I took a hiatus to visit a family member who had a stroke earlier this week. I try not to be pushy about trying vegan food though admittedly it’s difficult at times. I’m pretty sure delicious looking/tasting food speaks for itself and is much more alluring than lectures about ripping guts out of conscious animals, feces contaminated spinach and lard in its various forms. I think everyone knows where I stand since we all had dinner together the evening I arrived.
I sat back and listened to everyone else talk. There was a lot of talk about nutrition, cholesterol levels and preventative medicine. People talked about skim milk versus 2%, avoiding mayonnaise and stress, and second opinions. I was thinking about the warning for risk of stroke on my old synthetic estrogen/progestin pills as soon as they brought up milk. People are very resistant to the idea of being vegan in general – it’s a demanding position if you’re not thrilled about new experiences. It’s also a tacit criticism of something people have been doing for years and either don’t think about or tell themselves is justified somehow. A lot of people looked at their dinners and at me and then told me “I don’t normally eat like this”, “should I be eating this?” and “I could eat better” as they heaped animal parts and animal reproductive secretions onto their plates.
I have an opinion in the matter of how diet can influence susceptibility to stroke, heart attack, and cancer. My opinion is informed by the best evidence available to me, not conjecture or speculation or some special I saw on a news channel one time. I hope you would choose to educate yourself on your opinions regardless of what they are and to ask lots of questions instead of making things up. If you have to tell people “this isn’t typical”, say “I can improve” or ask “should I be doing this?”, whether you’re talking about your exercise routine or your diet, just keep in mind that you’re not the only one who is affected by your choices. If you’ve got an iota of doubt (“should I be doing this?”) you should be reading more. Don’t adopt my opinion, make your own, and make sure you can back it up. I know I can.
This is Christie, signing off.
Thank you for sharing this. I wish your family member well and hope what you shared about your lifestyle still sink in a bit.
The topic of smoking cigarettes is another one that comes up when someone has a heart attack or stroke. I’m not saying that smoking can be likened to eating meat or choosing unhealthy foods… or, maybe I am. I think we all have the desire to survive and be healthy. One danger with lifestyle changes, whether it be quitting smoking or becoming vegan, is that they are viewed as a sacrifice or deprivation versus a conscious commitment to take better care of our bodies–and they are all too often a phase; something we do until we get to a point where we feel good about ourselves again. I knew I couldn’t realistically start my transition into being vegan until I got over that mentality.
It helps to have an informed perspective on these things. It also helps to not, if you wish to keep with a lifestyle one knows is bad for them. Spreading knowledge makes it harder for folks in the latter group to keep it going when their one anecdote is trounced by a wealth of documented research.