So many people believe that a vegan diet is unhealthy. When I first made my decision to stop eating meat and, later on, all animal products, people acted like I was doing something life threatening and irrational. I couldn’t understand why. To put it in the words of one of my friends: “You’re only eating fruits and vegetables. That’s unhealthy?”
What really bothered me was the fact that a year earlier, when I was fifteen pounds overweight and eating the Standard American Diet, no one cared. I could eat a large fry and cheeseburger washed down with a 900 calorie iced coffee that contained 40 grams of sugar – not counting the whipped cream – and not a single person would say a word. When I started snacking on apples and almond butter and skipping the eggs in my breakfast, I suddenly “lacked essential nutrients”.
I had two initial reactions. The first was anger. I longed to ask them about their cholesterol, or point out the fact that an enormous muffin and hot cocoa isn’t exactly the healthiest non-vegan food. I could think of a hundred resources that would point to the fact that my diet wouldn’t end up causing heart disease or cancer.
My second reaction was just as typical: PREACH! The anger was gone, replaced by warm, happy vegan vibes and I just wanted to share that with everyone. Plant-based or not, they were going to hear about my amazing lifestyle and why they should go vegan too!
Although it’s hard to admit that now, I was the kind of person that makes people hate vegans.
Thanks to a long conversation with my mom and some amazing examples from my favorite Youtubers, I’ve come to realize that neither anger or preaching will do anything. For anyone.
Obviously, a different approach was needed, not just to my daily conversations, but to my life. And that’s when I decided: The proof is in the (vegan) pudding.
I know that a plant-based lifestyle is the healthiest way to live. But just because I feel that way doesn’t mean everyone does. And that doesn’t mean I should push it on the people who disagree. I can just use my life, my health, as an example to everyone else.
One amazing person who does this is vegan vlogger Ellen Fisher. Her and her husband are glowing with health, and their children Elvis and Sandy are the healthiest, most beautiful little boys I have ever seen. She doesn’t forcefully push veganism, but watching her videos will make anyone want to live such a beautiful, gentle life.
And that is my advice to you: Don’t be pushy. Live your life, and let your health and joy be an example to everyone around you.
For me, that means allowing my glowing skin, growing muscles, and inner happiness show the people who surround me that I am healthy and better yet, living the life that everyone deserves. Let the proof be not in my words, but in my actions!
I hope this inspires you to be an example of health to the people in YOUR life.
Stay happy and healthy!
~Shyla and Fargo