Many times I hear people say they eat vegan “except”. Except when Grandma makes her caramel cake. Except when it’s girls night out at the seafood joint. Except over the holidays; gotta eat that turkey and dressing. Except when traveling and I want to treat myself. Except.. except.. You know what I mean.
If this is you I’m not hating on you. Most of us have been there, especially in the early stages of adopting a plant-based diet. Eating vegan most of the time is better than most people do and you will benefit from it. However, your “exceptionalism” does come with risks.
An exception can become a full blown backslide, a relapse. We are all addicts to processed food, cooked food, fat and sugar loaded food and animal products. That one time can easily become a few times and then the next thing you know you are back to eating meat and dairy regularly.
Eating any amount of animal product exposes you to unnecessary health risks from bio-accumulated hormones, pesticides and other toxins. Or how about e-coli or other bacteria infestations that you put yourself at risk of when you eat animals. I’m sure you aren’t interested in ingesting any of these. However, they often come included with your exception. You won’t know for sure what’s hidden in your meal. Do you worry about it?
Could you be ingesting meat infected with the prion causing TSE (transmissible spongiform encephalopathy) the human form of Mad Cows disease? You really can’t tell. Years later you suffer from what looks like alzheimers disease or dementia but is in fact the human form of mad cow disease. (see the chapter “How Now Mad Cow” in Dr. Opare’s book The Rule Book and User Guide for Healthy Living.) Did it develop from that one tainted meal? Why take the risk?
In addition, we now know the science of how and why your body reacts negatively to animal products within minutes. You may not consciously notice, but your arteries and digestive system are adversely affected each and every time you eat animal products. Dr. Opare teaches that each meal containing animal products of any type has a “finite negative effect” on your health.
Then of course there are the animals themselves. Can you really justify participating, if only indirectly, in the terrible treatment and torture that animals go through? According to Dr. Opare there is no physiological NEED to ever consume any animal product, ever. Animals are suffering and dying for your pleasure or habit.
Are you ok with all of that? I’m not.
The one thing you MUST do to put an end to your “exeptionalism”
For those of you who want to stop the “excepting”, there is one thing you must do to stay vegan no matter where you are. Without this one thing you will always be at risk.
You must DECIDE that your bottom line is NO ANIMAL PRODUCTS. This is the line you will not ever knowingly cross. No animal products what-so-ever, no matter what. Never, nada, nope, nonnegotiable, not going to do it! This is my BOTTOM LINE!
Make this COMMITMENT to yourself. To the animals who suffer. To those who you love and who love you.
I will NOT eat any animal products EVER!!!!
Get clear on WHY this is your bottom line. This way when you are tempted or someone is pressuring you, you will KNOW that the answer is no.
Use your food journal to record what triggers your temptations and gain insight about what is behind your “exceptionalism.” Use what you learn about yourself to shore up your resolve to never, ever cross your bottom line.
Nana Kwaku and I know it can be hard to make this vegan lifestyle a consistent part of your life. Everything we do here is all about helping you make it work for you in the real-world life you live in. That’s what our classes, books, and coaching is here for. We want to see you succeed.
So, what do you say? Are you ready to put an end to your “exceptional” vegan lifestyle? Can you do it? Will you do it? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments below.