We have more energy, our skin is practically glowing, and we are losing weight and inches just by switching to a plant-based diet. So far, Emily has lost 4 lbs and 5 1/4 inches and while Amanda's weight hasn't changed much she has lost over 9 inches. Our clothes fit better, and people are starting to notice. In addition, we must admit, fresh foods just look and taste better. Also, there was zero baby-mama-drama involved in the process. It wasn't hard to find good food, and we didn't go hungry. The switch was actually...well, pretty simple. By replacing all of our trigger foods (i.e. ice cream, cheese, and fried chicken) with healthier plant-based alternatives we craved them less. This was more than we'd hoped for, and while exciting, is not the only reason we've decided to continue the vegan lifestyle.
We thought we were already doing our part by saying "no" to paper and plastic. "We brought our own bags thanks." We recycle regularly and use special earth-friendly soap in the dishwasher. Then we learned about a study conducted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The FAO report found that current production levels of meat contribute between 14 - 22 percent of the 36 billion tons of "CO2-equivalent" greenhouse gases the world produces every year. It turns out that producing half a pound of hamburger for your Double Quarter Pounder at McDonalds (~ the size of two decks of cards), releases as much greenhouse gas into the atmosphere as driving a 3,000 lb car nearly 10 miles. FAO says WHUUUT?!! Seriously...switching to a vegan diet for just 1 year reduces your CO2 emissions significantly more than by switching to a hybrid car. Not to mention all of the deforestation and reduction in water sources due to open air sewage pits.
This brings us to what's in our shopping cart. We were buying cage free eggs and organic meats...we were so hip, earthy, and animal friendly. Imagine our surprise to learn that "organic" isn't always better and "cage free" does not equal sunshine and fields. "Organic" is all about what the animals are fed and has nothing to do with how they are treated. We were shocked and saddened by the cruelty animals are forced to endure, and we're not just talking about the in-your-face slaughtering for tasty (we actually just gagged a little) buffalo wings and double-cheeseburgers. Dairy cows are pumped full of hormones and forced to reproduce in an effort to keep the fountain of milk flowing...so what of those baby calves? They are torn from their mothers (who actually fight for them) and turned into veal. Pigs are dunked into tanks of scalding hot water just to remove the hair, brutally castrated, and the beaks of chickens are cut-off. All of this without pain-killers.
While we've started to develop some strong feelings and opinions about the meat and dairy industry, we did not start this blog to stand on our soap boxes. At the start of our 30 days we searched high and low for guidance on how to make the switch to a vegan lifestyle and actually found that there wasn't a lot out there for newbies like ourselves. Did being vegan mean we had to get rid of our down comforter and leather boots? What in the world is Nutritional Yeast, and why would I ever want to eat that? Am I less of a vegan if I eat things that may have been produced in the same factory as products that contain milk? What about my pets...do they need to be vegan? Am I a bad friend for refusing to serve chicken and sneaking Tempeh into the lettuce wraps? Seriously...we had a lot of questions and still have a ton to learn. We will never be experts, but we hope that this blog will answer some of your questions, encourage you to try some new things, and be a space to share our highs and lows. Remember...it's just the veganning.
Vegucated Trailer...Check-it Out!