Most vegans were not raised thus - we ‘converted’ - and each individual has their own story of conversion. I love learning how people chose this path - this lifestyle - and contemplating the common threads in each of our lives that bind us together. Was it health reasons, or an ethical dilemma - or was it concern for the environment that was the ‘vegan tipping point’ for you?
Some choose veganism after watching a particularly stirring documentary (I am certain ‘Cowspiracy’, ‘Earthlings’ and ‘Forks over Knives’ have changed many lives in this manner!) and experiencing a revelation - and re-evaluation - of where their food comes from and how it affects them, the animals and the planet.
It was just such a documentary – ‘PlantPure Nation’ that a group of DOVeS volunteers and some keen newcomers to the WFPB lifestyle enjoyed last Thursday evening- the first meeting of our new ‘Wholefoods for Health’ group. Many of the ‘seasoned vegans’ among us will be familiar with the work of Dr. T Colin Campbell. This film was made by his son Nelson, and it is a fantastic introduction to healthy veganism (as opposed to Oreo-based veganism... something I must admit to practicing at times!)
The documentary is freely available online by following this link. There is also a link at the end of this post.
Healthy, delicious food was shared, as were wonderful discussions about the benefits of veganism for health. If you are interested in joining us for our next meeting in late July, please email firstname.lastname@example.org – we would love to see you, no matter whether you are new to veganism or an ‘old hand’!
My own journey to veganism started in late 2011, when my beloved Grandad was diagnosed with cancer. Our family was understandably devastated, and purely out of curiosity I did a little online research into diet and disease and was fairly quickly convinced by the wealth of scientific evidence indicting the Western diet and supporting a Whole Food, Plant Based one instead.
Like most Kiwi men, my Grandad had spent his life eating animal products, because it was not just normal but ‘good for you’. I cannot be certain what impact his diet had on his diagnosis nor his passing a few months later of heart disease- though I have a hunch. I just miss him, and wish he was here with us, like so many who have lost loved ones to lifestyle diseases.
A Wholefood, Plant-based diet will not cure all ills. It isn’t magic, nor a miracle. Vegans still get sick- some still tragically die before their time. Genetics, particularly in relation to cancer, will always be a consideration. But the science is in, and the research is clear- your best bet at preventing Heart Disease (or indeed reversing it before it is too late), Type 2 Diabetes, and a number of cancers is to change what you eat by abandoning animal products. It requires a radical rethink of what you have been told your whole life regarding diet- and this can be an intimidating prospect. I empathise- change is hard for all of us. But wouldn’t you rather give a different way of eating a go than pass away of a disease that is largely preventable, and miss out on years- or decades- of precious time with those you love, enjoying the gift of life?
We all have common threads, no matter who we are. Most of us value good health, treating others with kindness, and protecting our environment. Thank goodness for veganism- a way you can do all three every day- and all you have to do is lift your fork!
About the author: Moni is a local vegan activist, wife, and mama. She is passionate about justice, fairness and cooking vegan feasts for her whanau and friends.