Last year in summer I became a vegetarian. Triggered by a book, a crime novel really, which also told the reader about the meat industry in Germany. We think we know those things, but do we? I was shocked at how much I ignored. How much I didn’t care. It seems like books are always have the power to change my life: This time one made me go vegan.
Obviously, books have a huge impact on my life. Last year when we had barely started the new semester and got to know each other in the study course, a now very good friend of mine offered me a book about going vegan. Which I read now. And decided that would be my path to follow. The book was ‘The Starch Solution’ by John McDougall. It wasn’t enough, though. I want more information. Currently I am reading ‘Eating Animals’ by Jonathan Safran Foer, which is also really good.
My trip to the library yesterday was so different than usual. I had an aim. Get to know what I can eat. I think this change seems so hard for people because they think they can barely eat anything. By focusing on the possibilities, though, it gets easier. I was, for example, very happy to see that my favourite biscuits are indeed vegan. When I walk through the aisles of a supermarket, I see many things that are not in the slightest vegan. But by noticing carefully, by reading and being interested what is in the food – you can often be surprised!
What are the reasons for me going vegan?
- Environmental. The impact of the milk and egg industry is influencing world climate in a much more significant way than we would think. I never really acknowledged that. As it is a very interesting topic, I will do another, properly researched blog post about it.
- Morally. Food and light for chicken are altered to make them lay their eggs at specific moments. To increase the productivity. Once they are one year old, they produce less eggs and it is cheaper to just slaughter them and start again. The practises in the milk industry are not better. Vegetarianism is a step in the right direction but I now feel like it is not enough. I shut my eyes to other problems in our food industry.
- Health. There are also a few health aspects that made me change my mind. So many of the common diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes and cancer (even mental diseases like depression!) are associated with a diet based on animal products. I am no doctor and I would strongely recommend to read a book by an expert about it because body functions are mostly a huge mystery to me. However, I will try and learn as much about it as possible on this journey.
How does it look like? What do I eat now?
The diet is mainly starch based (potatoes, rice, pasta etc and vegetables like carrots) + legumes (beans and lentil – loads of them) + vegetables and fruits. There are more and more people present on the internet to share recipes and inspiration how to cook vegan, what to eat and what to focus on. When I first moved into my flat I saw cooking as something that had to be done. I didn’t really enjoy it. Now it feels like an adventure – getting to know different grains and vegetables, it really is exciting!
Two tips that are already really helpful to me:
- Buy vegan. What isn’t in the house, can’t be eaten.
- Consider non-vegan food as no food. What isn’t food, can’t be eaten.
If you would like to recommend good books about veganism, I would love that! If you have any tips to share – please do that, it means a lot!
Have a wonderful weekend