Our Healthier Lifestyle And Why We Became Vegetarians

by Dagmar Bleasdale on January 27, 2012

I made the list — thank you for your votes! Top 25 Vegetarian Moms 2012

Why are my husband and I vegetarians? Here is our story:

When my husband suddenly got so sick two years ago that he couldn’t dress himself on some days because his whole body was in so much pain, we frantically searched for answers.

After four months and many doctor visits, his condition still hadn’t improved. Things were really bad. The doctors didn’t know what was wrong, and non of the medications even took the edge of his pain. A voracious reader under normal circumstances, Don started to read everything he could get his hands on about nutrition.

He watched the eye-opening movie Food Inc. — the trailer has been on my Health & Beauty page since then — and we discovered The Kind Diet.

Don decided to stop all medications and to become a vegetarian.

Not only because meat consumption is known to cause inflammation — he was outraged and horrified about the unsanitary practices and the terrible ways animals get treated before they get slaughtered.

The workers in those huge CAFOs, the concentrated animal factories, work under unthinkably harsh and frequently unsafe conditions, getting injured because of the speed of production. They often don’t have a voice because they are not allowed to unionize and many are illegally in the States.

And then there is the fact that the way meat gets mass-produced in the U.S is not sustainable. Our environment is overwhelmed with the waste pollution these animals produce. According to this report, the current global meat production is not just unsustainable but potentially catastrophic to the environment.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the animal waste (from cattle, chicken, and pigs) has already polluted over 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states, and studies have shown that animal farming contributes more to climate change than transport (from Eating Animals).

I was happy to not have to buy meat anymore — I have been mostly a vegetarian since childhood. It’s pretty easy for me to not eat meat, I don’t like the texture, and it became easier for Don — all he had to do is to recall those horrific imaged from Food Inc. and other clips he had seen on YouTube.

Like this clip about what’s really in “chicken” nuggets:

Coincidentally, my friend David from Be The Media just shared this picture on Facebook:

This McDonald’s food is so processed and full of additives, it hasn’t changes in over eight months.

Want to see what an Egg McMuffin looks like after 40 weeks?! This Facebook page keeps you updated.

Did you know that 70% of all beef and chicken has been treated with carbon monoxide gas? It makes bad meat look good even though it may have spoiled.

Obesity is now alarmingly high in the U.S., too many kids have allergies and develop a lot earlier than we did, and I believe a lot of that is a result from all the additives, artificial flavors, dyes, and hormones that are pumped into processed fast food and meat. In America, 55% of all antibiotics are fed to animals and the percentage of staphylococci infections resistant to penicillin went up from 14% in 1960 to 91% in 1988.

Not buying meat anymore — except for the occasional grass-fed beef from local farmers — has been a relief to me. I never liked to prepare it, we can get plenty of protein from plants and vegetables, and I also feel better to not be a part of the horrific way animals — and humans — get treated in those meat and poultry factories and slaughterhouses.

It’s been quite a journey. This is what week 11 of our kinder, vegetarian diet looked like, and these are the changes we had made for a healthier lifestyle by week 55.

Don got slowly better over one year and feels almost back to normal now. He still craves meat, and sometimes eats it. Even I like the smell of some meat dishes and sometimes it’s hard not to want to take a bite, but a vegetarian lifestyle is what feel right for me.

Look out for more vegetarian recipes on Dagmar’s momsense — and my post on why I recently made another radical change in our home: I now only buy organic food for us. I have blogged about GMO food in the past, but I recently learned more disturbing information about gene-manipulated food that was the impetus for that lifestyle change.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

kelly @kellynaturally February 9, 2012 at 8:30 PM

As a vegetarian mom (of 20+ years, with vegetarian kids, & husband) myself, I think it’s awesome that you’re blogging about the health benefits & sustainability of a vegetarian lifestyle – particularly with the reach you have, Dagmar. Cheers!

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Dagmar February 9, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Thank you for your kind comment, Kelly. Are you on the list as well? You should be :) I’d vote for you.

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Naomi February 3, 2012 at 2:39 PM

My admittedly hypocritical stance has always been that I would read the PETA literature when I was ready to go full force vegetarian. I even bought a copy of Food, Inc that we haven’t watched yet because I’m not sure I’m there yet. Your story is very relatable and I think that being aware of your food is important. Baby steps. I’ll get there.

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eila @ the full plate blog January 28, 2012 at 10:15 AM

thrilled to have found your blog from that Top 25 contest. just voted for you, and look forward to reading more of your thoughtful posts.

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Dagmar January 28, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Oh, glad you found me as well and thanks for voting for me! You can vote once every day. Hope you will continue to come over and read Dagmar’s momsense!

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