''The Grasshopper" smoothie from Rebar (apple, mint, wheatgrass & pinneaple)

Well, today is the last day of my thirty days eating vegan.  This month has definitely changed my outlook on food and diet and has made me put more thought into what I’m going to put into my body.  I’m going to continue avoiding meat (chicken, beef & pork) in my diet but I’m going back on fish.  A lot of people transitioning into vegetarianism continue eating fish for the first while and I can see why – my body is still craving this.  Chicken, beef, pork, and dairy though I can do without.

Oh right and I’m back on eggs – love eggs.  I’m not going to be super strict about it – it’s just not my style – but I know that I feel better when my diet consists mainly of fruits and vegetables and real, unprocessed foods.  I am trying to clarify for myself why specifically it is that I want to be a vegetarian, and I broke it into the three main categories I can see as to why people choose to ditch meat:

1.  Environmental Concerns.  Livestock accounts for 18 per cent of worldwide greenhouse gases – more than those emitted by all forms of transportation combined – and is a leading cause of deforestation and water pollution.

2. Health Benefits.  Factory farmed meat is full of traces of antibiotics, hormones and toxins produced by stress & pesticide residues that become concentrated from all the crops the animals have eaten.

3. Protection of Animal Rights and Ethics.  Animals on factory farms are treated like meat, milk, and egg machines.  All farmed chickens, turkeys, and pigs spend their brief lives in dark and crowded warehouses, many of them so cramped that they can’t even turn around or spread a single wing.

For me it is a combo of all three as to why I’m going to continue striving towards a more veggified (should be a word) diet.  Not only has it made me feel healthier (my body shape has changed and is leaner after thirty days without meat or dairy) but I can also feel more guilt-free about choosing foods that aren’t as harmful to the environment or to animals along the way before they end up on my dinner table and in my tummy.

Paul McCartney endorsed the Meatless Monday movement (as did Alec Baldwin, Twiggy, Al Gore & Simon Cowell)

In my Public Relations and Advertising class, my team is going to put together a PR campaign to try and persuade the people of Victoria to adopt Meatless Mondays (one day a week cut out meat).  This movement is gaining momentum all over the world (San Francisco implemented a meatless Monday resolution at the beginning of April) and we want to try and bring it to the island!  I think Meatless Mondays could actually gain a pretty big following here, with all the students and tree-hugging hippies and activists and outdoorsy people and whatnot.

The MacLean’s article Save the planet: Stop eating Meat suggests that the vegan diet is a more effective way of curbing climate change than driving a hybrid car.  A little food for thought.

P.S. I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned this cookbook yet!  ExtraVeganZa is an all-vegan cookbook with everything from Spelt Cinnamon Buns to Shepherd’s Pie.  It’s fantastic!  I made the soy French Toast the other morning and my three-year-old nephew Tyler said it was the best French Toast he’s ever had – and he’s no easy critic.

Now that thirty days veganism is accomplished I’m starting a new thirty day challenge tomorrow: thirty days of yoga in a row.  I am so pumped to get into shape yoga-styles. Woo!

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