Start of my journey, and a few questions...

Junior Paez

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Hi, My name is Junior. I'm 18 and being born in a Mexican family, I was raised eating a lot of meat. I've had one vegan friend during my life who tried to inform me about all this animal agriculture and how it plays such a big role in greenhouse gasses and deforestation and how it leaves the earths oceans in some parts desolate where no fish can be found due to overfishing, or waste from land animal agriculture. To be honest, I kind of shrugged him away on the subject thinking he was pulling these facts out of his ***. I thought we as a species have always eaten meat for countless generations. So I saw no problem with. Maybe I just didnt want to believe it. Few months later, today, I became curious on the subject. I ended up trying to research the subject, and came to find many documentaries on not only animal agriculture , but health in general. I just finished watching Cowspiracy and I intend to watch more documentaries on the subject (Forks Over Knives, Earthlings, Live and Let Live, etc.). It completely opened my eyes. I believed in conserving, recycling, and anything that I could to help to do my part in conserving the planet. Turns out, I wasn't doing much of anything, practically nothing at all compared to when I saw how much water, land, and resources were being used for 1 lb of meat. I intend to transition from a meat-based diet, to a completely plant-based diet, not only for the planet, but for my health in general too. I am around 270 lbs and 5'10". Predisposed to diabetes as it runs through my family, and now heart disease, knowing how meat plays a big role in it. And I am or now, was a big meat eater. I've tried different methods of diet that included meat generally, especially the Atkins diet. Which I've have had success but only after 3 weeks then my weight would not budge. But all in all I am completely determined to keep a plant-based diet, and completely feel that going vegan might change my life. Not only physically but mentally, knowing that I can play a role in saving this world. Even if my part is extremely small. I hope that one day I could spread this among other people, and inform them on this ever growing subject and play a much bigger role. But before I do, this is only day one. I have much to learn before I start to inform people about this. And for the forum topic, I do have a few questions about the documentary that I saw. (Cowspiracy) That it didn't really talk about.

If everyone were to go a plant-based diet, what would we do with all the animals that have already been farmed? The film (Cowspiracy) explained how we have raised 1 billion of cattle, sheep, hog alive and over 13 billion of poultry alive. What would we do with these animals knowing that an overpopulation let out into a habitat might destroy that ecosystem? Would it cause a destruction of an ecosystem?

I know this a long ol' essay pretty much, but I'd love some more insight. Such as, what websites I could go to for more info, or maybe to help with the transition from a meat-based diet to a plant-based diet. Any help of any sort would be great help. Thank You :)
 

Jamie in Chile

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My blog https://whytryveg.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/81/ covers some of my thoughts on the movie Cowspiracy and some related thoughts, but basically it's a good movie.

To answer your question: What certainly won't happen is that everyone on the planet will go vegan overnight. Therefore, as more people go vegan, the demand for meat will steadily reduce, meaning that less animals will be brought into existence and the world's population of animals will steadily decline. Keep in mind that cows live for a year or two before being slaughtered, pigs six months or a year, and chickens 2 or 3 months. The industry can regulate the amount of new animals that are born. So it's very easy for that population of animals to be changed to react to the demand for meat from people even if veganism were to dramatically increase very rapidly. The idea that some people have that in a vegan world there would be millions of farm animals released into the wild is extremely unlikely.
 

Jamie in Chile

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I think PETA has a vegan starter guide.

https://whytryveg.wordpress.com/2017/03/25/vegan-nutrition/ is a guide I wrote for people who want to be covered on nutrition without reading pages of studies or reading a book.

Eat food you like - if your vegan food is boring, try something else. Also, make sure you eat extra food. You need to a eat a larger amount of food to compensate for the fact that vegan food on average has less calories per gram of food.

Do you cook for yourself mostly or does someone else do most of the cooking?
 

DCab

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Here is how I transitioned six years ago. I am not an animal rights activist, but I did this for health and weight loss reasons. I broke it down meal by meal. So for instance, the first week I worked on breakfast. I figured I could commit to a vegan breakfast pretty easily. I started out with smoothies, but I have found that I feel better chewing my calories :) I still eat a large bowl of fruit for breakfast. So I did that for about two weeks until I was good and used to it. Then I worked on lunch. This was a little different. I told myself that I would eat a vegan lunch first and then if I was still hungry after that I could eat whatever I wanted. I was just trying to avoid feelings of deprivation that I thought I would experience. So the idea was to focus on putting food in rather than taking food away. Nine times out of ten, especially because I was eating whole vegan foods instead of processed vegan foods, I was full and satisfied with the vegan lunch and didn't want anything after that. Again, I did this for about two weeks until I was really used to it. Then I worked on dinner the same way. And lastly snacks. This really worked for me - adding food in and focusing on that rather than focusing on taking away. My mind and feelings were on all the new things that I was adding in, rather than all the old foods that I was restricting. And this also built up new habits for me. Let me know if this helps!
 

Mark Mywordz

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Hi Junior
I am a Newbie myself but I have been a vegetarian for about 3o years and that helps quite a bit. I do not find it boring to eat the same breakfast every day - I'm always hungry, so I have porridge (avena) with nuts, semillas de lino, canela, fruit and stevia. I live in Spain in winter, so speak Spanish too. I make 8 portions of lunch-time meals and freeze them - veggie curry with beans (lots of different recipes but all with the same base (onion, ajo, tinned tomatoes). Also other casseroles - chilli, spaghetti bolognese (without spaghetti but with green beans or broccoli). In the evening I have an enormous salad with everything I like plus a slice of pan de centeno with crema de cacahuete. I snack on fruit and use that for dessert. I'm still looking for quick dessert recipes.
It is a little frustrating that I can't have Melanzana Parmigiana - berenjena with cheese and tomato sauce. That is one of my favourites. I shall be going to the UK for summer soon. The supermarkets are generally much better there, though the Spanish ones are great for fruit and veg and not expensive.
Mucha suerte
Mark