It’s now a bit over a month since I watched on Swedish Broadcast TVs website the German documentary ”The Milk System” and then wrote an entry about it (posted February 11th).And I changed my diet… As I didn’t want to be a part of such cruel exploitation of cows.
This entry is a follow-up.
I have been lacto-vegetarian over 40 years, so I thought it would only be a minor change to go vegan. I really didn’t expect any consequences for my body or life style caused of this change of my diet, apart I would have to do some “adjustments” in shopping and cooking. My focus was simply on what kind of food that is ethically and politically defensible to buy.
So it was for me not about if milk and cheese are healthy food products for humans or not. The problem lies at a superior structural level. It’s about multinational companies, mass production of food at the lowest possible cost to the highest possible profit. Every glass of milk you enjoy has caused another creature suffering in a disgusting life. Every glass of good tasty milk you drink may make a small-scale farmer in Africa losing his/hers family’s livelihood and forcing the young sons to risk life as boat refugees, trying to find happiness in Europe.
That drink is actually too hard to swallow, so I said “take this cup from me”!
I phased out all dairy products from cow and had my last plate of yoghurt this week… Well, actually I thought I had eat my last plate of yoghurt this Monday. But having a dinner with corn (that I had not eat for years, because of all talk about GMO) my bowels just knocked me down and I had to buy yoghurt – that kind with living bacterial culture – and spend a whole day in bed and feeling “the day after” the next day after (minus headache)…
I had thought it would be a “minor change” for my body. But my body though didn’t agree at first -and still don’t agree – I simply made the change too fast.
Yet, this past month has showed some interesting results.
Firstly, some days I forgot to eat my breakfast after taking my daily insulin doses as not being hungry. Being diabetics on insulin that is not good and my blood sugar went crazy, from too low to too high. I had to focus and keep an eye on the clock and eat every third hour and check the blood sugar level more carefully.
Secondly: doing that I got things under control, yet I had to lower my insulin doses! And now these last day I have lower the doses once again! That is very interesting outcome, actually!
Thirdly: in a month I’ve lost 3 kg = 6,6 lbs. That is very happy outcome: I’m overweight and failed for years to lose weight. I hope for more weight lose! 🙂
For the forth: a diet change – any kind – cost initially more and recover more time planning shopping and in the store (find the products and read ingredients list). It was certainly not “a minor change” in that aspect either to go from 100% lacto vegetarian to a 90% vegan diet. (But I believe the time and cost will level out with time.)
Fifthly, I have noticed my perception of myself, people around and the (food) world has changed, but this is a more diffuse change and not so easy to describe as a change in blood sugar curve or a weight loss or a higher food cost. To become (almost) vegan, you sudden belongs to a certain group of (odd) people in minority, while all others) are the “normal” ones. 😦
Well, it was the same when I became lacto-vegetarian over 40 years ago. 🙂 But things has change for the better: you can get vegan food at restaurants, hospitals and working places nowadays. But the bad is vegetarian and organic food has also been commercialized. A flora of expensive vitamin supplements and nutritional replacements confuses consumers seeking alternatives. And for example a can of white beans for omnivores cost a dollar. Almost the same product claimed to be a health product will cost you 40 – 50 dollars. It’s just crazy!
I’m not a strictly vegan but a lacto vegetarian with strict restrictions, i.e. I do not buy any products containing milk or cheese from cows and not “egg-powder” from hens. I eat a vegan diet supplemented with products made of milk from goats and cheeps coming from small-scale dairies in Greece imported to Sweden by a little family company. And I try to find something that can replaced the kind of yoghurt with a live bacterial culture my weak bowels needs. Concrete: I have 100 gram yoghurt to my breakfast and 50 gram Feta cheese for dinner. For the rest I eat strictly vegan.
I’m not against using animals in small-scale farming, if it not means to change the specie with selected breeding and exploit the animal in an abnormal way. Fully healthy humans don’t need anything from animal bodies for surviving, but people with diseases or lacking fully health may be forced to modify this position. And they should do it, as anything else would be foolishness. Don’t forget all species on this earth use other species for surviving.
And don’t forget humans are animal species too, and many live under conditions as bad as the animals in the food industries. Think of exploitation of children working in slavery in diamond mines, the exploitation of adult line workers in line jobs in factories, think of sex trafficking…
Think of those short-lived cows with abnormally large udders giving 30 liters of milk every day, think of those hens who lay one egg every day until their bodies are worn out after only being over a year, think of the daily mass killing of newborn calves, chickens and goat kids considered to be waste material.
It’s the same paradigm on the structural level in our societies, cruel and horrendous greed – making a very few people richer than is possible, making our democratic chosen politicians to servants to this economic system fearing its powerful lobby workers – and it makes us all to brainwashed consumers.
But you know the saying ”you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.” You have a choice!