I admit, I’m not the most patient person in the world. I went vegan over 12 years ago. So what’s the hold up with all of you others out there that still eat animals? Why the heck isn’t everyone vegan?
I mean, really. I thought I was late to the party. I know a number of people who’ve been vegan a whole lot longer than I have. So here I am waiting for this giant tsunami of new vegans. And waiting. And waiting.
It seems like it’s taking forever. Last Sunday I went to an afternoon wine event. I watched people stand in line to eat pulled pork tacos. They balanced chunks of Kobe beef on tiny white paper plates. Crab stuffed mushrooms were pierced with sharp toothpicks and eaten with the fervor of a death row inmate’s last meal.
Picking my way though this minefield of unhealthy, unsustainable and cruel choices, I felt a bit like I was playing Scrabble with no vowels. I found not one single option for vegans at the entire event. Not one hummus dip with pita bread triangles in sight. No obligatory fruit tray. No neglected baby carrot, celery and tomato pairings.
Though I’m sure with the five hundred or so odd people that were there, chances are slim I wasn’t the only vegan, but it sure as heck felt like I was. I found myself getting really annoyed with the number of people holding tiny plates of pig carcass and waiting in line for Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream full of cruel dairy products. What the heck, people?
Why is this still happening? I didn’t really care so much about that fact that the organizers failed to offer vegan options. That’s not really the point. The point is how can so many people still be eating in a way that causes such harm to their health, animals and the environment?
Statistics show that vegans make up only 2-4% of the population. So I guess only 2-4% of the population can read? It’s the same feeling I get when I see anyone smoking a cigarette. This isn’t the 1950’s. We know how harmful cigarettes are to your health and anyone unfortunate enough to be taking in your second hand smoke.
Just like cigarettes, we also know the dangers of eating animal products. We’ve had studies published for decades now showing vegans have less heart disease, cancer and lower rates of body fat than their meat-eating counterparts. This includes the most comprehensive nutrition study ever conducted for long term health, the China Study. Not to mention several award-winning documentaries like Cowspiracy, Forks Over Knives and Earthlings that provide clear and sometimes painful details about the negative consequences of eating meat.
So are these people living in a hole in the ground? How can people still eat the Standard American Diet? The information is out there.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there as well. Every month it seems, a new article or “study” comes along and tells us saturated fat is ok! Eat more, not less animal protein! We were wrong, butter is sooooo good for you!
But here is where a little common sense comes in handy. Even when I was eating butter and animal products all those many years ago, I never, not even for a moment, thought those foods were better for me than fruits and vegetables.
Nutrition and health isn’t confusing. It’s actually painfully simple.
The confusing part is why isn’t everyone vegan?