What Happened When I Went Vegan

On December 2, 2015, I weighed 232 pounds… about 53 pounds overweight.

My “bad cholesterol” levels were too high.

Lab tests indicated I was heading towards diabetes and heart disease.

When I looked in the mirror, and saw the bloated, fat person staring back at me, I felt despair and self-loathing.

I wanted to die, and in fact, due to eating animal-derived food, I was dying.

The weird thing is, I’ve been an athlete most of my life.

I exercised daily, and yet I’d gained weight.

I tried all kinds of diets and eating fads: Paleo. Vegetarian. Pescatarian. Low fat.

You name it, I’d tried it.

But I still consumed dairy products.

I loved pizza, ice cream, gelato, brownies.

If there was a special occasion or social occasion, I sometimes ate meat.

I ate like almost all Americans eat, and it hurt me.

My exercise wasn’t exciting and fun like it used to be.

I was lethargic. I never felt that coveted “runner’s high” I used to feel.

I was trying hard not to be fat, but I was fat.

I was desperate to lose weight and have more energy.

But going vegan wasn’t just about improving my health.

I also did it because my conscience is troubled by the way humans treat animals and the biosphere.

In the months prior to going vegan, I’d been riding my bike on scenic farm roads in rural Michigan.

I’d stop at corrals, farms, and horse ranches and look into the eyes of the horses, cows, pigs, goats, chickens, and other imprisoned animals.

I watched them interact with each other, tried to “be” with the animals as if we were all equals, not the usual human superiority attitude.

It was easy to see that non-human animals have their own lives, thoughts, feelings, and social networks, their own “personhood.”

I realized that if I consume animal-derived food products, I’m complicit in a brutal system that harms me, the environment, and tens of millions of innocent animals.

I realized that all my life I’d been taught that other animals have no rights.

That we can do whatever we want to them.

And that we shouldn’t much care about the cruel ways we make them suffer and die.

So on December 3, 2015, I went 100% vegan.

As I write this today, only a few months later, I weigh 181 pounds. I’m elated to have dropped 51 pounds in less than four months!

I’ve cut the amount of money I spend on food by 35%.

I’m lighter, more agile, more energetic.

I have almost zero body fat.

The XL and XXL size clothes that I purchased as a fattie are literally falling off of me.

People don’t recognize me.

Athletic activities that had been painful or impossible, such as running long distances outdoors, became pleasurable again.

It feels so nice to rediscover my musculoskeletal system.

I realized that the fat was like an anchor, a suit of excess, that had been weighing me down.

My skin cleared up.

My mental clarity, mood, and self-esteem also improved.

My relationship to food has completely changed for the better.

No longer did I crave certain types of food, or feel controlled by food.

But is it hard to be a vegan?

In some ways it is, and that’s the main reason created The Vegan Samurai website and the Vegan Samurai code of honor.

Because as I’ve researched veganism, animal rights, health, culture and other related topics, I’ve discovered that being vegan is like being a samurai… a warrior.

As a Vegan Samurai, you battle internal cravings that come from being raised in a society that programs you to view animals as mere fodder for your dietary pleasure.

You also deal with moral qualms and PTSD that you as a person of conscience feel from living in a society based on harming animals and the earth.

You may feel socially ostracized, or even morally indignant, when you notice everyone around you blindly participates in harming animals and the earth.

The good news is that being a vegan samurai gives you the strength, knowledge, and encouragement so you can become vegan and stay vegan.

Read all the articles here on my website.  You’ll find information and inspiration so you experience the health, joy, and other benefits of being vegan.

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The Protein and B Vitamins Lies They Tell About Veganism

I used to listen to a bi-monthly health and nutrition public radio program on radio station WMNF.

On the program, a licensed nutritional counselor named Eve Prang Plews accurately warns about bad health effects of pollution, pesticides, herbicides, junk foods, fast foods, GMOs, and unhealthy lifestyles.

I didn’t become vegan until 2015 because I believed Plews when she said vegans were the most unhealthy people she sees in her health counseling practice.

Plews never misses an opportunity to slag veganism by claiming a vegan diet doesn’t provide enough protein, minerals, and B vitamins.

In 2015, after researched proved that her anti-vegan ideas were incorrect, I realized that for the sake of morality and health I had to give up all animal food products.

And now that I’ve gone vegan, I’ve discovered that the fears Plews planted in me about B vitamins, other nutrients, and protein were all unfounded, as long as I understood the simple and easy to follow concepts of whole-food organic vegan eating.

Listening to Plews, who also has a thriving in-person practice in Sarasota, Florida, you’d say she seems well-meaning, caring, and knowledgeable about many health topics.

But her unfounded prejudice against vegans and veganism is a serious problem for her and her listeners.

On that topic,  she’s just another lemming in the vast herd of deluded animal-harming humans culturally programmed to believe in two very damaging paradigms: speciesism, and carnism.

Speciesism tells us we have the right to do whatever we want to the earth and innocent animals, including exploit animals for food.

It’s the selfish belief that our species is ultimately the only one that has rights.

We use speciesism to justify killing and otherwise enslaving other animal species– not for “survival,” but for fun, gluttony, pride and ego, and for blood lust.

The second paradigm almost all humans are brainwashed into believing is called “carnism.”

Carnism is the idea that humans eating other animals is a good thing to do and has no moral violation attached to it.

Carnism fosters the worldwide animal enslavement and slaughter industry, creating immense suffering for billions of innocent, sentient animals.

On the radio show, I heard Plews constantly extolling the virtues of eating animals, while downplaying the blatant harms that accrue to humans and “food animals” because of our non-vegan dietary choices.

Plews has recipes for meat and other animal products on her website.

Before I went vegan, when I was eating the kind of diet Plews recommends, I noticed that whenever I ate even small amounts of meat, poultry, dairy, fish, and eggs, I felt sick, sluggish, fat, and had digestive problems.

I wondered why even though I did hardcore exercise nearly every day of the week, I was at least 50 pounds overweight.

I wondered why the World Health Organization warns that eating meat and processed meat is as harmful as smoking cigarettes.

I wondered what I could do about my guilty conscience, which bothered me every time I consumed animal food products.

I have to tell you.. if you don’t have a guilty conscience about eating other animals, I wonder if you have a conscience at all.

I’m a deep ecologist animal lover who’s seen undercover videos showing animals enslaved, tortured, butchered alive, and otherwise abused to provide the animal food products that Plews and other carnism advocates claim are healthy to eat.

Eggs, dairy, fish, beef, pork, lamb, etc.– whatever euphemism you use, and no matter if you tell yourself it’s from a “free-range, humane farm,” it’s all produced by exploiting and harming sentient animals.

So I went vegan in December, 2015.

The first effect was my conscience is now clear. I can look animals in the eyes and assure them my dietary choices aren’t causing harm to their kin.

The ongoing effects are I’ve lost 50 pounds, my skin has cleared up, my mental clarity has improved, my athletic performance has reset to what it was when I was 25 years younger, and my food bill has dropped.

I now can run 7-8 miles per day. I swim 2 miles per day in the open ocean.

On some days, I also bicycle 20 miles.

I’m in my late 50s, feeling like I’m in my 20s.

Going vegan turned the clock back!

Do I have B vitamins deficiencies, calcium, iron, or protein deficiencies as the Plews predicted?

Hell no!

I recently had a doctor test me six months after I stopped eating all meat, fish, and dairy, and I don’t have any deficiencies.

My lean muscle mass and exercise performance have increased now that I’m on a plant-based diet!

The doctor says I’m in the top .5 percentile when he examined health indicators such as LDL cholesterol, and that I’m healthier than most people 30 years younger than me.

I eat organic, plant-based foods rich in protein and/or B vitamins, such as beans, rice, chlorella, hempseeds, fermented foods, leafy-green veggies, legumes, and raw cacao beans.

I avoid all processed foods, including plant oils and tofu.

I’m leaner, stronger, and happier than I’ve been in years.

If you have any worries that being vegan will deprive you of protein, B vitamins, Omega-3s, or other crucial nutrition, consult an intelligent naturopathic or holistic physician, and you’ll find out veganism is by far healthier than carnism or even vegetarianism.

In rare cases, your particular metabolism, genetics, lifestyle, health issues or body type may predispose you to deficiencies in protein, B vitamins, Omega 3s problems.

These problems happen in some people regardless of their dietary choices.

Your physician can tell you about vegan supplements that erase any deficiencies.

Loving Guilty Pleasures Leads to Lies About Veganism

There’s a hidden psychological reason that Eve Prang Plews preaches against veganism.

The problem is, people such as Eve Prang Plews dearly love eating animal foods.

It’s one of their most cherished pleasures and they don’t care enough about the harms their food pleasures create for the animals they eat.

They don’t want to feel bad about their dietary choices. So they look for “evidence” to justify their dietary choices that harm innocent animals.

And then they spread bogus information that discourages people from becoming or staying vegan.

Plews has been brainwashed by the multi-billion dollar animal exploitation industries that dominate nutritional training paradigms in academia and at the USDA.

She mouths anti-vegan propaganda put out by craven, profit-driven corporations that sell flesh foods, eggs, fish, and dairy.

She doesn’t understand nutrition as well as she claims she does.

Many people on all kinds of diets make mistakes in the ratios and sources of protein, carbs, and fats they intake, and in the amount of calories they take in.

Instead of telling people to quit veganism like Plews does, if she was a truly intelligent and creative health counselor, she’d advise them how to adjust their vegan diet to make it work better.

The simple fact is whole food vegans have far lower rates of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and other disorders than do meat-eaters and vegetarians.

Take a look at the videos in this article from the fitness expert who calls himself “Vegan Gains.”

He doesn’t look weakened by veganism, does he?

Plews should educate herself, by watching videos like this one:

What’s really sad is that when esteemed vegan scientists contacted WMNF and proposed an on-air debate between Plews and a scientist who knows that veganism is the healthiest dietary choice, the station’s programming director Rob Lorei REFUSED to air the debate!

On his own radio show, Lorei is always going on and on about justice, fairness, free speech, open exchange of ideas.

But when it comes to Plews and her lies about vegans, he won’t allow anyone to say anything to challenge her on his radio station.

That’s why I stopped listening to WMNF, and stopped donating to it.

The really ironic thing is, WMNF portrays itself as a “progressive” radio station.

It even has a fantastic, unique, world-class weekly show for animal lovers, called Talking Animals, that features interviews with the world’s leading animal scientists and advocates.

WMNF portrays itself as an advocate for humans oppressed and exploited by powerful individuals and organizations.

Its political rants are about underpaid fast food workers, illegal immigrants, police misconduct, racism, prejudice against LGBTQ and similar humanist concerns.

And all that is good.

But you’d think they’d extend their proclaimed compassion to the BILLIONS of innocent animals slaughtered every year in the USA to feed people like Eve Prang Plews!

If they truly wanted to serve the public interest, they’d have had the vegan scientist on the air with Plews, and let the public hear both sides of the vegan debate.

Why does Rob Lorei not allow a vegan scientist to debate Plews on the air? I can guarantee you Rob Lorei consumes animal food products.

He’s part of the carnism and specieism team, and has his guilty food pleasures to protect.

The bottom line is, when I stopped following the advice of Eve Prang Plews and adopted a vegan diet, I became healthier than ever.

I guarantee you I’m healthier than Plews or Lorei, healthier than almost anyone who eats animal food products, even people half my age!

So don’t let anyone scare you away from going vegan.

It’s the best thing you can do for yourself, for innocent animals, and for the biosphere.