When you start to eat differently, people notice. And then they often comment.
I am not going to make this a super long blog post (hopefully not, let’s see where my mind wanders…) but I wanted to address this topic of why everyone thinks I am vegan.
I can’t count the number of times people have assumed this and outright have stated, ‘you’re vegan, right?’ Or they might say vegetarian (but vegetarian isn’t in vogue anymore). Either way, they assume I don’t eat meat. Sometimes they’ll say, ‘you don’t eat meat right?’ or they’ll ask, ‘do you eat meat?’ when they hear that I am a nutritionist, when they see that I am eating something other than McDonalds or even Chik-Fil-A. Or if I happen to be eating a salad, things will be assumed about me (Salad is usually gross so I don’t eat a lot of that. Leaves are usually unpleasant, so it has to be a darn good salad. I make a bomb mustard vinaigrette). When I respond that no, I am not vegan, and yes, I do eat meat, they are often surprised and taken aback. People have made comments such as, ‘Oh, I figured since you ate healthy that you’d be vegan’, or ‘You said you were a nutritionist, so I thought you’d be vegan’. Or something to that affect.
What in tarnation? Why is this happening? I figured I talked about bacon enough to thwart such comments. I was getting so confused until I realized something. This assumption is showing the mindset and beliefs of the general populace: that eating meat is not healthy.
Where did this come from? Oh stop me now…I said this wouldn’t be a long post, and this is a big soap box, but let me say a little ( If you are interested in more in depth information I will eventually get to a post [er, *cough* a novel *cough*]). There is a huge cold war (not so cold sometimes)that has been brewing for quite some time, as corporations and organizational agendas are trying to demonize meat and make meat the culprit for our poor health and push an agenda from conventional agriculture.
There. I said it. Abandon all hope for my sanity now if you would rather live in a bubble, but if you dare then continue…
Let me take my tin foil hat off before you roll your eyes and laugh and let me just say…this is not a conspiracy, this is factual. This is demonizing and blaming livestock, and telling us that saturated fat is bad for our health for marketing and profit purposes (as if the central US plains didn’t use to have millions of roaming buffalo that grazed the land and we had no global warming or carbon footprint issues because of it, and for thousands of years ancestral people groups lived on purely animal products and were without disease until ‘western white’ food arrived on the scene…?). Sometime I will get into this in depth like I said…this is a topic I am really passionate about and really want to help spread truth regarding.
If you are wanting to dive into some of this now, or you simply want to argue the topic, I highly encourage you see the documentary on Netflix Kiss The Ground, you can also read or listen to the book on Scribd and Audible (which tells the story of the health of our soil, the environmental catastrophe that modern agriculture is causing, and the importance of pastured livestock) , there is also the book The Omnivores Dilemma (for the truth behind how animals are raised and how agriculture is destroying the environment), The Third Plate (for how we destroyed the central plains with modern agriculture and caused the dust bowl), Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride’s books Vegetarianism Explained (What the vegetarian and vegan diets are doing to our soil, bodies, and environment), and Put Your Heart In Your Mouth (a medical approach to how saturated fat really affects the body, the research, and the propaganda), and The Big Fat Surprise (telling the whole story from the beginning of the 1900’s to present day on our relationship to fat and meat and how we got to where we are, the propaganda, the big food wars, the deception, etc). Another wonderful mention (and favorite) is Joel Salatin’s The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs (A beautiful christian perspective to how God created us to live in a harmonious, balanced way with the world He created us to be a part of. He perfectly portrays the job of the Christian in stewarding the environment and loving his creation).
There are many, many, MANY more out there that document what is going on, however these are ones I personally have read /watched recently that are a great start to this covered-up war against meat.
The truth is, vegan and vegetarian diets are promoting a culture that is the biggest environmental disaster we’ve likely ever known. How can I make such a claim? Because the machinery needed for such large scale production and the agricultural chemicals used are decimating our soils, and creating the biggest toxic runoff potentially ever seen that is creating dead zones and choking life from our soil, ground water, rivers, estuaries, down into the gulf. Vegan and vegetarian diets are not inherently evil or bad, they can be quite beneficial for a time for seasons of healing and detoxing. They have their proper place, but research has shown that all healthy diets must contain some form of animal product for proper health (I know I’ll get attacked for this statement, so just go read the works of Dr. Weston A Price first before you blast me with articles please. I’m not making stuff up, this information is out there), everyone is a bio individual and their bodily needs depend on their genetics, their state of health, their environment, and a million other factors that make no one diet the cure all.
‘But Rachel….research CLEARLY SHOWS that red meat is bad for us!”
Yes…but have you stopped to consider the QUALITY of the red meat in these studies? A pastured steak is not even in the same food category nutritionally compared to a McDonalds hamburger. They look different. They taste different. One is rich in an array of fatty acids, healthy amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. The other has poor quality amino acids grown from the animal consuming GMO corn and GMO soybeans (they were never meant to consume these), actual garbage, expired candy, rotten carcasses from deceased sick animals, with leftover antibiotics that the cow was pumped full of to keep them from dying, potential fecal matter contamination and because of it parasites, and other inflammatory chemicals. Often butchers will cut off cancerous growths before shipping the rest of it to the grocery store, and they often add red food dye to make the meat look fresh. No wonder we are sick off of conventionally raised red meat!
This aside, I haven’t even mentioned yet the ethical side of things. The cruelty and evil shown towards God’s creatures is an abomination and is truly wicked. No person should be able to sleep at night after seeing how these animals are treated, let alone Christians. We should be ashamed of how we have treated these creatures we were meant to steward and love, given to use as good gifts. Because of this, I wholeheartedly understand and defend NOT wanting to support these wicked conventional animal raising methods, but this doesn’t mean we should go vegan or vegetarian to fight back. If you want to fight back, there is ANOTHER WAY. Supporting local, small farmers who are DOING IT RIGHT and stewarding the animals the way they were created to be stewarded is the best way to curb the economy and empower those who are living their lives doing things right.
This is how we fight. This is how we support local. This is how we support our bodies the way they were created and intended to thrive. And this is why I am not vegan.