My Journey into Veganism
For the first 70 years of my life, hardly a day went by when I did not eat meat. I espoused meat eating where ever I went. I raised my children with hearty meaty meals. I was a carnist of the highest order.
Aged 68 I survived my second pulmonary embolism; the first had been 18 years before. Doctors and specialists told me that I was to be on warfarin for the rest of my life. I hated this drug; I felt unwell on it. I bled easily and worried that internal bleeding was going to be the death of me.
When I resolved to go off warfarin, the doctor threw his hands up and declared I was “on my own”, my wife, most friends and many willing advisors predicted an early demise. So having taken this step against everyone’s advice, I started seeking alternatives.
With great good fortune, I heard an interview with Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, in which he espoused the virtue and success of maintaining a strict plant based diet to prevent and reverse heart disease. His results are so clear – the 18, with chronic heart diseases who followed his advice, all alive after 25 years. His book should be read by everyone.
This book led me on to read Dr Colin T. Campbell’s book The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health. This book too is essential reading. His conclusions after more than 40 years of nutrition research, are unequivocal.
- “Cancer development can be controlled with diet”.
- “Casein is the most relevant chemical carcinogen ever identified”.
- “Our body works hard to achieve good health and we should assist this effort by supplying it with the best food possible; animal based food is a hindrance to this goal”.
- “Most advanced chronic degenerative diseases can be reversed with a proper diet”.
Next I discovered Dr John McDougall’s web site. Dr McDougall is a practicing doctor who has espoused the value of a plant based diet for the past 40 years, with an amazing amount of well documented success.
By the time I had read these three and other experts I was convinced, and subsequently stuck strictly to a plant based whole food diet. I am now so aware of the advantages of the diet and the dangers lurking, should I ever go back to my carnist days, that I willingly and happily stick to it.
I have lost 20 kilos in weight. My blood pressure and cholesterol levels have also plummeted. My energy levels and strength have improved enormously and my prospects for an early and possibly painful death seem very unlikely.
I was so excited by all this (and to persuade my children to raise their children in the very opposite way that I did them), I put out a pamphlet espousing my new found way to a happy healthy life. The pamphlet led to the creation of this web site which hopefully will help my family, friends and the many other like minded people I am now meeting.
I also have learned what an enormous environmental foot print livestock production imposes on the world and so my advocacy for a plant based whole food diet is also to anyone who wants to easily and significantly reduce their environmental impact whilst ensuring a longer and healthier life.
Dr Campbell asks “Where does Nutrition fit on our society?” and replies “It doesn’t!, it is poorly understood, poorly funded, doctors are not trained in nutrition and nutrition policy has been hijacked by food and drug organisations”.
I find that I cannot argue with any of his statements. Dr Campbell’s and many other's research results stand undisputed, but heavily buried.
I am well aware of the antagonism these studies can elicit. Most of us feel deprived if we envisage a life without milk, cheese, bacon, fish, beef or lamb.
- For farmers it is an unnerving revelation.
- For industry and finance it is inconceivable that economics can survive in a meatless, milkless and whole food environment.
- For the pharmaceutical and medical fraternities life without pills means a complete paradigm shift.
However the facts are there; if we want to live a life free from the dreaded chronic diseases of the West, we have to take our own action; we have to ignore the social, marketing and short-term hedonistic pressures and forego all those foods which are destroying our endophilia.
The choice is so easy – early death from a debilitating or agonising disease, or gently dying in our sleep in old age.
So the last part of my journey is to add my voice to the many who are advocating the value of a plant based whole food life style, despite the enormous effort by vested interests to have them silenced.