January 4, 2014 at 7:08 pm , by Nick Shell
3 years, 1 month.
What you didn’t hear me talk about in the first half of this letter was animal rights.
A true vegan, from what I understand, would be more fixated on that factor of it. If I was a vegan by the classic definition of the term, I wouldn’t wear leather or take you to the zoo.
“The new wave of veganism is more about health than animal welfare. For better or worse, this is why it will have more staying power.”
I jumped on board (with the help of documentaries on Netflix and YouTube including Forks Over Knives, Hungry For Change, Vegucated, The Beautiful Truth, Dying To Have Known, Supersize Me, and Food, Inc.) for health reasons alone, not animal rights.
Another way of labeling me is to say I eat a plant-based diet.
However, I don’t like the word “diet” because it could be construed that I am trying to lose weight or get other people to.
Weight loss is a natural side effect of being a new wave vegan, but by no means has it ever been my motivation.
Granted, I did lose over 35 pounds (from 178 to around 142) and 3 pants sizes (from 34 to 31). Actually, that part of it for me was sort of annoying and expensive because I had to buy a new wardrobe.
Another thing I do differently than a traditional vegan is that I’m not simply not eating animal products; I’m also not eating non-food products, as well.
One example is cellulose, which is actually wood pulp that is non-digestble by human beings. It can be found in bread, cheese, powdered drinks, spice mixes, and maple syrup, and a lot of fast food items; just to name a few sources.
And of course, there are artificial food dyes like Yellow 5 and Red 40, which are made from petroleum (when they’re not made from parasitic bugs, like Crimson Lake) which I run from too.
In other words, I eat nutritious plants from the earth, “the Big 6” (vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds), but not petroleum or sand or trees. I don’t know if an “animal rights vegan” would care so much about those things, like I do.
That helps explain why new wave vegans, especially, are so passionate about avoiding GMOs. If a food is genetically modified, in my eyes, it’s not real food and therefore, I don’t trust it.
Kudos to General Mills this week for announcing they’ve stopped using GMOs in their Original Cheerios. That’s pretty cool of them, actually.
And if food is not organic, either, I’m led to believe it contains traces and effects of pesticides, which are not plant-based food sources either.
I think something else that sets apart a true vegan from a person who is plant-based (or a new wave vegan, like me) is that while I am happy to explain my lifestyle to those who curiously ask about it, I have no desire to convert the free world.
By no means do I think I’m better than anyone else because of what I do or do not eat. Therefore, I’m very deliberate in attempting to not sound condescending when I talk about this.
Honestly, I don’t think a person like me could get the approval of PETA. I mean, sure I care about animals’ rights, but I care more about human rights.
I care about humans having the right to know the truth about avoiding cancer and disease, but only if they ask me about it or are curious to read an entire article I write about it.
Or at least watch any or all of the following documentaries on Netflix: Forks Over Knives, Hungry For Change, Vegucated, The Beautiful Truth, Dying To Have Known, Supersize Me, and Food, Inc.
P.S. The pinto quinoa burger (in picture above) recipe Nonna used is from a blog called Goodness Green: Plant-Based Recipes And Wellness.