Veganism — Not just for zealots?

I am an open-minded foodie in general. I admit, though, that I have always stridently opposed the vegan lifestyle. I would ridicule those I thought were bug-eyed crazies always spouting off about animal rights and shooting death-glares at anyone eating a hamburger. Images of activists throwing red paint on passersby wearing fur coats and hippies meditating at a raw foods retreat came to mind when I thought of vegans.

Don’t get me wrong, I love animals and I do think the meat production industry is abusive to animals but I thought vegans were either nuts or terribly misguided. Then I started to question some of my meatarian dogma after meeting vegans and hearing about their experiences. It helped that they were girlfriends of relatives or friends of friends and I needed to be civil and actually listen to them.

They told me of their improved health since converting to Veganism and they certainly looked slim. But the lack of obesity wasn’t enough for me; I wanted to know about their triglycerides and hemoglobin levels. So I would ask about blood tests. When they’d respond that their levels were fine I couldn’t or wouldn’t believe them. The test must have been flawed or they didn’t fully understand the numbers. Or they were lying.

After a while I decided to do some research. I watched videos and read a lot of studies. I read The Starch Solution and watched videos like Forks and Knives, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead among others. I watched many testimonial videos and read study after study. I was surprised to see one case after another of people going vegan and reporting positive health changes, some drastic, and I began to be of the mind that diet is not a one size fits all formula. I didn’t have to be so dogmatic about animal protein. And I didn’t have to think about veganism as some religious pursuit by zealots who are card-carrying members of PETA. I say all this as an introduction to the above video about a woman’s experience with Veganism that I found quite intriguing because of her blood test results.