There’s a lot that has been and continues to be written about the benefits of turning vegan, but for me, it finally boils down to one thing – being accountable for myself. Being vegan is a choice you make for yourself and for me this is what I chose.
First Things First
Up to 2012, I was largely unaware of what the word ‘vegan’ even meant. But in April of that year, I experienced what I call my ‘wake-up call’. On 24th April, 2012 during a yearly health check-up, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. When I learnt of my diagnosis, it felt like being handed a life sentence, but my instinct told me to steer away from medication. Fear and determination drove me to make an immediate change to my lifestyle; a combination of pranic healing, naturopathy, Ayurveda, and exercise became my weapons to better health. Within a week, however, I was advised by my doctor to start insulin in order to give my pancreas a rest. So I did, with the full intention of getting off it at the earliest.
In June, 2012 I started a 21-day reversal of diabetes programme with an NGO called Sharan (Sanctuary for Health and Reconnection to Animals & Nature). The diet called for us to stay vegan during the programme. It was during this period that I was exposed to information about the effects of an animal-based lifestyle versus a plant-based one. During the course of the program, my counts altered so dramatically, that I was taken off insulin.
Other participants in the program were able to lose weight, normalise their blood sugar & blood pressure, lower cholesterol, reduce medication or completely get off it in just 21 days.
Living the possibility of reversing my bad health, I now view the diagnosis as a blessing in disguise. It challenged me to become accountable for my health emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. So while I chose to go vegan for reasons of health, I choose to stay vegan for reasons of accountability.
The What Of Vegan
Vegans live on products of the plant kingdom. Veganism is compassion in action. It is a philosophy, a diet and a lifestyle. It is an advanced way of living in accordance with reverence for life, recognising the rights of all living creatures, and extending to them compassion, kindness, and justice. Vegans exclude flesh, fish, fowl, dairy products, eggs, honey, animal gelatin, and all other foods of animal origin from their diets. Veganism also excludes animal products such as leather, wool, fur, and silk in clothing, upholstery, and so on. Vegans usually make efforts to avoid the less-than-obvious animal oils and secretions in many products such as soaps, cosmetics, toiletries, household goods and other common commodities.
The Why Of Vegan
• Vegans enjoy an equitable and ethical relationship between human and other living creatures.
• It is an enlightened concept of repairing and maintaining health.
• It aids in spiritual development