Plant Shift

love ♥ living ♥ vegan

Following a plant-based or vegan lifestyle, is about food, drink, clothes, shoes, body treatments, hair products and more. 

It's a conscious decision to think, walk and possibly, talk a better lifestyle. 

I support individuals who are thinking about making the shift, as well as, those who have already begun their plant-based journey.

Filtering by Tag: heart disease

What motivates you to eat differently? Fear, conscience, fitness or something else?

Reasons for eating differently

I have met people at different stages in their life who have chosen to eat differently for various reasons. Here's some examples

  • Pregnancy - to maintain good health
  • Weight - to gain or lose some
  • Allergies - to minimise or nullify it
  • Intolerances - to reduce or remove the effects of it
  • Illnesses - to reverse, cure or pacify it
  • Detox - to feel better
  • Vibrancy - to feel less lethargic and more energetic

What does Alicia Silverstone have to say about shifting to a vegan diet?

Within 4 minutes, Alicia Silverstone discusses the pros of eating differently, reasons that fuel a change in diet, the visible benefits of shifting to a vegan diet and more.

"People should flirt with a plant-based diet! The point here is that it's not all or nothing. You can sort of play with the idea and see if you like it a little. Often, the more you flirt, the more you want to flirt. Flirters try on these foods and hopefully become so into them they stick with it."
- Alicia Silverstone

Won't vegans become ill if they don't eat animal products?

I am a little person and I've been quite fragile after being involved in a few car accidents. So...when I shifted to a plant-based diet, my family were worried that I'd get ill because I wouldn't get getting what I needed from what I ate. Over 5 years on, I feel better than before and I am not lacking in anything. I even have blood tests to prove it! :)

It's worth reading what Gary L. Francione & Anna Charlton have to say about vegans and the need for animal products.

But…I heard about someone who became ill after eating no animal foods.

And what about all of the people you know who ate animal products and have developed cancer, heart disease, etc.?

This “But” is yet another attempt to characterize consuming animal products not as a matter of pleasure but one of physical necessity. As we mentioned earlier, even traditionally conservative organizations, such as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly the American Dietetic Association, agree that an “appropriately planned” vegan diet can be completely healthy. And there is no evidence to the contrary.

It is, of course, possible to get ill eating only plants just as it’s possible (and more likely, actually) to get ill eating animal products. Although some vitamin B-12 is made by bacteria in the human body, not enough is reliably made for our needs and the unhealthy habits that humans have prevent maximum production and absorption of the endogenous B-12. Therefore, it is necessary to supplement B-12 from external sources whether you consume a vegan diet or a diet of animal foods. So all humans need to get their B-12 from somewhere outside their bodies. We get our vitamin B-12 from yeast; omnivores get theirs from meat. But all B-12 comes from bacteria — whether it is found in the gut of ruminating animals who get it from fermenting plant material in their hindgut, or in certain strains of nutritional yeast. So if you adopt a vegan diet but don’t consume an alternative source of B-12, such as yeast, yes, you may get ill. But there are plenty of people who have B-12 deficiencies despite their consumption of animal foods.

How about DHA and EPA, the long-chain fatty acids that aren’t found in plant foods and that people eat fish to get? Most people can convert the short-chain fatty acids found in chia seeds, walnuts, dark leafy greens, and canola oil into long-chain fatty acids. Or you can get long-chain DHA and EPA directly from the source that fish get it—algae. There are now many DHA/EPA supplements that are algae derived.

Occasionally, one hears about a parent prosecuted for manslaughter because their child died on a “vegan” diet. But when the facts are revealed, we learn that the parents had fed the child only iceberg lettuce (or something similar) and nothing else for some extended period of time. If the parents fed the child nothing but steak three times a day for an extended period, the child would also become ill. But no one would say that the child died or became ill from eating meat. They would say that the parents engaged in abuse by feeding the child an inadequate diet. The same is true of a diet consisting only of lettuce. That’s not a vegan diet; it’s a ridiculously inadequate diet.

In the 30 years that we have been vegans, we have heard of a number of people who supposedly became ill while on a vegan diet. An inadequate vegan diet will make you ill because it is inadequate and not because it is plant-based. Eat nothing but celery and soy yoghurt and you will not feel very energetic. Surprise, surprise.

We have also encountered people who say that their bodies “tell them” that they must eat meat or fish or chicken or dairy or whatever. But such assertions are really no different than saying, “I like the taste of meat (or whatever).” In other words, they are assertions about palate pleasure and nothing more. A related issue is the “need” to eat meat or other animal products based on blood type. The so-called “blood type diet” has been debunked as junk science.

An exploration and rejection of the various excuses — the “Buts” — that keep us eating animal foods.

"Whoever acquires knowledge but does not practice it, is like one who ploughs a field but does not sow it." Anonymous

How vegans get calcium without consuming dairy

When my friends and family found out that I was following a vegan diet, I'd often get asked 'How do you make sure you get enough Calcium?' I found it strange that the false equation between dairy milk and calcium was so strong. Everyone seemed to believe you needed one for the other! Some of us are able to answer questions like this, others don't want to answer, and for some, they'd like something to help them give a response.

Whichever category you fall into, it's worth reading what Gary L. Francione & Anna Charlton have to say about vegans and calcium intake.

But…Will I get enough calcium if I don’t consume milk and other dairy products?

Yes. In fact, if you don’t consume dairy, and are conscientious about getting calcium from plant foods, you may well reduce your chances of getting osteoporosis.

“What?” you ask. “But we are told that we need milk and other dairy products in order to have strong bones.” Yes, we are told that — by the dairy industry. But that does not mean that it is true. We don’t need to drink the milk produced by another species; indeed, we are the only species that does so. In order to perpetuate the profitable notion that we need cow’s milk, we are subjected to nutritional disinformation.

We need calcium for strong bones. The dairy industry tells us that cow’s milk is the sole or primary source of calcium. But cow’s milk is not the only, or the best source of calcium. Many plant foods are excellent sources of calcium: molasses; almonds; figs; sprouted sunflower seeds; sesame seeds; tofu processed with calcium sulfate; calcium-set tofu; bok choy; broccoli; Chinese cabbage; kale; mustard greens; okra; beans; and fortified soy, almond, coconut, hemp, and rice milks.

Moreover, not only is cow’s milk not by any means the only source of calcium, it’s not the best. The body needs magnesium to absorb calcium and cow’s milk does not have sufficient magnesium to support its level of calcium. This results in the accumulation of excessive calcium in the body and that can lead to the development of calcium deposits in our joints and kidneys.

The consumption of animal protein, including the protein found in dairy products, causes our blood to acidify, which results in the leaching of calcium from our bones and our eventually excreting it from our bodies. So the consumption of dairy products not only does not prevent osteoporosis but it can actually cause it!

In The China Study, Dr. T. Colin Campbell found that a protein found in cow’s milk — casein — promoted cancer. Dr. Joel Fuhrman also notes in Eat to Live that there is a strong correlation between dairy lactose and heart disease.

Do vegans have to be sure to eat enough calcium-rich plant foods to ensure that they have sufficient calcium? Yes. But given that more than 60% of Americans who consume milk are deficient in calcium, diligence is not only a matter for vegans. Indeed, given the other issues involved with cow’s milk and the proteins contained in it, the vegan, once again, has the nutritional advantage.

Related content

Where do vegans get their protein from?
How do vegans get enough iron if they don't eat meat? 

Link to a book by Gary L. Francione & Anna Charlton: An exploration and rejection of the various excuses — the “Buts” — that keep us eating animal foods.

Men have a tendency to believe what they least understand.
— Anonymous

Resources about veganism that are worth watching

Why should we bother watching any of these films? We can't make a difference! 

I've been faced with this view before, and I get it because I've felt helpless and powerless in the past. I have also thought that there's no point. I've told myself that I can't make a difference! I've then decided not to act and justified it with, 'why should I?' It may not have been about compassion, the environment or health, but that doesn't matter. The point is...I get it. Most of us have been on this journey and we may well experience it again.

However, most of us have come through it and realised that it's not true. In the same way that every penny, smile and action matters; our thoughts also matter. The thoughts are the seed from which everything else flows, and that's why it's important for us to empower ourselves with knowledge and deepen our understanding. 

Why do I need to watch these videos about the planet, animals and health? 

These recordings will give us information and get us as close as possible, to experiencing some of the things that we fund.

After watching them, we can decide if our choices are having a positive impact on ourselves and others, and then we will know whether any action is necessary. However, none of this thinking can place until we have empowered ourselves with the truth. 

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