Today I wanted to breach a subject that I’ve been asked about a lot lately, and shed some light on my health, ways of eating, and lifestyle!
Also, a quick note – comments have been disabled for this post because I don’t want hate and/or negativity to run wild simply because I am voicing my way of lifestyle! You have your convictions, and I have mine, plain and simple. I don’t attack people with different views than I, and I don’t think it’s right to do that in any form 🙂
Alrighty, into the post!
Ever since I started following a plant-based diet much more rigorously than I ever have in the past, a few messages in my DM on Instagram blew up weather I considered myself vegan or not, and I wanted to address those today.
First, a little background on why I eat like I do!
Eating habits directly control your overal health, which everyone knows, and people with certain health issues have to/are recommended to eat certain ways or food groups for whatever health issues they have.
The same is true for me, too.
I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), Hypothyroidism, am at risk for Diabetes II and because of PCOS at a higher risk for CIN I, II & III. (Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia).
On top of all that, I’m also badly Lactose intolerant and sometimes have health problems when I eat things with a lot of gluten! (probably because of PCOS, a lot of women find that gluten makes symptoms worse).
So as you can see – with the health issues I’m currently trying to ease symptoms of, it restricts certain food groups just by coincidence!
Dairy for example, because I’m lactose intolerant, is something I stay away from.
I drink almond milk instead, rarely have butter, and sometimes use “Vegan” cheeses and yogurt so that I can have those two things minus the dairy! On pizza, for example, I’ll use “Vegan” mozzarella cheese so that I won’t be in a ton of pain later and if I want overnight oats I’ll use a “Vegan” yogurt with no dairy products just so I can have the overnight oats.
I hope that made sense! So in those things, I use ‘Vegan” products by default because I simply cannot do dairy.
Even if I was not Lactose intolerant, and before I found out I was, I did stay away from mainstream milk because the dairy industry (talking large-scale here) can be very cruel and inhumane to the cows – and as a Christian, I do not believe Christ would treat His creation like that.
So when I still drank normal dairy, I purchased it from local farm that was humane and sustainable.
With PCOS especially, it’s very important to eat unprocessed foods and unpackaged foods to stay away from BPA – something that can aggravate PCOS and bring on some nasty symptoms!
A roughly 80% “plant based” diet is what I was steered towards by my specialist & dietician, since PCOS and Hypothyroidism are both so linked to the foods that one puts in their body. I was also told that Vegetarian/Pescatarian/Paleo eating was also favored specifically for PCOS.
Honestly, an 80% plant-based diet leaves very little room for meat, and with PCOS I have to be careful with certain kinds and cuts of meats. It makes it somewhat complicated, honestly, to the point where I’m glad my “optimal” eating for all my health issues combined calls for so few meat items!
My favorite of all the meats is, unfortunately, red meat. With health in general red meat isn’t that highly favored, especially when you have endocrine disorders and thyroid disorders like I do.
Baked chicken can be good, but I have an aversion to chicken ….. for some odd reason?! I’ll eat not even half of it on my plate and then not want any more. I feel like that’s super odd, but it’s just not something I like or crave, and something I can honestly say I’d be fine not eating ever again probably!
I like beef over chicken, hands down! When I do eat beef, it has to be super lean and not in high volume or I just feel bloated and “icky” afterward.
Just like with dairy, however, I despise the mainstream meat industry and how harmful it is for the environment. There is nothing ethical, right or good about the mainstream meat industry and as a Christian I hardly believe that Jesus Christ would ever treat His creation the way that mainstream meat factories do!
Because of this, I have a very large problem with purchasing meat in general and do not consume meat much at all, sometimes for very long stretches of time.
Purchasing meats from organic, sustainable and ethical farms does fetch a higher price tag, but I believe it is more important to be ethical and right than lazy and uncaring – so I simply purchase the better meat as is available in my area. As a Christian, I also believe it is what Christ would do Himself.
On top of that, because my optimal diet is 80%+ plant based, it makes the cost manageable and affordable!
MY THOUGHTS ON ETHICAL EATING:
I’ve covered this some already, but this is something very important to me.
As a Christian, I believe that Jesus Christ is compassionate and made His creation to be beautiful and sustainable – a creation not meant to be exploited and treated unethically, or cruelly in any manner.
In Genesis we see that in Eden, no meat was eaten. Humans and animals alike were herbivores – leaf eaters.
Everything was in peace, harmony and beautifully sustained.
Then the Fall came – sin entered the world, and the first blood was shed soon after.
Man (humans in general) were said to have dominion over the animals on all the earth – but let’s look at what “dominion” means:
do·min·ion | \də-ˈmi-nyən
Definition of dominion
law : supreme authority : sovereignty
having dominion over the natural world
- Taken from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Nowhere in that definition do I see things like: unethical treatment, cruelty, exploitation, brutality, savagery, misuse, manipulation, swindling, ill treatment or taking advantage of.
And unfortunately, all these words (and more) make up the Mainstream Dairy & Meat Industry as a whole – not to mention the chemicals, pesticides and gasses that harm our bodies and the planet that God created. (that He never meant to be polluted!)
If we look in the Bible in the New Creation, we are never told of eating meat again. It talks about grapes, wine, and non-animal substances. We see supplemental “meats” that do not require death or bloodshed, and something that tastes better but is not animal flesh. (Isiah 65:25 is a beautiful representation of the New Heaven and New Earth)
This clearly represents that God cherishes each human and animal He created alike!
Some Christians are 100% plant-based to be “one” with God’s original intent – Franklin Graham (The evangelist Billy Grahams son) is a vegetarian/vegan who believes that is God’s intent for humans on the earth, and abstains from meat.
Some Christians are Pescatarians, only eating plants and fish.
Other Christians eat meat, and a lot of it.
Personally I think the choice to eat (or not eat) meat is something between you, God, and also depends on your health needs in general and any conditions you may have.
I don’t think it should be judged by others, or rebuked, because it is something personal and if it is a conviction one way or the other from Christ Himself – then that is all that matters.
HOWEVER – if you do eat meat at all, I think it is your personal responsibility to make sure that the meat you are eating was humanely raised, harvested and sustainably produced.
You find this meat from local organic farmers, with sustainable and ethical practices.
I believe it is more important to be ethical and right than lazy and uncaring for Gods creation – A.R.N
If you personally choose to eat meat, and do not feel a conviction from Christ against it, remember that Jesus Christ is a God of ethics.
Just because He gave us dominion over the animals does not make it right to abuse, mistreat, manipulate or exploit His creation! Nowhere is this justified.
A King/President has dominion over his country – however this does not make it right to manipulate his people, mistreat the elderly, abuse the poor or show brutality to children.
In the same way, if you do choose to eat meat, I do not believe God would want His beautiful creation to be treated any of those ways at all – in any form!
I believe the same in regards to people who are into hunting and fishing Gods creation, and hold those people to the same high bar in respect to doing these things in order to eat meats, as they are choosing to do. (I bring this up only because I live in the South – where both are very popular and something done commonly.)
So, in short, if you do not feel a conviction to abstain from meat then I believe you have a very high bar to reach in order to eat meat ethically and sustainably.
I think the whole spectrum of eating, as a whole, is very interesting. You have countries where dogs are commonly ate – but cows are abstained from – where in our part of the world you see dogs as pets that commonly live in the same house (and even beds!) as we do.
My personal diet habits are mostly health-based, some things I just cannot eat because they cause pain and/or reactions. Some things (like the 80% vegetation ratio) are because of multiple health problems I have and that style of diet helps ease symptoms and reverse certain problems.
And if I choose not to follow what’s best for my health, I’m ultimately choosing to self-destroy.
I am not saying that you should – or should not – eat meat or consume dairy. I’m sharing my personal views and convictions, my personal health problems and the “why” I follow the diet I do, and also saying that if you do choose to eat meat then you are personally responsible for eating ethically and sustainably, Christian or non-Christian! (And if you are a Christian – then you really have to think about how God views His creation and that He is an ethical and sustainable God, and I am sure despises how His creation is being blatantly exploited and inhumanely harvested – and you ought to think on that and start caring!)
With every single human born – someone’s child, married, dating, or single – your personal eating conviction is just that.
Your personal eating conviction.
Not anyone else’s – yours.
You have the power to uphold the highest regard to God’s creation – your body and what you put in it.
You can choose to be lazy, unethical and uncaring about both; letting your health and (if you choose to eat meat) the animals you put in your body be exploited, abused, mistreated and unethically attained. That’s your choice – albeit a sad one.
Or you can choose to take control and care for your body (God’s temple, if you are a Follower of Christ), health, and any animals you choose to digest with respect, honor and dignity.
The choice is yours, either way.
Abstaining from meat, or eating it.
Taking control of your health, or not.
Nourishing and caring for your body, God’s Temple – or not.
And I’m not just saying all this to my readers, I’m also saying all the same things to myself.
If you choose not to take care of yourself health wise, eating meat or not, then you are choosing to self-destroy.
Is any of this hard? Yes – on many levels. Is it worth it? Absolutely – YES.
If you are choosing to not take care of your health and eating habits, then you are ultimately choosing to self-destroy. What do you think God thinks of this?
When you really think about all this, pausing for a second and giving it a deep thought, it really is something serious to think on.
Eating meat or not is a conviction that only God can give you, honestly.
But if you do choose to eat meat, you have some serious decisions to start thinking on and making … it’s really food for thought.
In the end, we are all God’s creation and we all deserve fair treatment and nothing should be abused or exploited.
In the end, you can either choose to be ethical and caring, or lazy and uncaring.
But remember this: if you agree with some of the above but you choose to simply ignore it and/or do nothing, you are helping nothing. You are simply adding to the problem, no matter your convictions.
I hope this long post helped answer the questions that kept coming on my DM and also helped open your eyes to a small sliver of the mainstream dairy and meat industry, on my view of Christian Ethics and my personal thoughts of what Christ would do.
For anyone wondering, YES I do take a vegetarian-compatible multivitamin everyday complete with vitamin B12 and Iron, along with an Omega 3 vitamin and Collagen Peptide!
I hope you all have a wonderful day, and happy December!