” or “prove them wrong” or “win”.
Again, intention is everything.
My recommendation this month is a response to all the amazing feedback the film The Game Changers is getting. I thought I’d share some of my fav resources for the vegan curious individual inspired to give whole food plant based eating a try.
So far as nutrition my fav YouTube channel with nearly 2 million subscribers is, Pick up limes. Sadia shares a wealth of simple, nutritious, totally implementable advice and recipes. Additionally, the video quality is second to none and it’s an utterly judgement free zone.
Via Instagram, Jacked On Plants has consistently no nonsense, actionable advice. I’m honestly tempted to share nearly every single thing Sammy Frith shares as he really is pumping out super high quality info to help those of us who want to get Jacked on Plants!
Sticking to those who want to build or maintain muscle of course I’ll give a shout out to previous podcast guests bodybuilders Jon Venus in E610 and Torre Washington in E644. I really enjoyed both those conversations and these gents share quality information across the socials.
Finally let’s finish with who’s inspiring me right now. It’s one of the many stars of the Game Changers. Former Australian Royal Navy Clearance Diver and Special Operations military sniper turned anti-poaching activist and founder of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF), Damien Mander.
He really is every bit as impressive as you expect and is top of my podcast guest wish list right now! Damien formed Africa’s first armed, all-women anti-poaching unit and the success’s / unique abilities of these (aptly named) “Brave ones” is truely inspiring and hopeful. You can learn more about their vital work as the first and last defence for nature via IAPF.org. Of course if you haven’t yet, check out Damien and all the other #plantstrong legends via The Game Changers on Netflix or via iTunes.
That’s it for today in Healthification. Thank you so very must for trusting me with your time and attention today. It means a lot.
The Healthification podcast is proudly bought to you by my FREE ‘Easy Vegan’ plan. It took me 25 years to transition from a meat eater to a happy, healthy Vegan! You can do it in just 3 days with my simplified ‘easy vegan’ plan! Get the fit, strong, and healthy plant based body you deserve… while avoiding ALL the mistakes I made along the way!
Till next time, remember Creating a body and life you love is Freedom. (If this ex-carb queen, non genetically gifted, naturally uncoordinated vegan chick can do it – so can YOU!!!
If you liked “Why Being Vegan For Ethical Reasons Is Easier, Phytoestrogens In Soy PLUS Month In Review” you’ll also like 14 Vegan Legends Share The Best Advice I Wish I Knew Prior To Adopting A Vegan Lifestyle.