I never imagined a topic unrelated to Trump/politics/Hillary Clinton’s emails could summon such outrage and fire-fueled discourse on social media. Like dozens of your Facebook friends, I watched the What the Health documentary, and shortly after I decided to go vegan.
To sound completely cliche, I felt amazing within the first week of my diet and noticed a lot of my ongoing bodily issues which include cystic acne, bloatedness, fatigue, migraines, and abdominal pain significantly reduced. Even with all these positive results, I still urge you not to tell your friends to become vegan. Here's my non-nutritional take on why:
1. If they're anything like me...
Listen, if your friends are anything like me they're probably stubborn. If you tell them not to do something, like not eat meat, they may feel inclined to do the exact opposite.
While it’s easy to be campaigners, we must remember to state our peace and move on. Leave the expectations at the door so that you're not left feeling defeated, or worse, annoyed and discouraged. Keep in mind; this lifestyle change is about your well-being after all. In case things do get a little heated during your discussion, remember this next point….
2. Don't debate a vegan or meat-eater
My friends, step away from the keyboard. Unlike Chuck Norris, there is a counter to almost every attack and opinion (vegan and non-vegan) regarding whether or not to eat meat. If you're determined to discover which side is more scientifically valid, just be prepared to weed through hundreds of case studies, and maybe even end up publishing your own findings in a documentary. If this option doesn't float your boat, take the easy route and do a 30-day trial under your medical practitioner's wing and see how you feel.
After all, your body is your biggest critic and will let you know instantaneously—and rather bluntly—if something is or isn’t working for you. Just remember to take this route first before you plunge into the overarching depths of the worldwide web.
3. The possibilities on YouTube are endless
There are literally videos on YouTube connecting veganism to UFOs and meat-eating to the apocalypse. Having already scavenged the depths of YouTube myself, my only plea is to use this service for recipes, vlogs, and lifestyle instructional videos, and leave the rest to the professionals. Otherwise, you may wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night convinced meat-eaters/vegans are part of the Illuminati all covered up by the White House. Heed my warning.
4. Have some faith
Remember the saying "If it's meant to be, it will be"? That famous line summarizes the inception of my vegan diet. I use to joke about how veganism was impractical and synonymous with “hippies” until bouts of medical problems struck me, leaving my doctors scratching their heads. Stressed, fatigued, and over-medicated I decided that maybe the hippie culture wouldn't be too bad and decided to forgo all meats. I felt incredible. When the awkward stares finally died down from me opting out Buffalo wings for a salad, I realized that if it's meant to happen, you will eventually stop calculating everything and just stumble into it.
5. Log off Facebook/Twitter/Instagram
I can show you a dozen testimonies from YouTubers and even doctors on whether veganism is the right choice for you, however, witnessing someone's journey will not dictate your results unless you try it yourself. I’ve had friends who have successfully converted into vegans and friends who've
successfully detested veganism after trying it out for a month. Both experiences are still significantly crucial for solving this never-ending debate on veganism vs. meat eating.
Now, what should you say to someone if they ask why you’ve decided to go or not go vegan after watching What the Health? Start with “hi”—it’s always nice to be polite—and then tell them about your diet journey and don’t feel timid that you don’t have all the answers.
To be honest, I’m still learning what to feed my own body and how many cheat meals I can get away with in one week. I probably will never really know (I think it's eight). Luckily, I do have some freshly made green smoothies and an ear that’s ready to listen.