I’ve joined March for Compassion (Marts med medfølelse) and will give up all animal products for the month of March.
I haven’t eaten pork or beef since I was about 16. I’ve tried lamb once, but didn’t like it and I’m sure I’ve eaten horse blood in gummi bears or whatever they put in, but I’ve been what some call a semi vegetarian and what others call fussy, in other words, not eating any four-legged creatures for about 16 years now. It’s not an animal welfare thing (I love my leather boots), I just don’t like the way heavy meat feels in my stomach and believe it’s healthier to avoid it.
It’s not that much of a change to go from being a almost non-dairy semi vegetarian to completely vegan. I guess it’s most a matter of planning and reading labels, so for March I’ll eliminate all animal products, but I'll still be wearing my boots.
Here are the 4 main reasons.
1. Health - Well Obviously
I believe that a plant based diet is the best thing you can do to your body. If you think you need protein from meat and calcium from dairy, I recommend you watch the film Forks Over Knives that shows research that proves that animal products and dairy lead to higher risks of heart diseases, cancer and diabetes. We’ve just watched it and I’m as inspired to go vegan as ever.
2. I’ve Seen What Stays In
When I did my last detox in Thailand (a 6 days/5 nights juice fast with daily enemas) about a month ago I saw what came out of me. I’m sorry if this is too much information, but there are so few that do flush out their intestines, so I feel like I have to share my experiences so more people know. At The Spa Resort they give you a strainer when you have your enemas. You need to know what’s in there. I hadn’t had chicken for about a week before the fast but meat still came out. Now chicken is one of the meats that is easily digestible so I daren’t think about how long red meat stays in the colon. I’ve heard (but maybe that’s just an urban myth) that it can take years to digest a steak. I haven’t had chicken since.
3. Animal Welfare and Reduction of the Carbon Footprint
Animal welfare isn’t the reason I’ve gone off meat from four legged animals, but let’s face it; we don’t treat farmed animals right. I recently read David Life and Sharon Ganon’s book Jivamukti Yoga: Practices for Liberating Body and Soul. Jivamukti Yoga is big on vegan activism and uses core yoga philosophy like the Yamas and Niyamas to teach that ‘The best way to uplift our own lives is to uplift the lives of others, and making the choice to eat a plant-based diet and avoid the use of animal products in all areas of our lives is the single greatest act we can take to uplift the lives of others’. It is taking the practice of Ahimsa - non-violence seriously.
4. March With Compassion
A Danish group of vegans have created an association called Food With Compassion (Mad med medfølelse). They’ve set up the event March with Compassion (Marts med medfølelse) for which 2000 Danes have signed up. I’m one of them. The founders provide food plans for every day consisting of healthy and delicious (Danish) vegan recipes from their blogs along with a community where vegan novices can ask questions or even get their own vegan mentor for the month. Big kudos to March With Compassion and all the work they’ve put into inspiring others to go vegan. It gave me just the right kick to see what it would be like to scratch fish, egg and dairy entirely from my diet for a month. I’m looking forward to the ride.
And if you think: ‘Poor Thilde. She has to live off salads for a month’. Then take a look at today’s weekend menu: porridge with banana and a green smoothie, raw springrolls and vegan burger with soya cheese. Nom.