My reasons are personal to me - or so I thought at the time. Then I discovered that quite a few others experienced the same thing.
I have always known that I am sensitive to the emotions of those around me. Maybe a bit too sensitive. I feel their pain as though it is happening to me. Over time I have been able to shield myself a bit, but it's still there. This morning, watching just a few minutes of the news about Kobe, his daughter and the others in that horrible crash, my heart started hurting and it was hard to breathe. I had to turn it off. I had to come back to myself, get grounded, remember that these beautiful souls - while no longer in body - are with us always. Breathe.
So what has that got to do with giving up meat?
It occurred to me one day in meditation that the anxiety, even unfounded fear, that I had experienced most of my life was not mine. It was coming from the animals I was eating every day.
What? How is that possible?
There is science behind this. It has to do with hormones which are directly related to emotions. Imagine you are a young steer and life has been pretty good - all that grass and sunshine. You know you are one of the lucky ones. Then one day you are forced into a big box - crowded with all of your fellow steers- and you are moving. You don't know where or why so anxiety starts to build. Stress hormones are released into your blood. The box stops moving and you are moved into a crowded pen, and you smell fear. The stress hormones build. Then you smell something you can't really identify. It has a powerful energy of not only fear but panic. You also start to panic. What is happening? Why? The stress hormones are flooding your system - then it is over.
I apologize for the graphic nature of that last paragraph, but for me it was a huge awareness that I was consuming flesh that was full of these stress hormones. I was basically eating a big dose of hormones packed with the fear, anxiety, even panic of the animals on my plate.
So here is what I discovered 3 or so years ago when I first gave up meat and dairy. I started to sleep better. I had fewer nightmares. I woke up feeling lighter, a bit more hopeful.
At first I wasn't sure of the correlation, so I would experiment. Eat some chicken or beer and see how I felt. Yup. The stress came back - even to the point of panic attacks. Now I understood where those panic attacks, that I had experienced so often throughout my life, were coming from.
So that's my first reason for becoming vegan. As I learned more, the many other reasons made sense to me as well.
For example - did you know that there is lots of research linking a diet of meat and dairy to heart disease, auto-immune disease, diabetes and so much more?
Please take a moment to listen to this doctor's personal story. Then share it with people you love.
Thanks for reading this far. I would love your feedback, what have you noticed about how your body reacts to foods?
If you want to know more about switching to a vegan diet, I am happy to help.
much love ~