Being vegan or rather turning vegan occurred to me when I watched a documentary film titled, “Forks over Knives”, who’s basic premise was eating plants and plant-based and hence using a fork wins over eating meat which primarily requires knives. The film was so darn engrossing and informative that being vegan made total sense to me. There could not be another way and just like that I began to politely refuse eggs, milk and its products, cheese, sugar and anything that was derived from animals, including leather, fur. Out went my mink coat, that found another loving owner, my leather bags and everything that was a product of cruelty to animals. My make-up brands changed and it effect it was a totally new lifestyle. The merit in the thought of being vegan was so very strong in my mind, it turned into one of my core beliefs and since I believed in it, it was not hard to take a stand. My friends began to tease me, thats what friends do, and my best friends did not pay heed as they layed fried eggs on my plate. My brother enticed me with hot chocolate in milk, I did still have hot chocolate with coconut sugar and cocoa, but broke-up with white sugar who’s processing requires an animal cruelty component.
It felt incredible to be vegan, I dropped kilos effortlessly, munched on french fries a bit now and then, but even pizzas I ate without cheese. Truth be told pizzas are delicious without cheese too, if the toppings and the sauce are made to taste. But even then as I filled myself up with all the yummy food, I looked and felt super light. No heaviness ever, in the heart or in the soul. And thus I drifted, levitated and began feeling a lot more kind. Ofcourse, nothing felt hard or difficult. Watching videos on fitness, there are so many people in the world who reversed their diseases, over threw diseases that ran in families to be the only healthy sibling, without so much as making a hue and cry about it. It is true and it is scientific that a plant-based diet is hugely beneficial to one. Ditching sugar would have done a whole deal of good to my brain and I must say I rather enjoyed eating my broccoli all those times, like I do even today. Treats were vegan chocolates or vegan cheese which are extremely delicious. The Indian diet, mainly the South-Indian diet is great for vegans, except the dependence on curd. But I increasingly found, Chinese food with all its vegetables is very good for vegans too. But honestly, any cuisine could be modified to fit the vegan diet. Nuts, nut-butters, seeds, leaves, vegetables, fruits take centrestage and offer a myriad of flavors that do not need to be disguised by cheese and sugar. The making of these foods is not so much of a hassle too.
Having been a vegan for roughly about two years, my Dad urged me to get my B12 levels tested and in all my kindness towards animals, I was aghast to note that I was not too kind to myself as I was severely short of vitamin 12 that is crucial in the functioning of the brain and nerves. It was not one to be taken lightly. The doctor promptly prescribed 12 shots which I was to take over two months, one per week. It was horrendous, unlike the usual injections, the B12 shots work with a much thicker needle and need to be administered by a nurse or a medical professional. That was painful, all the lightness I felt dissappeared as I was brought down to the earth with adequate B12 coursing through my veins. That lightness could have well been nerve damage, or so I surmise. That episode shocked me enough to have me eating my curds, eggs quite dextrously. Now I have decent levels of all vitamins in my body. Eggs are nature’s multivitamin. There are many vegans out there who survive on supplements that they intake daily or weekly to keep optimum levels of vitamins in their bodies. But I could never be them, after what I experienced for most supplements are derived from animals, and it did not make sense to me. Natural foods win, always. While curds consumption would probably be enough for the vitamin, I keep myself above the baseline levels with eggs.
That said I definitely do believe in the Kind diet, that is kinder to the planet and kinder to oneself. If one can go the extra mile and be a complete vegan, then it is an experience I must say that one will treasure for a lifetime. It is so much fun to embark on that journey. Recently I found out that sometimes people are deficient in B12 even when they are solid meat eaters, so veganism is not the only cause for a deficiency. There are so many permutations and combinations as to why things happen the way they do. Negative thoughts or thoughts of fear can be consumed from the food we eat. Just as a cow or chicken is slaughtered fear fills its body and that body is what a meat-eater eats thereby consuming all that animal’s wretchedness. When it is said that the thoughts and feelings of a cook are transferred into the food that is cooked and the person who eats it could feel the same, I sure hope all the cooks in the world are filled with happiness. Sadhu Vaswani, a guru, factually points out that the human body is not designed for the consumption of meat, like a lion or tiger or a carnivore, making it make a lot of sense to eat plants. Even if a meat based diet keeps adequate levels of B12, it has a plethora of more ingredients that are major causes of heart diseases if not heart-aches. As I inch towards being better informed and switch to being vegan again, perhaps for good, I would urge everyone, yes I am that person who would stand on Church Street and ask everyone to be vegan, if not for vegetarian. Once the diet is one that keeps your body and soul happy at once, we have a winner. Like they say being kind helps the person one is kind to, but even more it is more beneficial to the person who is that fountain of kindness!