Written by Donat a/k/a The Vegan Hubby
Nowadays there are so many books, magazines and studies that all give you the answer to “why” you should turn to a vegan diet. But it might not be that simple… I think it’s more than just the “why”.
One of the most useful things that I learned fairly early in life is that asking/answering why questions is not very useful. Instead of asking why, “how” questions are infinitely more valuable and productive. Here is one simple example:
Q- “Why am I skinny/fat?”
A- “Because you eat too few/too many calories for the amount of energy expenditure you use.”
Now while this question and answer set is 100% accurate (barring any rare genetic disorder), it’s not very helpful. It’s just a factual statement. Why questions can lead to self pity and feelings of helplessness and frustration. Let’s switch the Why to a How:
Q- “How do I gain/lose weight?”
A- “Increase nutritious calorie foods, reduce empty calories, do physical exercises that will help you reach your goal, use a weight app, start a food diary, plan out meals.”
This later question and answer set is so much more empowering to the individual and puts them in a place of action. There is a purpose behind this question that does not end at the answer. The answer to a how question is just the beginning, especially if you follow through and want to improve your life.
So the answer to why you should eat a vegan diet can turn into a plethora of factual statements that may or may not motivate you to changing your eating habits. Most vegans can list a dozen points off the top of their heads so you don’t need to go far to find an answer to why. If you asked how you could go vegan, I bet that most vegans would not have quite as ready of a response to it. Some might even say something as simplistic as, “You just do”.
I think everything is contextual, it all depends on your situation. If you are a single mom working two jobs, quite honestly, now is probably not a great time to go vegan. If you have 5 kids running around and you are working hard to just not go crazy, you might want to wait a bit for a better time. I know way too many people who did not do the necessary amount of research to eating a healthy vegan/vegetarian that they eventually got sick and went back to eating meat. That said, I think everyone can make it a point to add more vegetables into their diet. But doing a full-fledged diet overhaul can be stressful and it requires time, dedication and a willingness to try new things. A good how question for the two somewhat extreme examples above would be, “How can I incorporate more vegan meals into my diet?” This is a much more reasonable expectation and it can lead to great things down the road where it might not be so metaphorically rocky.
Basically, I think that by asking, “How can I go vegan?” you end up with more useful results that can lead to you becoming completely vegan, either in the near or distant future, depending on your situation. The answer to this question can be, “Start by researching what a healthy vegan diet looks like”, or “Try out a new vegan recipe every night”, or even “Find people who are vegan and hang out with them.” See if going vegan is a reasonable goal for you at this point in time and at your current situation in life. It’s going to be an adventure, so get ready!
Would you agree or disagree to the why/how dynamic described above? Comment and let us know!