My Thoughts on a Vegan “Diet”

Although I’ve never been on a Vegan diet, I’ve been _around_ it for years, as 2 out of 3 of my kids are/were on a strictly Vegan diet for over/almost 10 years…including of course, Iron Daughter as eloquently summarized in her recent post:

http://www.irondaughterirondad.com/ironvegan/

…may have truly been that backlash to too many hamburgers at McDonald’s and too many chicken wings at Jack Astor’s as youngsters 🙂

And since Iron Daughter opened the Pamela Anderson door…here she is again…and in a stroke of luck to validate the use of her picture, her t-shirt actually goes to the theme of this post

So for a quick summation, a Vegan diet excludes anything with eyes, or anything that comes from anything with eyes…so obviously anything that contains meat, fish, dairy, but also in the strictest interpretation, excludes anything that contains honey by way of example

For me, I wrote an earlier post that summarizes some of my dietary reading and thinking:
http://www.irondaughterirondad.com/nutrition/carbs-protein-fat/

For a quick summary, my ‘typical’ day goes something like this, although variable depending on the timing and length of exercise during the day…so a non-exercise day sort of baseline:

  • morning always: fruit smoothie with 14oz Dole Frozen Fruit, banana, 1 tbsp flax-seed oil, 1 tbsp protein powder (SP Complete) with water…makes 2x16oz cups
  • late morning or early lunch always: egg white or sometimes egg (microwaved) with Ezekiel bread, 2-3oz of lean ham/turkey/chicken + cheese rarely
  • snack usually: almonds
  • sometimes additional late lunch: lean meat snack / 1-2 fig cookies
  • snack if hungry: fruit / apple
  • dinner: large spinach salad with dried fruits and nuts, and main protein hit of lean meat or fish + misc veggies
    • rarely/never cook with butter, or use butter on bread…olive oil or Pam or grilled or broiled

So a lot of ‘Vegan’ diet elements already…the main adjustment will be the ‘protein’ component.

So as I embark on a Vegan week, here are my early thoughts:

  • ‘Vegan’ generally feels more about animal rights activism than a healthy diet from what I’ve seen
  • Therefore, a lot of compromises are made to ‘substitute’ ingredients for the ‘better’ meat/fish alternatives
  • Being Vegan does make you a _lot_ more aware of what you eat, which is a very good thing
  • Although not eating something that contains honey because it came from a bee, goes to point #1
  • So I think that it’s important to separate out the ‘diet’ part from the ‘animal rights activism’ part

and the positive elements of the Vegan ‘diet’ I think would do a lot better without the drumbeat of the ‘animal rights activism’ part…to me they are separate issues

…if one feels that eating meat and fish and dairy is unhealthy, or more properly that there are better, healthier food choices, for me, I think that’s worthy of some thought and consideration

…if although the argument is that one should not eat meat or fish or dairy primarily because “animals should be viewed as non-human persons and members of the moral community, and should not be used as food, clothing, research subjects, or entertainment“…I have a hard time agreeing that I should eat a less healthy diet for the sake of the animals

…and probably that a discussion of animal use for “clothing, research subjects or entertainment” should be outside the scope of a discussion of the “food” element, which has a direct impact on my health and well-being

…and is therefore a reverse scenario…I think that ‘animal rights activism’ by definition ‘should’ by default include a ‘Vegan’ diet…I don’t think that a ‘Vegan’ diet ‘should’ by default include ‘animal rights activism’…and goes to my point #5 above

…so does a Vegan ‘diet’ actually stand on its own merit as a valid diet protocol…if you take away the ‘animal rights activism’ element almost always intertwined?

…I suppose that’s what we’ll be discovering and discussing

Lots more to come this weekend and next week…and I’m sure that we’ll hear from the other side as Iron Daughter weighs in 🙂

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