[Warning The Video Below Contains Graphic Images]
Gary Yourofsky is an extremist in every sense of the word. He is passionate about his views, and his cause is to spread awareness of how animals are treated by the food industry and also urging people to become vegan because he believes our bodies are not meant to eat meat.
I want to be extremely clear, I am not writing this or sharing this video with anyone to turn you into a vegan. I am writing so that you may be more mindful of what you put into your body. There are so many things that go on behind the closed doors of the food and pharmaceutical industries. They tell lies to profit from the meat, eggs, milk and cheeses that they sell to us. There is a lot of this video that I simply can not argue with. I have been to his website and read through the articles he talks about in the video. The scientific facts he presents are solid and backed by top doctors and scientists. I urge you all to read up more on the subject as well.
There is only one part Gary's speech I do not agree with. He says that there is no such thing as humanely treated and slaughtered animals. Growing up Greek, it's a cultural crime not to eat meat. My grandparents have small farms that contain a few chickens, pigs, turkeys and lamb. There are better ways to treat them and slaughter them, I have seen it first hand. To find out where in our area you can get humanely treated meats, and for more on the subject, read Jenn's blog post "An Ethical Eaters Guide to Getting Protein".
After watching this video and reading through the information, I was left with a lot of emotions. I could not look at my food the same way, not only because of the way they treat the animals but because all I could see was a chemically made product that has the potential to make me sick. I am a bit of a nerd, so excuse the reference to living in the Matrix, but this is how I felt. We have been fed lies about what these products can provide us, telling us that meat, eggs, dairy and cheeses should be our main sources of protein. There is a great point Gary makes when speaking about milk. In another video I came across (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5hGQDLprA8) Gary asks the question "what is milk supposed to do for the human body?" The answer is to build strong teeth and bones, like all those commercials told us when we were growing up. If that is indeed true, with all the dairy and milk we eat and drink, how is it that osteoporosis effects so many people? How is that being lactose intolerant is so common? He goes on to say after those great commercials about meats and fast food restaurants that the next commercials you see are for Pepto-Bismol and other pills and medicines to help you feel better. He even goes so far as to talk about the saliva in our mouths and how our intestines and teeth prove his views about why we should not be eating meat.
I came to realize that as a modern species we usually eat things not because we need them to survive but because we want them. We don't need ice cream but it tastes amazing so we eat it, the same goes for meat. I also came to realize that we eat based on convenience. It's easier to grab a burger than to chop up a bunch of vegetables and make a big salad. When you're driving around and need a place to eat, you're not going to look up vegan or humanely treated meat places. You're likely going to pull over and scarf whatever's closest.
As I said in the beginning, I am not here to turn anyone vegan, and lord knows I love eating meat as much as most people, but the video and the articles make an extremely valid point about meats. After watching the video, I would be lying if I said I haven't second-guessed my eating habits. I went through my fridge and threw out the conventional milk because I am not one for drinking puss and the USDA does indeed allow one eye dropper of puss in every 8oz of milk, I checked. I then looked at the protein content on all of my meats, wrote them down and went to the Wegmans across the street. I went into what I call "The Forbidden Zone". I felt weird about being surrounded by things that say vegan and "meatless" products. I could think of was the look the cashier was going to give me if I lined up to buy these things. I then noticed all the people walking by these aisles and there's me standing there in my I Love Bacon t-shirt. I ignored it and started pulling things out of the refrigerator and reading the labels of these odd name brands.
The first Item I grabbed is the one shown above. Nothing fancy on the cover but the word Sausage is used, so I picked it up and gave the nutritional facts a read. I was in disbelief. Each one of these "sausages" contains 30 grams of protein with less than one gram of sugar. So I threw some of those into my cart, and grabbed the next item I saw.
As you can see, this contains 17g of protein per serving which is four "meat" balls. The bag contains 4 servings total. So I threw a few bags of those into my cart as well. They also have a wide variety of flavors such as orange chicken and beef which are also amazing and packed full of protein.
I walked further down the aisle and came across this protein powder and decided to give it a try as well. I then went to the freezer section after picking up my usual power greens mix of spinach, kale and chard and came across packs of frozen broccoli that can be microwaved for five minutes. Each bag contains 36 grams of protein and have about 15 florets in a bag. I soon began to realize that getting my protein content wouldn't be difficult at all. I also added some black beans to my cart and headed to the cashier who really didn't care what was on the belt and just mindlessly rang me out. I got home and as I emptied the bags I realized that there was no meat in any of them and it was a weird feeling to see plants as my main source of protein.
As I looked down at my plate after cooking these meatless sausages all I could think about was Ron Swanson shaking his head at me in disgust and disappointment. I was actually very surprised at just how good the food tasted. It was juicy and sweet and tasted very close to the real thing. It has become easier to get my protein content for each meal and not once have I felt bloated or sluggish these past few weeks. No, I didn't convert fully, but I am making a change by eating at least 3 of my 5 meals a day only from plant based protein sources. The only meat I am currently eating is fish. I am looking at red meat, chicken and eggs more of a cheat meal or treat just like candy or ice cream. Something I enjoy but not something to be had everyday. When I do buy meat, I am much more aware of where I get it from and how the animal has been fed, raised and treated. My meals went from piles of meats to things like,
I have come to really enjoy eating this way and honestly I feel great about doing it. No, I am not fully vegan and I don't think I could ever be, but being mindful about what we eat is important, and the video did just that for me. It made me aware of what goes into our bodies and that the meats we eat may really be harming us just as badly as we harm animals to eat them. We owe it to ourselves to give our bodies what they need instead of what they WANT, especially with the hard work we put into our training. For more information on the subject of veganism, visit: http://www.adaptt.org.