Vegan versus meat eater! Well that’s a topic I personally have been interested in for a long time. It makes my New Years resolution list every single year. Number 42, try to become a vegetarian, but to date, I have never made it past week 2. Could I live without meat and should I live without meat? On a moral platform, the answer is simple, of course I should be a vegetarian and save the millions of cows, pigs, lambs, chickens and so on that I share the planet with. But I have to be completely honest, I love Vera’s burgers and the Keg’s classic steak dinners. Still, I wanted to find out for myself if I should at least consider this lifestyle change so I began to delve into the exploding vegan phenomenon. I was surprised to learn, for most of our human history, we have survived on vegetarian diets. Meat itself only became a staple with the invention of the refrigerator. I can’t remember a dinner from my childhood that did not include meat of some kind. My mother would have been horrified, to not serve my father his meat and potatoes staple without question. Sure, we always had some kind of vegetable or salad with it but meat was the star of the dinner table. So, do we eat what we know, or do we eat what is best for us? Food for thought. What about summer? As West Vancouver Property Managers, we have staff summer barbeques on the beach, guess what we barbeque?
I like protein and meat always equates a high protein content so that sold me. But, have I made the right healthy choice for my body? According to the hundreds of studies being done, being a vegan will certainly lower my chances of developing heart disease and help reduce my risk of getting cancer, so that is definitely a plus on my list. Another plus, by having a daily diet of fresh vegetables and tofu salads, it guarantees keeping off those extra pounds without having to exercise like a maniac everyday. Committing to a vegetarian diet means a drastic change in diet for me. Of course, for most vegans the most important aspect of becoming a true vegetarian is their love and respect for animals and who doesn’t love animals?
But there are the same amount of studies that are supportive of eating meat as a healthy lifestyle choice. If the meat is “high quality and unprocessed” it is considered to contribute to a vitamin balanced meal filled with B12, iron, minerals and several other healthy nutrients for your body. Also, unprocessed red meat is high in all the right fats your body needs to function. Chicken contains a high degree of protein which helps the body build muscle mass and strength. These studies I read had just as many good points for eating meat as the vegan articles did. However, things have changed drastically from your grandparents days when animals were fed natural grasses and grains. Your parents never questioned the quality cuts of meats they purchased from their local butcher. But today, an increasingly high percentage of the meat you buy from your big box supermarkets in the packed meat sections are from factory raised animals. They are fed processed grains and given large amounts of hormones to add weight and help the animal grow larger and faster which results in more money. These over crowded factory farms have literally pushed out the smaller dairy farming families because they cannot keep up. Now your meat is chock full of preservatives… chemicals and other elements that are not healthy for your body. The key word when shopping for high quality meat to feed your family is UNPROCESSED. Read the labels carefully when choosing the cut of meat you decide on. Spend a little more and buy grass fed organic meats because red meat is one of the healthiest foods on the market full of vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Renting a home in West Vancouver allows a certain lifestyle and so it all comes down to a lifestyle choice. Your choice! Meat or vegetables? Whether you decide to make the change either way because you want a lifestyle change or you decide ethically it is the right thing to do, is up to you. But give yourself and your body the time it needs to truly discover if the new diet is working. You cannot take one week and say okay this is not for me. Give yourself minimum one month and if you feel better, healthier and overall exude more energy, maybe you have made the right choice. There will always be people on either side of the fence when it comes to debating a vegan life choice over eating meat in your daily diet. The great thing about living where we do, is we get to make these kind of decisions for ourselves and our families. I love vegetables and salads so it would not take much for me to hop the fence but if I was completely honest it would be incredibly hard not to eat that barbequed burger or steak at our summer family barbeques. But I would really like to give it a good honest try. How about you?