Dear Paleo People,
it’s your friendly neighborhood vegan here. Before you jump at me pointing to your testimonials and canine teeth, let me tell you something.
I used to be one of you.
For at least two years, I was a huge follower of countless Paleo (or similar to Paleo) writers. I filled notebooks with pages of ideas and rules, checked out dozens of Paleo books at the library, argued with my father about whether or not we should eat potatoes. For a while, my mother and I followed the Whole30 guidelines (four months out of 2016!).
If you’re Paleo, you’re probably reading this post – on my vegan blog – and shaking your head, like what went wrong?
On an extremely “healthy”, mostly Paleo diet high in meat, nuts and veggies and low in processed foods, I felt…okay. I had mostly clear skin with some acne, about 10 extra pounds settled on my legs and a continual feeling of what I can only describe as heaviness. The problem was, I thought I was doing good. In fact, I really was in better health than most of my friends.
But it wasn’t optimal health.
In October of 2016, I read Diet For a New America by John Robbins. I stayed up all night reading, and the next day I quit eating meat.
I want to say here that in no way do I judge you, dear Paleo people. I still loved meat, still wanted it sometimes. I just couldn’t reconcile eating animals – especially in the amount that I had been – with what I had learned.
For a while, I tried to keep up my old eating habits. I avoided most legumes, grains and dairy while also keeping up with my vegetarianism. I even did a vegetarian Whole30. But I still didn’t feel amazing. I just knew I could feel better.
I kept reading about veganism on every vegetarian website I went to. At that point, I was an ovo-vegetarian. (Dairy has NEVER worked for me, but I saw nothing wrong with eggs from our own free range chickens. In fact, I still don’t, I just choose not to eat them.) All the vegan bloggers were raving about their health and well being, and I wanted that.
After a long time of thinking about it, I became a vegan on March 1st, 2017. Instantly, I felt amazing. My meals felt so much lighter without animal fats and proteins weighing me down. Although I didn’t lose weight, my muscle tone improved. My jogging got immensely easier. My energy soared. The joy within me welled up.
Paleo people, unlike many vegans, I don’t think you’re unhealthy. Part of my philosophy as a vegan is to live and let live, so I won’t tell you what to do. Many of you appear to be experiencing health or are on your way there, and that is amazing.
In fact, we have a lot in common! Think about this:
I’m not at all worried about your health. But I am worried about something far greater than you or I.
After reading through some What I Ate Today Paleo blogs, such as this one, I will say your food sounds tasty. Take out the eggs and meat and it’s fairly similar to what I eat! But…that’s a lot of meat. The blog I linked ate meat at every single meal. I don’t care how much money you have or how local your meat is.
Eating meat at every meal is not sustainable.
If everyone ate meat 3 times a day, 7 days a week, our Earth would be in even worse condition than it is now.
I admire your way of eating, Paleo people. I think you are doing what you view best for your health. But life is about more than us. Take the next step and live for yourself and others. Try the Pegan diet, or take the Meatless Monday pledge! Simple steps by reasonable people can make a huge difference.
Thanks for listening.
Shyla and Fargo (two big and healthy vegans)