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Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Why am I a Vegan?
Today we had a Pizza party at work. Everyone seemed to enjoy the hot & delicious Pizza. A colleague asked me "How are Indian Pizzas?". I told him, "They look great. But, I didn't eat them". He asked me "Why?". I told him that I'm adopting a Vegan diet. He then asked me "Why are you a Vegan?". Many folks have asked this question, in the last 3 weeks. Many folks have asked this question, in the last 3 years.
(Also read: A Journey from Non-Vegetarian to Raw-Vegetarian)
Why am I a Vegan? I don't think there is one specific answer to this question.
During my childhood days, I used to visit my grandparents' village. I've seen innocent little creatures dying in front of my eyes. I've seen goats getting 'chopped-off' in the name of 'sacrifice to God'. There were instances where I was asked to hold the legs of the goat tight, when its neck was cut. I've seen blood oozing out of the goat's neck after its head was chopped-off. I've seen the body of the goat shaking for a few seconds before it died. I've seen men killing chicken by twisting their neck. I think these things had some impact on my decision to be a Vegetarian. (Also read: Sunday - a day of mass murders in India)
Wanna see what happens to these poor creatures before they get into your burger or chicken 65?
I was a Vegetarian for most part of my childhood. I used to eat "egg", though. I lost significant weight when I went to college. Some of my friends told that I can regain the lost weight & develop muscles if I become a meat eater. I started eating meat again in 1997.
I was a meat eater till early part of 2000. During that time, I had a chance to read Gandhi's autobiography - "My experiments with truth". I got motivated by Gandhi's determination to be a vegetarian. He got closer to death, because of not eating meat & not drinking milk. He then started consuming goat's milk. Poor guy, he didn't have alternatives to milk-based diet, at that time. I decided to be a vegetarian. This time, I gave up eating egg also. I continued to consume milk-products.
I'm a vegetarian since 2000. I was able to stick to my eating habits. I got married in 2005, and luckily, my wife is also a vegetarian. Having been a vegetarian for quite sometime, I got bored. In mid 2006, I got a desire to 'experiment' a new eating style. I wanted to put my self-control to test. I wanted to go to the next-level of diet. I decided to adopt a Vegan diet. I told myself that I should give up only when I run into health issues because of not consuming milk products. Fortunately, there were milk-substitutes in USA. I started consuming 'fortified' Soy milk. I included spinach & more vegetables/fruits in my everyday diet. I managed to be a vegan for 3 years.
I returned back to India in May, 2009. I was doubtful, if I would be able to continue my Vegan diet in India. I was surprised to see that 'calcium-enriched' Soy milk is available in Chennai. I'm continuing to be a Vegan. I've also substituted my favorite 'Soy Cafe Latte' with 'Lemon/Black Tea'.
My wife takes good care of me, by cooking healthy vegetable food. I'm very thankful to my wife. If not for her, I cannot continue to be a Vegan & at the same time maintain my health. The journey continues ...
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Logic behind killing animals can be extended to other level also. You might have heard of people not consuming "under ground vegies"... i.e Kota, Rajasthan places, they dont take under ground vegies. there is logic behind.. so my point is, these things can be logical to some extend, mostly the point is, how your health has impact based on your food..ReplyDelete
Logic can be used for everything and and also as an excuse to eat meat.ReplyDelete
I believe that living in a connected environment, we cannot completely avoid animal suffering, but should try to avoid at least the little bit of what we can.
I am a vegetarian by choice and try to buy latex or cloth wallets/jackets instead of leather; but when I cannot avoid I do make tough choices with a little regret. After all I am no gandhi
No one in US ever made fun of me being a vegetarian, but I had experienced many jokers in India making fun of me being a vegetarian and how they cannot live without meat.