I was raised and worked on livestock farms in Iowa, joined the Marine Corps at 19, and worked in some...Read More
I was raised and worked on livestock farms in Iowa, joined the Marine Corps at 19, and worked in some of the toughest neighborhoods in Washington, DC, for 25 years as a cop. Until I was 48 years old, the vast majority of my meals consisted of tons of meat, eggs, and dairy. Up until that point, given my upbringing and life experiences, I was convinced that I was eating all the right foods and on track to a healthy and long life.
A couple of years prior, I lost my father to a heart attack at age 69, my older brother began having stents put in his heart, and my daughter decided to go vegan. And since I didn’t think eating a vegan diet was a healthy way to live, I dove in and read every nutritional book and health study I could find. You name it and I read it. What took me by complete surprise was the overwhelming amount of independent scientific research that supported a vegan diet. At first, I could hardly believe what I was reading. But study after study provided clear and convincing evidence that eating a vegan diet was by far the healthiest way to eat.
Today I am 53 years old and have been vegan for almost five years. I weigh the same that I did when I joined the Marine Corps at 19 and feel better than I ever have! I love talking with folks and showing them how easy it is to eat a healthy vegan diet. I can’t think of anything more gratifying than helping someone lose weight and get off all their cholesterol and high blood pressure medicine within a few weeks on a vegan diet. The power of a plant-based diet is truly remarkable!
As a lover of animals all my life, I had no idea that my daily choices promoted animal abuse. Like...Read More
As a lover of animals all my life, I had no idea that my daily choices promoted animal abuse. Like so many others, I saw no connection between the food on my plate and the animal who died for it to get there. That is, until I discovered the horrors of the food industry through a school project. I became vegetarian for a few years, and as I learned more about the dairy industry, I wanted to become vegan.
Now, I feel healthier than ever before, and I’ve even convinced family and friends to make the switch. I became so passionate about veganism and speaking up for farmed animals, I decided to get involved with Mercy For Animals as a volunteer. They are a truly inspiring organization, and I’m so proud to be part of a team that is making huge strides for animals.
I have been vegetarian since I was 11 years old. I always considered animals “my friends” and just couldn't understand...Read More
I have been vegetarian since I was 11 years old. I always considered animals “my friends” and just couldn’t understand why anyone would ever want to eat their friends. Growing up, I was the neighborhood pet sitter for any family or friends whose critters needed watching while they were away or just needed more attention or walks when they were at work (this was before the days of the doggy day care enterprise!). My mom also taught me from a very young age to respect wildlife and treat all creatures with dignity. We even rehabbed a few wild birds together.
I have been working towards a vegan lifestyle for the past two years. Currently 100 percent of my groceries are vegan. Mercy For Animals shed a tremendous amount of light on the egg and dairy industry for me. I felt so naive having continued to eat those products without understanding the impact on my body and on animals. While I may not be perfect, I keep in mind that each and every meal I eat is a choice to do better. It’s unbelievable how great I feel both mentally and physically when I complete an entirely vegan day.
Benefits I was not expecting include higher energy and weight loss. I had hovered around the same weight for as long as I could remember. But when I started reducing eggs and dairy, I dropped 10 pounds, and they are not coming back! My legs have slimmed out around the calves and ankles—they had looked the same since grade school—and I did not increase my exercise regimen.
P.S. Taste buds definitely change with time! Aside from all the “faux meats” out there, I am obsessed with Brussels sprouts, cabbage, leeks, and onions—so many veggies I wouldn’t touch as a kid! If only I’d known then how delicious they all could be if cooked right with some garlic! 😉
I am a physical education teacher, former college basketball player, and current amateur jiu-jitsu competitor. I am also an avid...Read More
I am a physical education teacher, former college basketball player, and current amateur jiu-jitsu competitor. I am also an avid bike rider, a traveler, and a reader.
After a lifetime of a standard American meat-heavy diet, I started to reconsider my food intake when I began competing in a sport with weight classes. During this time, I also met my now fiancée, an almost lifelong vegetarian. She introduced me to many new plant-based options, and I quickly realized how delicious and healthy a vegetarian lifestyle could be. While I do not label myself vegetarian or vegan, I am incredibly conscious of my food choices and their effect on my body and mind. Reading The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner about how societies who follow a limited meat diet live longer, have greater overall health, and report increased happiness also informed my decision to decrease animal products.
Benefits I have experienced by transitioning to a reduced-meat diet include lower weight, increased energy, lower body fat, increased level of athletic performance, and increased mental wellness knowing I am contributing to lessening animal cruelty.