“Being Vegan Is Too Hard”… 2/365

Today I’d just like to address the statement “Being a Vegan is too Hard”. I uploaded the picture on instagram, click here, of this incredible, 100% vegan burger, I ate at a local restaurant and it just made me think. Being vegan is now easier than ever. More and more companies are taking responsibility and offering food and products which are safe for vegans. Granted, they are only doing this for profit, supply meets demand and all that, but it still means that veganism is being presented to the mainstream and is easily accessible. It feels like every week I see an announcement that a shop or restaurant has a new range of vegan food/has changed the recipe of a meal to make it vegan. For example; just last week Sainsburys released a delicious range of vegan cheeses, now nicknamed Gary, and even McDonald’s have made their burger (if you ask for no mayo) and fries vegan friendly. The food industry really is revolutionising, the dairy industry is declining rapidly and veganism is rising at that same pace. Just look at the statistics for veganunary. 2016 saw a rise of 5x the amount of people participating, and 6 months on 50% of them had remained vegan, that’s a lot of people.

Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked. I guess what I’m trying to say is this. Don’t use the excuse that being vegan is too hard, educate yourself and come to the decision based on actual logic rather than laziness. Yes, we might have to read labels and such, but what’s 5 minutes out of your day.

Please see yesterday’s post here, if you wish.

Thanks for reading day 2/365 and keep smiling, Harrison 🙂

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“But Hitler Was Vegetarian, So That Means All Vegans Are Evil” – Anti-Vegan Argument #4

Believe it or not this is actually an argument us vegans hear, quite regularly as well unfortunately. And it is a quite simple one to refute, simply by saying no; Hitler wasn’t a vegetarian, not even close. Hitler was advised by his doctors to follow a vegetarian diet from ‘time to time’, emphasises on the time to time part of the sentence, due to the fact he suffered from severe flatulence, however; he was never an actual vegetarian. Just by looking at the facts we can decipher this. Biographers who wrote about Hitler (and who knew him quite well on a personal basis) openly describe his love for Bavarian sausages and game pie (“game” meaning wild meat from birds and other creatures) and Hitler’s own personal chef described his favourite meal as stuffed pigeon, not very vegetarian huh. Thanks to ‘naturalnews.com’ for the info. But let’s play it your way, let’s pretend Hitler was a vegetarian. The problem with that is the argument is a logical fallacy, aka an argument with extremely poor reasoning. To put it simply, one does not impact the other. You can be evil and you can be vegan, the two are by no means mutually inclusive. If you want to play that card then allow me to play mine. Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot… the list goes on, were all meat eaters, so surely that means meat eaters are also evil serial killers, right? No. Of course not, so can we agree to put this argument to bed now, as it really is a stupid one and just makes the arguer look like an idiot. Granted it is usually played at the end of debates when said party realises they have lost, but go out with dignity for goodness sakes. So, to clear up, no Hitler was not a vegetarian, but who cares if he was?

Keep smiling, Harrison.

Bro, Where Do Vegans Get Their Protein???

This question is possibly the funniest argument against veganism I will ever hear, and ironically it’s usually the, let’s say larger, people that I hear this from. For some reason the Western world is obsessed with protein nowadays, going as far as saying we need 1 gram per pound of body weight, or even more if you want to build muscle! It’s crazy. The Dietary Reference Index is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, so around 50 grams per day, and obviously, if you eat enough calories of anything, this can easily be achieved each day. But even this is unnecessary. There have never been any reported medical cases of protein deficiency, there isn’t even a medical term for the condition, no human has ever, or ever will, got/get it. As long as you eat enough food, you get enough protein, it’s really that simple. I recommend watching this video as Dr Michael Gregor can explain it way better than me http://nutritionfacts.org/video/do-vegetarians-get-enough-protein/.

However; if you are building muscle and worrying that a vegan diet won’t give you enough protein, then again, there is no need to worry. First off, protein is nowhere near as important as society may have led you to believe. There are no benefits from using supplements such as whey or casein, in fact quite the opposite, since these products are unregulated, large amounts of them were found to contain dangerous levels of toxic metals (check out this study http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/04/protein-drinks/index.htm), but if you really wanted a protein supplement go for something that is actually healthy, like brown rice protein. Most of the bodybuilder guys that sell and promote supplements are sponsored and rely on steroids for their ‘gains’, the effect of supplements in negligible. The best way to get your protein is from food, and really the only healthy protein out there is plant based protein. The World Health Organisation categorised meat as a high level carcinogen, alongside cigarettes, and lengthy studies like The China Study support this fact using evidence obtained through 27 years of detailed research. But don’t worry, the myth that plants don’t contain enough protein is nothing you need to worry about, in fact foods like beans, nuts, soy etc contain very high levels of protein, in many cases more than meat (in terms of per calorie), and when combined with a grain like wheat or rice, this makes a ‘complete protein’, you know that thing people say you can only get with meat?

So yeah obviously I’m no scientist but the proof is in the pudding, I mean do you really think world record holding strong man Patrik Baboumian (vegan) or Mr Universe Barny Du Plessis (also vegan) struggle with protein? If you still aren’t convinced just do some simple research yourself, make sure to avoid studies which are subsidised by the meat and dairy industries though, there’s lots out there. Keep smiling, Harrison. 🙂

Why I Went Vegan…

So as I said in my last post I’m going to start incorporating more and more vegan related content into my blog. I have never felt more passionate about something in my life as I do veganism, it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle and something that attacks the biggest injustice in human history; animal agriculture. Now these posts will attack mainstream beliefs, beliefs that have indoctrinated pretty much all of the western world and ideals that the majority of the population invest in, that being meat and dairy are good for you and needed in your diet. So meat eaters could easily get offended reading vegan related content as it attacks the foundations of their ideology, I get it, I used to be that guy too, but I urge you to read any content with an open mind.

Anyway; as you can tell by the title, this particular blog post is about why I went vegan. Like many I went vegetarian before I went vegan. Whilst this is a good stepping stone up to veganism, I would advise just going straight into veganism itself, that’s what I should have done looking back, as it really isn’t that hard and it’s what’s ethically right for the animals and the planet. Obviously you will make mistakes to begin with, but that’s all part of the learning curve. So yeah, I went vegetarian just after my 18th birthday in May, around the 14th I believe, after watching a heart-breaking documentary called ‘Earthlings’ (I shall be making a post very soon with lots of the content that motivated me to make the change, so stay tuned for that). The only reason I watched this documentary was because I was watching a Fitness channel called ‘Vegan Gains’ on YouTube and he spoke so highly of it, so I decided to check it out. Bearing in mind at this point I had literally just finished eating a kebab so I was still a fully-fledged meat eater and had no desire to change my lifestyle. This documentary opened my eyes to the animal agriculture industry and what it’s really like. The media do a great job of portraying some kind of utopia regarding animal agriculture and I, like many, hadn’t made the connection as to what I was eating due to this propaganda western society is subjected to on a daily basis. Whether that be happy cows or chickens on the packaging, or giving meat fake names such as ‘bacon’, which is really just pig flesh. I mean does the media really think children who watch shows like Peppa Pig would be happy eating a real pig? The animal agriculture business is the most profitable business in the world and they do a great job of exploiting the cognitive dissonance in society, but once you make the connection, like more and more are nowadays, you can’t go back. For example; as the great Paul McCartney says “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.” Anyways, I digress. So I was vegetarian for around 4 months. I always had the idea that I would go vegan, just never fully committed, but as I continued to educate myself about the meat and dairy industries and the more I exposed myself to the truth, I decided it was time to change my life, do what was ethically, logically and environmentally right, and go vegan. I went properly vegan on the 20th September, just as I started university and I have never looked back. I feel better both physically and mentally, I have more energy than ever and I am just a happier person in general. I have the theory that by abstaining from putting death and suffering inside my body, I am happier. In my opinion everyone should go vegetarian or vegan, I shall explain why in a later post but I just don’t see how anyone other than a sociopath could make the connection and continue to live their lifer the same way, it’s just not right. (Oooo controversial)

So yeah, there we go. I understand this is an incredibly self-centred post but I figured it was the best place to start and might be relatable in a way. Keep smiling, Harrison 🙂

Hypocrisy and Cecil the Lion.

Is everyone a hypocrite? The short answer to this seemingly simple question is, yes. Obviously the degrees of hypocrisy vary and some are very simple, for example; thinking that gossip is bad but then talking to a friend about someone behind their back. I mean nobody likes to be judged yet, whether this is consciously or unconsciously, we all judge others even if we do not mean to, and sometimes this is justified, such as labelling Adolph Hitler as a dickhead, and this is hypocrisy.

Humans are intelligent beings, and as we grow and evolve our ideology and opinions of things change therefore deeming us all ‘hypocrites’ to some extent. For example; I used to despise Justin Bieber and wished that he, along with his high pitched voice and annoyingly catchy songs (mainly ‘Baby’), would leave the public spotlight forever. But now I happen to think he is pretty fly (for a white guy) and actually quite like him. Now this is a very tedious example, but hopefully you get the picture. We live in a world designed for hypocrites, and if everyone practised what they preached the world would be even more disturbing and corrupt and the prisons would probably become very overcrowded, so some hypocrisy can be a good thing.

So yeah, I was thinking about this topic regarding the tragic death of Zimbabwe’s legendary… Cecil the Lion ‘rawr’ (that was a Madagascar reference, yknow Alex). Hunting animals for pleasure disgusts me, as it does most sane humans, and seeing people pose with a lions head or a rhinos lifeless carcass fills me with immense sadness and compassion towards the animal, and it seems almost everyone feels the same. However, I can’t help but sense an overwhelming amount of hypocrisy when people express their discomfort on trophy hunting and this particular case involving Cecil. Now as you know, I’m vegetarian (going Vegan in September when I go to University), so I am no saint surrounding this subject and therefore I am, at this present time, a hypocrite myself, but at least I understand why. In my opinion you can’t be upset about hunting and the killing of Cecil whilst consuming animal products with no care in the world. The animals people eat (pigs, cow, chicken etc) are by no means worth any less than lions and other endangered species. They have feelings and families just like Cecil, and other ‘precious’ animals. In fact, in a way, it is worse for the animals us humans eat. Chickens for example are hatched and then separated from their mothers instantly, injected/fed hormones to make them grow super fast and thus in an unhealthy way and then slaughtered within the first year of their life. Even the life they do live is usually caged and very painful for them, and that is just the surface of what the other animals humans eat go through. I don’t push my views down peoples throats usually, or look down on people who do eat meat, just thought this hypocrisy needed addressing, and if you do feel compassion towards Cecil then maybe it’s time to go vegan, or vegetarian at the very least. I mean, humans aren’t designed to eat meat anyway and animal products are actually unhealthy for us, so, just like trophy hunters, we slaughter and exploit animals for pleasure, just in the form of food rather than a ‘trophy kill’. Is bacon really worth the slaughter of an innocent being?

I hope this post made sense, I feel very passionately about this subject so start ranting and therefore writing terribly and way too fast. Also, I don’t mean to offend anyone with this post, but yeah, the truth hurts.

Watch this documentary if you want my point emphasising, be warned though, it will open your eyes to the sad truth. CLICK HERE.              (Image used in header not mine, obviously)

Keep smiling, Harrison 🙂