One Year Later: Why I became a vegan
Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.
It's actually been a little over a year since I decided to adopt a vegan lifestyle. Meaning I no longer eat meat or anything that has come from an animal.
People are always critical curious about veganism especially those in the black community. I mean it goes against errrry'thing we've come to know and love.
What about those good ol pig pickins or cookouts with endless bbq showdowns or thanksgiving where you stuff yourself until you're literally sick to your stomach?
How can one depart from pig feet, bbq, pork chop, fried chicken/fish/shrimp, neckbones (maybe I'm slightly country), ribs, hamburgers, hotdogs, ham, turkey and a good steak?
How? No, better yet, why?
First let me be clear, I have partaketh in it all (with the exception of pig feet, that's where I drew the line 🙂 . And real talk, I enjoyed it when I did.
I never thought twice about it. Never second guessed it. Never considered anything other than that because it was the lifestyle that was introduced to me as a young child and it was the lifestyle of everyone around me.
It was normal.
Even as I began to become health conscious around 2008 and cut beef and pork from my diet, I never considered eliminating meat altogether. You know, where would I get my protein? *insert side eye, we'll save this protein discussion for later*
But things began to change in my life in 2010 and although it would be another four years before I would become a vegan, little did I know at that time that a shift was taking place in my mind and body.
I'm not interested in debating what's "right or wrong" in regard to eating because the idea of right or wrong is subjective.
Ultimately you have to decide what serves you and what doesn't.
I can only speak to my experience and how getting serious about what I put in my body has benefited me and changed my life exponentially.
While there are many reasons being a vegan serves me well, it was my quest for spiritual enlightenment and wellness that initially led me here.
At the start of 2014 I distinctly remember declaring that I would take my life to the next level. I told myself (and God) that from here on out I would give life everything I had and commit to being my best self - mentally, physically and spiritually.
I have to stop here and emphasized the power in declaring and decreeing a thing.
KNOW that anytime you genuinely ask, you will receive; seek, you will find; and knock, the door will be open to you.
Funny enough, 2014 was a challenging year. By October, I just felt as though I didn't have any answers. Business and personal, I was in a tailspin and I felt completely disconnected from my higher self.
It was frustrating yet intriguing at the same time.
In the midst of all of the confusion, I knew enough to know what whenever I feel disconnected from God, it means that I've veered too far off.
It was time to separate myself. So I went on a 40-day Daniel fast (meaning I only ate fruit and vegetables) and I took a sabbatical from life. Not in the sense of total seclusion but I stopped watching television, stopped talking on the phone, and stayed off of social media.
Man it seemed like life started punching even harder during those 40 days but for the first time I embraced it with an attitude of gratitude for all of the lessons and growth that I knew I was experiencing.
The fast ended right before Thanksgiving, so I went back to eating meat as normal but something still felt off.
At the beginning of December I began to consider possibly cutting back on meat. I didn't know exactly what it was but I just felt heavy, mentally and physically.
Then I distinctly remember mediating and asking for guidance on what I should be doing next.
The following day I sat down to eat and my spirit spoke to me as clear as day and said, you cannot exude life (light) taking in death.
It's hard to explain but it was powerful. Since that day I've never desired or touched meat again.
I believe the beauty in life is that while we certainly have free will to live any way we want our divine spirit and physical body always has our back.
Even when we go against what's in our best interest, our spirit and body are constantly at work to steer us back in the right direction.
The early part of 2014 I knew something was seriously wrong with my body.
My hair was thinning, I was getting cavities, and I was staying severely bloated all of the time.
In April my concerns were confirmed when my body completely shut down. I could not eat anything without getting extremely nauseated and the moment I tried to cut everything but real whole foods, my body went into what felt like a flu-like coma (overexaggerating? maybe, but it was bad).
Although, it would be several months before I made the connection between my obsessive meat eating and poor health.
I was caught up in the ongoing health and fitness lie that meat protein was the first, the last, the everything so I believed meat was not only beneficial to me but necessary. False.
But whatever it was, my body had had enough.
Fatigue and frustration.
It now makes so much sense to me why most religions promote fasting and a meat-free lifestyle, even if only intermittently.
Aside from the belief that all living creatures are connected, metaphysically it is believed that you take on the negative qualities of everything associated with eating meat - death, violence, anger, aggressiveness etc.
If everything is energy do you really think you can eat an animal that was fed all types of chemicals and waste, that suffered and was horrifically killed and not take on any of that energy?
Meat is heavy and it weighed me down in every way. It had a real dulling effect.
Now a year later I see how tired I used to be, especially after eating. How difficult it was to stay focus and to stay centered.
A plant-based lifestyle connected me with my higher self like never before. I can't explain the level of energy, optimism, ideas and peace that constantly flow through me now.
I just feel good.
My mind is better, my spirit is clearer and I'm in the best physical shape I've ever been in.
I got my power back.
Maybe a vegan lifestyle is not the be-all and end-all but it certainly opened the door to the results I had seeked and were unable to find for a very long time.
I'll never go back.