My reactions from people on my ride are varied as I could not have imagined, and shed light on issues which we should address in order to advance the cause as many of them are preposterous at best.
1. My biggest one is, “Where do you get protein?” I can only assume that this comes from all the new and interesting diets out there touting the values and evils of fats, carbs and proteins in varying degrees and amounts in your diet. I usually give the sources for my protein, much of which is met with sincere and utter disbelief, people seem to have trouble wrapping their heads around the fact that vegetables can provide you with protein, even less believable to them is that it is easier for your body to assimilate than that of meat.
2. Second, which I never saw coming, is cost, “Isn’t it expensive to eat that way?” This is a tricky one, as in America, it oft times is more expensive if you do not do your shopping correctly, i.e. going to various sources to get your complete grocery list. It can also be more expensive if you do not get or prescribe to quality, which is the only way to combat the need for quantity. if you get higher quality foods, your body will require less. Further, at what point does cheap food outweigh (no pun intended) the cost of a clean medical check up… So many variables with this, many are randomly out of our control. On to the next!
3. “How do you have energy?”. This is an easy one of you have done the lifestyle for sometime and have done it well. Many people i find have tried the vegan way of life and have felt miserable, most often this comes from a few things, either A. they are detoxing, I usually explain my detox which rocked me to the core and/or B. they are not having a well balanced diet and are missing many important elements in the diet, most immediately – B VITAMINS, easily solved with nutritional yeast! Education on proper eating is a MUST, it is much harder to get someone to try it a second time!! Make sure people know about the detox, this is crucial if you want to keep people on the bandwagon, many times I have had people describe to me their symptoms after becoming vegan, they are usually – 90 percent of the time describing detox!!! LET PEOPLE KNOW THEY WILL GO THROUGH A TRANSITORY PHASE!! This has been my number one concern from people who have tried and then left the diet.
4. “How come most vegans I meet are all pasty and sickly looking?”. I have not met many in recent years that fit this description and I do my very best to explain how and why this may or may not be the case. It refers primarily to diet and lifestyle. I did know of one vegan in Hawaii who’s diet consisted mainly of donuts and sweets! Of course, he fit this description to a T.
5. “are you vegan for some religious thing?” or simply, “Why are you vegan?”. I originally became Vegan TOTALLY BY ACCIDENT! I was looking for a guitar for my 31st birthday and found a gentleman selling one on the other side of the Big Island, about a 3 hour drive from Hilo where I was spending most of my time. Upon arrival, I saw some people milling about watching my approach up the driveway with varying looks of confusion and curiosity. I got out and inquired as to whether or not I had the right address, that I was looking for a gentleman selling a guitar and who was everyone and where I was and why the odd looks. The odd looks were due to the trail of red transmission fluid running down the driveway, the place was Gentle World, a Vegan community in Hawi, Hawaii and yes I did indeed have the right address. The main gentleman, Light, who lead the cause so to speak, offered that I may stay with them provided I ate what they ate. I stayed 3 months and have been vegan ever since=)
I am now Vegan for so many reasons that the conversation can take some time…. Spiritually I am working on the connectivity and equality regarding all around me, this would preempt me killing other things regardless of size or shape, this is also a very powerful practice in non-judgement, which can only help to serve one in all aspects of life… I want to have the lowest possible impact on our planet and want to truly be peaceful. I view eating meat as eating fear, based on what I feel when I am threatened with the loss of my life, no matter how cool and collected I am, my adrenaline pumps, chemicals move through my system that ordinarily would not be there. I do not want to eat that.
I believe in something bigger than me, something more. Whatever it was that put me here, PUT EVERYTHING else here as well, who then am I to judge? Further all the respected spiritual minds of the ages have all been vegan…
6. “Are you vegan because of global warming?” At first I was unable to understand where this came from, but soon put it together. there is a lot of press that the most prevalent gas to cause global warming comes from methane, the biggest producers of that are cows. While not my reason for being vegan, it is a nice benefit.
7. “I really like good food, how do you get used to not having it?”. This is where cooking for people comes in. Many people do not understand how truly good on many levels vegan food is. I explain that vegan, especially now, simply means eating what you are used to with the most quality ingredients available, i.e. organic cane sugar vice refined, sea salt, vice refined salt etc. It also means having foods that satisfy your needs for tastes without the negative side effects, i.e. almond, rice, coconut, soy, etc milk instead of dairy which has a host of issues associated with it on many levels, from environmental pollution, to hormones and antibiotics, mucus in yor guts etc.
8. “I can’t see letting go of my cheese.” Well, we as the vegan community are working on that, Daiya has some great stuff going on, and when you look at the health benefits, if you could see what cheese did to your system… this would not be an issue=)
9. “I just love a good steak.” I dont have much to say to this, I let the scientists of the world do that for me. You love steak, so does your doctor, pharmaceutical companies, and the funeral director.
Thats about the size of that=) Hope you like the pictures!