Eating a vegan diet can be:
- super simple
- super healthy
- great for the environment
- great for the animals
- much easier to clean up (clean the oven? Why? :-)
Most of this is in hindsight. I went vegan (lowfat wholefoods vegan, pardon me) to lose weight. My sister found this cool doctor called Dr McDougall and I haven't looked back. Check me out here. (Feel free also to note that I'm not as svelte now after 2 kids - work definitely still in progress :-)
I'd never thought of going veg before, but the info I got was convincing that I could eat this way forever and still be healthy. And the more I eat the way he recommends, the better I feel, and vice versa, to this day.
As a point of interest, I had an operation for an ovarian cyst in my early 20s and was diagnosed informally as suffering from PCOS, and to be prepared for more cyst problems. I've had no more cyst problems. I'd been eating this way for about 10 years by the time we started trying for kids, and both times (even being REALLY OLD) I got pregnant at the drop of the zipper. PCOS then, maybe. PCOS now, I don't think so.
So I didn't start this because of my love for large bovine animals or woolly pasture jumpers. But I'm a research addict, and while I have been eating this way, I couldn't help finding out more and more. And what I found out, I couldn't not know again, and I couldn't not care.
So now I'm a vegan for three main reasons - because it's healthy, ethical, and eco-friendly. Within those three areas, it's almost impossible for me to find a solid reason for eating animal products. And it is actually sorta cool to pass by a field full of cows or sheep (quite a few of these in New Zealand) and think "You're not in there because of me."
VegSource is my favourite allround vegetarian site. Raising the kids vegan seemed like a no-brainer - if it's the healthiest for me, that's what I choose for them too. I have a great book on raising vegan children - Pregnancy, Children and the Vegan Diet. It's got all the answers to the common concerns about kids and vegan diets and some stunning pictures of the Phoenix family (the actors) who have all been raised vegan.
In fact, becoming a breastfeeding mum has made me even more aware of the problems with having cow milk in your diet. Who's really supposed to be drinking that cow's breastmilk? Why is it in your refrigerator?
And my vegan kids are turning out just fine, and then some!
Here are some great links for going vegan: