Having cancer makes you want to learn about cancer suddenly. This sudden need to research opens up a huge can of worms! There is so much information, or half-information, out there. What causes cancer? Genetics? Environment? Diet? Other lifestyle choices? What cures cancer? Food? Drugs? Lifestyle? Who gets cancer? You? Me? Everyone?!
Anyway. So many rabbit holes. I went down the one that discussed how diet, and more specifically, where the food comes from that makes up my diet. I was pretty shocked, to say the least.
I’m not going to go into detail about what I found (I’ll suggest some reading/documentaries/etc. At the bottom) other than this: Peeps. Our meat and dairy farm system are feeding us literal crap. We are consuming this crap at insane levels. Maybe my cancer has something to do with the amount of literal crap I’ve been eating daily.
I think that where our food comes from matters. It matters if we are eating the meat or products of diseased animals. It matters that we’re consuming too many antibiotics, that the slaughter system packages dirty (literally) meats, and that the animals lives before their demise were unnatural. I think it matters.
Anyway. Blinders removed for me. So now I’m trying to figure out how to cut out meat and animal products that come from factory farms. (Let me be clear that I’m totally cool with people eating meat and animal products like dairy and eggs. No judgment here. This is all personal decision making.) It’s hard to figure out sometimes, and I’m cooking ALL the time. But, I feel like it has already been the right decision for me.
Maybe the most important thing that “going vegan” has done for me is made me think about my food. You know when you pray and say, “Bless this food that it may be nourishing to our bodies…” or some kind of thing like that? Honestly, before the last couple weeks, I had never thought about my food even when I said those words. Seriously. Over the last few weeks, I think about the plant that grew my bell peppers and the workers that picked them to put in the grocery store. I think about the knife I used to cut the veggies that I used in my stir-fry. And I think about how God wants me to figure out how to take care of this one body I get to use while I’m alive. I guess what I’m experiencing is more gratitude.
So, aren’t vegans crazy? Like, they break into farms and release animals or they try to make everyone empathize with animals on a human level. Also, they’ll slap cheese out of your hand on sight. Right?
As I’m digging into the culture, there is some of that. But, what I’m seeing more of is a niche of people who expect more from their food. Not just pleasure (which is an important part of food and eating!) but real nutrition. Giving your body tools to heal, grow, and be free from disease as much as possible. I appreciate the little vegan underground for being a tool in helping me understand how to cook and eat with gratitude and purpose.
And all good things can’t go without a small gripe. Like, eating out is SO HARD. Like, the other morning the fam and I went out for breakfast, and I ordered a plate that had a few meat surprises that weren’t listed on the menu. Bummer. On the flip side, I feel like what we make at home is 100x better than the food served in a restaurant. But, sometimes I just wanna not have to cook and clean up! Eh. I’ll figure it out.
This is just the beginning of this new paradigm shift, so there’ll be all kinds of small hurdles to overcome, and lots of forgiveness in between.
Here are some interesting references I’ve been consuming if you want to know more:
Documentaries: (both on Netflix)
Forks over Knives
What the Health?
Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss
The China Study by T. Colin and Thomas M. Campbell
With plant-based love,