Month 2-Vegan, A Year of Sustainability

I watched the movie Cowspiracy and Seaspiracy and decided that my second month would be going vegan. Seaspiracy showed the effects of mass fishing industry on our oceans. Cowspiracy showed the effect of meat industry. Meat industry creates a massive amount of runoff, NO2, Methane, contributes to deforestation and water consumption.

I always thought Vegans were funny in how good they felt about themselves and I honestly thought I’d be one, but here I am, trying it out.

First 2 weeks.
First fifteen days were hard. I had to stop myself from eating a lot of things and to be honest, most days I failed. I’d have some meat here and there and I would have some cheese in my taco or sour cream or maybe an ice cream bar. I’d say there was not a day that I was fully vegan if I had to really think about it. I was trying but I was failing so much just by how much milk and dairy pervades our food.

I did drop meat consumption quiet a bit and this made me lose more weight than I dropped over the course of the year due to a drop in my drinking over COVID quarantine. Generally I slept well and was not hungry all the time as I thought I would be. Energy was good as well, even at wrestling practices.

Week 3
By week three my wife started helping me. She got me some vegan cheese (not great) and vegan yogurt (even worse). We bought some bread that had no eggs and really, it was her reading the ingredients of things that reminded me of what was vegan and what wasn’t (pretty much everything).

This made me realize just why vegans are so adamant about telling others, you have to, just to keep it. When you tell others it makes to actually adhere to it because in essence, every day is a battle. You have to remind yourself why you do it because there are so many non-vegan things around you all the time.

I’d say my energy was still good, I was thinking well, I did get injured over the course at wrestling but I recovered fairly quickly.

Week 4
Week four is when you hit the stride and become accustomed to the vegan life but at the same time, you cannot wait for it to end. On the one hand I now know how to live as a vegan and I can see myself doing it but I can also see the freedom of having ice cream that is non-vegan or having some eggs (which is what I did first day after the challenge).

I did notice that I became much more lean. My legs became toned and I generally looked better, most people noticed the change. I would say that I feel that my energy wasn’t the same as when eating meat. And I think that’s something to still work on. It has actually been three days since the end of the challenge and I still haven’t had meat, no real craving for it.

Impact

So the impact is significant. While I only ate meat sometimes and was not a big dairy consumer before this, just the savings in meat and dairy accounted for nearly 12,500 gallons of water. This is enough to water an average lawn for thirty-eight days or 500 ten-minute showers. This means that if California were to be 25% vegan by raising a tax on dairy and meat (which it could give to meat and dairy producers to account for loss in sales), we could make massive savings on water during a time of draught and massive carbon reduction in green-house gasses. The savings of going to vegan or part time vegan to earth are unbelievable.

Lessons Learned

One thing that I learned with this challenge is how to keep score, tactics but also think of ways I want to keep it going and what I can do better. Here’s an impact list I created that I plan to do for all challenges to be able to measure my annual impact from each challenge.

50% veganGallons of water
10 eggs500
4 beef patties10000
1kg of chicken1000
10 Yogurt servings528
10 servings of Cheese560
Total Gallons saved12588
Left to do:live this way more often
What I learned:can do it,
1 Shower25
Showers Saved503.52
Average lawn330
Lawn waterings38.14545455

Next Challenge

Next challenge is to reduce my driving and mileage. This means more biking, more grouping of trips and seeing what I can do to lessen my car pollution impact.

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