I have always thought of veganism as extreme and I do not like extremes; I am a firm believer in moderation. I considered veganism after my cleanse because I want to make sure that the food I put in my body is healthy, free of GMO and I believe a majority of animal products and by products are rife with them. I spent the last couple of weeks researching vegan recipes and I could not wait to try out several of them. Most of the recipes I found are made from scratch so that I know exactly what is going in my food. Thus lay my first issue with the documentary Vegucated. The shopping expedition to the grocery market seemed to be more about finding meat and dairy substitutes than finding healthy options. I was never much of a meat person and I believe that may have to do with that fact that meat was the equivalent of dessert when I was growing up. For dinner we got a piece of meat the size of an ice-cube. If we did well in school, we got the drumstick. In prison boarding school, it was even more drastic with a piece of meat assuming currency like status. Deals were made and debts were paid with a piece of meat. All I wanted to do was serve my time graduate and so I could careless about anything but getting out, therefore meat became very unimportant to me and I eventually became a vegetarian. Even as a vegetarian, I never cared for meat substitutes only trying them because a cousin of mine raved and ranted about certain brands and I figured I would give them a try but truth be told, I did not care for them. Another resolution I made during my fast is to stay as far away from processed foods as I can – fresh is best, and therefore I would not recommend soy dogs, tofurky, tofutti or rice dream (ice cream) as the film maker did in this documentary. Instead I would take novices to a farmer’s market and show them the beauty of fresh fruits and vegetables. The other bone I have to pick with the documentary is the use of the slaughter-house footage. I do believe it was inserted in the movie for the sole purpose of scaring/guilting meat eaters into giving up meat. The problem with this is that too often, this is a temporary response. There is no foundation behind the fear and the meat eaters eventually find a way to justify eating meat again. Remember my cousin who threw out her Similac and had a heart to heart with her almost 1-year-old? These were her exact words to me when I asked her how her day had been
” I juiced half of yesterday, preached my vegan religion to anyone who would listen, came home to a meat fest my sister had cooked and backslid. 😦 ”
She felt horrible and I had to tell not to be. I know she had the best of intentions she had no foundation. She was trying to go from 0 to 200 in less than .00001 seconds and that is not feasible. She has become more interested in my life style and enjoys the documentaries we watch when I visit so I am confident that in time, she will start doing research on her own and build her own foundation for her beliefs whatever they might be. As for me, I knew that I had to take a step back when someone asked me the simple question “Why are you becoming a vegan?” and I began preaching about slaughter houses, castration by rubber bands and bolt guns. Now when someone asks what my lifestyle will be post juice cleanse, my response is “90% plant-based and 10% inspiration.” I refuse to place restrictions on myself in any facet of my life but my priority is my health and taking good care of my body, so I will continue to play close attention to it and feed it what it needs.