I had a very interesting encounter today. One that bothered me more than I let on but none the less it got my adrenalin going.
After an early morning workout someone made a joke about needing to eat eggs to replenish protein lost during the hardcore bootcamp, and knowing I’m a vegan this same person mentioned tofu as an alternative. This isn’t what got me heated, I obviously understood this to be a joke (and actually laughed) it’s what proceeded.
Someone questioned me being a vegan and pointed me in the direction of a picture they had taped up on their office door. It was picture of a man’s mouth with him pointing to his canine tooth with the statement under it, “Vegetarians, explain this.”
Really? You want me to go there? (somewhere in the background some one rang the bell, round one)
Well I kept my cool and tried to laugh it off, but you know me I’ve got to stand up for what I believe in and educate. So I asked the person if having two sets of small, blunt canine teeth equates to us needing to eat meat to which he rudely replied “Uh yes.” I laughed and followed with the question, “You do know we can’t actually break down the animal protein due to the lack of an enzyme necessary to digest it? Animals that are meant to hunt and eat meat have this enzyme but we because we don’t need animal protein don’t,” to which replied, “We can’t? We need to have a anatomy tutorial,” mockingly. I went on to explain my background in human and exercise physiology and sports medicine which he said is his same background (not the sports med though). Thinking I was going to have an educated discussion with this person, I was sadly mistaken. It did not go as well as I thought. Actually, it stopped right there because the listening had ceased, temperatures were getting heated and the defenses were on the rise.
Of course I advocate for animal-rights and a whole food plant based diet, but I never judge those who eat meat. I view people as not having a full opportunity to be educated on the topics of nutrition and thus try to shed some light on some things they may not know. But never do I mock or make them feel unintelligent for it. Today I was being deemed uneducated and judged on my lifestyle choices. I was looked down on and viewed as inadequate not worthy of being heard. (Not that I have all the answers but I do know there are more confirmed research for the health benefits of a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle than there is a meat-eating one. And actually the research that is “for” eating meat or animal byproducts are often mediated by one of the meat corporations).
I guess what really struck me the hardest was not the mocking or judgement, but rather this educated person was so unwilling to listen to the other side of the story. I believe what I believe (from an emense amount of research) but as a forever-student I try to be as open to other research and possibilities. This is probably why the medical field refuses to admit that diet and lifestyle choices are the leading causes of most if not all illnesses and diseases (even cancer!) or why many dieticians, some of the most highly educated beings on the topic of nutrition, still tell their patients to eat animal meat for protein and dairy for calcium. No one is willing to look beyond that of which is presented to them and challenge these so called “facts”.
Rather than simply accepting that we are supposed to do something, ask why. I don’t just tell people to remove dairy from their diet, I explain to them why dairy is harmful, what it physiologically does within the body, and let them make their own decision. I don’t just tell people to stop eating meat, I explain to them how detrimental it is on their health and what the research has shown. And I am always willing to hear the other side of the debate, but I want to know the why’s and how’s behind the argument. I never accept things at face value. I don’t just expect people to just believe me because I say it, that is why I offer all the research, but I do ask that people listen and respect me for my decisions.
Ok. Just had to get that off my chest. Thank you for listening.
Now on to the Weekly Wednesday Cheer!
I have been looking for avenues to reduce my impact on the Earth. I recycle everything. I attempt to compost. And I never shower to conserve water.
Just kidding. 🙂 I shower daily, but with cool water and quickly and efficiently to conserve water. Seriously though I do ponder every day how I can use less which bring me to my recipe for this week’s WWC.
I go through 2 – 3 cups of almond milk a day (smoothies, chia puddings) which equates to a lot of cardboard cartons residing in my recycling bin when I don’t make it myself. I had been exploring some other options, but nothing really did the trick for me. Water left my smoothies too thin and my chia lacking that flavor otherwise gotten from almond milk. One day I had a few extra minutes before heading into work so I stopped into a book store to peruse the “Uncook” books and found a smoothie recipe that called for soaked almonds. I had a light bulb moment and later ran to the store to get what I needed for some recipes. Except I forgot almonds. Damnit! But I did have raw sunflower seeds to save the day!
Blueberry Sunny Seed Smoothie
1/4 c soaked sunflower seeds (soak for 6 – 8 hours, drain, store up to 4 days)
1/3 – 1/2 c water
2 dates – pitted
1 c frozen or fresh blueberries
1/2 ripe banana
Put everything into a blender and blend on high until smooth. Enjoy!
Tell me about you.