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Why I went plant-based: An honest look at motivation

Mac’s latest post, Veganism and Disordered Eating, brought up so many reactions in me that I felt compelled to write a mirror post. And in the process, I had a breakthrough.

I asked myself Mac’s three questions to see how I measured up to my well-adjusted offspring.

Question 1: Is eating animal products causing me more or less emotional and psychological distress than not eating them?

Once you know something, you can’t un-know it. The runoff from animal agriculture waste in the Heartland drains into the Mississippi and straight into the Gulf of Mexico, where it has created an annual dead zone bigger than the state of New Jersey. I can’t un-learn that and a thousand other inconvenient truths about animal agriculture. Sars. Covid. Both stem from from our consumption of animals.

I have contemplated whether I would return to eating eggs or milk or meat in the Zombie Apocalypse, as one does. (This is how my mind works. You’ll get used to it.) I concluded it's apples to oranges. It would be an entirely different set of circumstances with an entirely different set of consequences. People might have to eat whatever we can to ensure the survival of the human species. If we're into that sort of thing.

Today, in our arguably pre-apocalyptic times, eating animal products the way we currently do ensures just the opposite.

“Even without fossil fuels, we will exceed our 565 gigatonnes CO2e limit by 2030, all from raising animals.” –Richard A. Oppenlander in the documentary, Cowspiracy

I can’t un-know that. We could go 100% electric vehicles tomorrow, and still not be able to meet the “do or die” climate goals our world's governments have set. And they know it.

And now I know it.

Question 2. If I went vegan and gained ten pounds, would I still be happy with my decision?

I gotta be honest, here, I’d be petty pissed. That was my initial, knee-jerk reaction.

Mac challenged me here to dig deeper. Why would I be pissed? And it's a great question to ask myself. Why would I be mad if I gained ten pounds and glad if I lost ten pounds? Ten pounds is not going to make a huge difference in anyone's health. Why do I, why do women in our culture celebrate getting smaller and abhor getting larger? Where did that even come from?

Is this part of our old cultural programming that says