By Mady Buerck
Many people go through life without questioning what is on their plates, and it is even easier to accept your plate when it is given to you by a trusted adult, as a child. Yet, if we’ve learned anything from history it is that we can’t always believe what is told to us. Veganism is the choice to eliminate all animal products from your diet. Animal foods meaning meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. It is by eliminating these products that there are benefits for the environment, health, and ethics.
I decided to go vegan as a 15 year old girl, and now, after nearly two years of a attaining a plant based diet, I can attest that this was the best decision I’ve ever made. I made the choice of altering my diet after watching the documentary, Forks Over Knives. The documentary exposed frightening truths on the affects animal products have on the human body, saying that veganism is the way to live healthily. I can attest that my current health is the best it has ever been. I struggled for most of my life with stomach issues. As a baby, I had to drink soy formula, and in 6th grade I discovered I was allergic to dairy. I would spend hours doubled over and nights throwing up, and it wasn’t until eliminating dairy products that I felt relief. After completely ditching all animal products a few years later, I found that I felt amazing. Not only have I not had any stomach issues since, but I have yet to even be sick. My health is the best it has ever been.
It was difficult at first to stay away from animal foods, as they are the main ingredients of most American processed foods, but it wasn’t long before I found out what I could and couldn’t eat. It is all about being conscious of the ingredients in your food, and once the ingredients become a priority, it is easy to find the proper food. Other than having to be more aware of ingredients, the only other difficulty I have come across is finding food in restaurants. Before going vegan my diet mainly consisted of animal foods, so I had no idea what to eat outside of the house. After asking almost every restaurant, checking their websites, going on https://www.happycow.net/ , and creating my own items on menus, I have found there are an abundance of delicious options. (Check the end of this article for my favorite options in Farmington). You just have to look, and almost every place will have a vegan friendly option, even if it is just a salad!
Especially in the Midwest, our meals typically consist of meat and dairy products, thus when these animal products become a large portion of our food throughout life, they become apart of a dietary culture. Having a food as a part of one’s culture makes it even more difficult to question what is upon your plate, as no one wants to disrespect their culture. Yet, knowing the truth of your plate, being conscious of your choices, this is the exact mindset change that needed to happen in order to end the earth’s worst evils: slavery, gender inequality, the holocaust, etc. Rather than living in ignorance, discover the truth, and it will set you free.
My Favorite Options in Farmington
- French Toast sticks from Burger King.
- Onion Rings from Sonic.
- Pasta House salad (just ask for no cheese).
- The double portebello mushroom burger from Sugarfire (ask to make it vegan by removing the mayo and cheese and asking for no butter on the bun).
- Black bean soup from Panera.
- French fries, curly fries, and fried pickles from Hunts
- A vegan pizza from Dominos (make sure to get thin crust, without crust finisher, and no cheese).