WHY VEGAN? A casual acquaintance told me she was moving to Utah. I jovially quipped, "Why would anyone do that on purpose?" It was then that I realized I'd just taken a dig at her genuine paradise. She'd fallen in love with Utah, and I'd just insulted her! It's because of this type of mistake I find myself making repeatedly that I understand when others make fun of my passionate veganism. They don't realize I'm in love--they just think they're being delightfully hilarious. Let's establish that we're all a tad uncouth on occasion, and be a bit forgiving with one another, shall we? Good. Now then, to answer your question:
1) The Environment: You might not know that animal agriculture is arguably the #1 cause of environmental degradation--but it is, and now you do. I've been warned against using polarizing language like "moral imperative," but I will say that we'd be wise to accept, no matter how regretfully, that we've made a mess of things on this pretty blue planet, and we might want to straighten up and fly right if we want our offspring et all to enjoy life on Earth for more than another couple of decades.
2) Physical Health: Again, I'm not a doctor, dietician, or nutritionist--but I've hung out with folks who are. I've read their books, listened to their podcasts, studied their lectures, attended their courses, and watched their videos. I've learned about longitudinal studies on the effects of vegan diets on health, as well as endless anecdotal evidence that plant-based diets can beneficially transform health in a profound capacity. I also haven't eaten meat (chicken, or fish) in over 20 years, or eggs & dairy in (collectively) 8 of those 20+ years. Unfortunately, there is no protein in plant-based products, so I'm very frail. JUST KIDDING! We'll talk about the big P later. Hint: I haven't eaten meat (chicken, or fish) in over 20 years, or eggs & dairy...
3) Psychological and Spiritual Health: The subliminal effects of what we consume cannot be overstated. Deep down, many of us suspect that eating animals does not align with character traits we believe we possess: compassion, kindness, a love for animals, and so on.
4) Human Rights: There is no job more physically, psychologically, or socially dangerous than that of a slaughterhouse worker. Beyond that, the billions of tons of grain used to feed to animals who are killed and fed to people could go directly to feeding people, thus reducing or even eliminating world hunger. In addition, climate change caused by animal agriculture results in events such as droughts and floods, and is often the invisible impetus for forced migration--which leads to riots, revolts, and even wars.
5) The Animals: Like most, I had developed such a powerful denial mechanism in my psyche surrounding 'food' animals that I allowed countless sources to lie to me (while I swallowed it whole) for years and years. Cows lived in fields! Pigs rolled in mud! Chickens scratched and nested! Then they happily surrendered their joyful lives so I could enjoy my steak, bacon, and Kung Po. How nice of them. As the investigation of Truth began, my heart sank and my senses heightened. I never could have prepared myself for what I'd discover, though. The everyday practices of torture these precious creatures endure truly boggle the mind, heart, and soul. Everything I do, I do for the animals.
What's the difference between "plant-based' and 'vegan'? Basically, 'plant-based' is food centric, whereas 'vegan' is a living philosophy that extends past food into clothing, entertainment, products, etc.
PROTEIN: I am begging you: please do not worry about getting enough protein on a vegan (or vegan-ish) diet! There have been zero reported cases in modern medical history of a person who is obtaining enough calories per day being protein deficient. However, here's a fun rhyme to help you remember a few great sources of vegan protein: "Nuts, beans, tofu, seeds! Quinoa, lentils, hemp & peas!" (Stolen from this hilarious Youtube video.) I'm personally a big fan of plant-based meats, like Tofurky, Impossible Burger, Simple Truth, and many others. We'll go into further depth during our sessions.
B12: Yes, vegans absolutely need a B12 supplement. This is non-negotiable. End of story.