Why I Became a Veggie - and What it Means To Me

I briefly mentioned on one of my first postings the reasons I decided to go veggie.  Here is a more thorough explanation...

It started with my two dogs, Irish and Riley (Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu, respectively).  I began doing some research on dog food and to my horror discovered some very ugly truths.  Please understand, I am extremely anal thorough when researching anything, to the aggravation of my immediate family members (that would be my daughters).  But that alone wasn't enough for me to go "cold turkey", so to speak...

I took an English writing class (advanced comp./critical thinking) and what should pop up in our many deep discussions - the meat processing industry.  Rendering plants.  Animal cruelty.  Ugh...I found myself captivated by ideals that had previously (in my opinion) belonged to hippie throwbacks.  Then I started taking a close look at my health and bluntly realized that I would need to make some changes soon.  Oh yeah, I was also taking a psychology class on aging.  That didn't help my wavering desire to continue my lifelong pattern of eating MEAT, with a side of something insignificant.

About this time, I started thinking about my business partner (Daniel) who was in his 60's and super-spry.  This guy goes hiking all over the place, biking, attends all sorts of events (alot of Jazz) and really seems to enjoy his life.  I knew for a fact that his fav store was Trader Joe's.  The many hours we worked day in and day out developing a business (usually at his place, in the spare room/office) would show him for the kind of health nut he was.  I watched for months his eating habits, and of course partook.  Not once did we have any sort of meat over those long months - but I made up for it when I got home in the evening!

Christmas came and went, and I was still thinking about meat.  Or rather I began noticing a marked aversion to meat.  The turkey didn't taste as good.  The ham, well, ewww...  Then I started doing some more dog food research (as if 15+ hours wasn't enough...) and found myself further repulsed.  Suddenly, just before the new year - like a ton of bricks - it hit me:  I no longer craved, wanted or desired meat.  Sort of an epiphany, if you will.  And at the same time, I found myself on a quest to eat "healthy".  Whole foods, whole grains, lots of fresh fruit and veggies, never any fast food, no more soda, no more artifical sweeteners or refined sugar.  Well, the sugar part is a little harder and I'm still working on that - but I don't have refined sugar, only raw or evaporated cane juice.  I jokingly called this my "Daniel Diet", after my friend.  Little did I know that my friend and former mother-in-law was preparing to follow a month long fast with her church called, coincidentally, the Daniel Diet.  Which was remarkably similar to my own planned changes!  Of course I didn't know that there was actually something out there called a Daniel Diet - so I thought it was the most amazing coincidence and a definite sign.

So what do I eat now?  The foods just listed, of course, along with occasional seafood (maybe once or twice a month - usually shrimp).  I've branched out into the realm of soy products (Boca burgers, etc.).  Nuts are always popular, lol.  I use only olive, peanut or avocado oil; real butter, never margarine; milk rarely, cheese occasionally; and am a big fan of Odwalla and Bolthouse Farms Protein drinks (especially the Vanilla Chai).  Rice, pasta, ravioli - and lots of green salads when the weather is warmer.  I find Perrier and Pellegrino's not only fun to drink, but I quite enjoy the taste of sparkling mineral water!

So there you have it.  My reasons to go 'green'.