And is a little more plant-based. At least that is what I’ve decided to call it. Vegan is such a touchy word. Touchy-feely, too. I don’t feel ethical enough to call myself “vegan” because I’m not going to totally cut things out of my diet for ethical reasons. If something is dairy, egg, and meat free but may have been processed in a factory that used to process cow meat well…I’m probably still going to eat it. And I’m still going to wear the leather jacket I bought in the fall. And, while I do like the idea that, by choosing not to eat meat or dairy, I won’t be eating animals who suffered in terrible factory farms I am even more interested in the health benefits of a plant-based diet and the the philosophy of sustainable consumption for which it allows.
I said it: I’m not as compassionate as a true vegan. I recently read the China Study by T. Colin Campbell. The book is at least 10 years old and it makes some claims that it doesn’t quite have the research to back up (or didn’t at the time) but it does show some compelling evidence for a plant-based diet over animal proteins for prevention of almost all “diseases of affluence”. These include type II diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. The premise is a study that examined the diets of people all over China and found that those who ate the least animal protein had the lowest rates of these diseases – even to the point of being almost non-existant. All of that to say that he was writing from a perspective of what he believed to be the healthiest diet available not the most compassionate and therefore referred to his diet as “whole foods, plant-based”. He may very well be vegan but he took the ethics out of the equation for the sake of the book.
You know what? So far I really like eating this way (save a few cravings) but perhaps I feel a bit more comfortable considering myself as a plant-based eater.
The other slight development in the story of my plant-based intake is my decreased mobility. I decided to spend Saturday night at the climbing gym but quickly found myself chatting on the floor with a staff member while icing my ankle: I had fallen off the wall while bouldering and rolled my right ankle inward and was treated with a beautiful “POP!” sound. I drove myself home after 30 minutes of icing but found myself pretty immobile (and it was my driving foot, if you’ll recall) the next day. I’ll try to post a photo later but I only took one today so the swelling isn’t as impressive – I just have a uni-cankle.
Big shout out to Baumer and her friend “C” for very kindly escorting me to and from emerge on Sunday. They even acted as my personal grocery shoppers and got me all kinds of tasty plant-based treats to get me through the week. Because of them the experiment continues it just includes less elaborate preparations than anticipated and includes a lot of hummus, pita, fresh salads, spirulina juice and oatmeal. And bags of frozen peas.
Many people have offered to pick up groceries for me and for that I’m very grateful. I’ve taken a few days off work to ice the ankle, take ibuprofen and rest it in an elevated position. Thank baby jesus for netflix and books about Mount Everest. One more day off and then back to work on Thursday.