'Why I choose to stay vegan'

   |  Updated: November 01, 2013 13:27 IST

'Why I choose to stay vegan'
Today is World Vegan Day.
There is lots that has been and continues to be written, talked and filmed about the benefits and reasons on why one should turn vegan:

•    For reasons of health
•    saving the environment
•    compassion
•    Global warming

But for me it finally boils down to one thing...

By being accountable for oneself, one actually takes care of ALL the reasons for choosing to be VEGAN.
And that is in fact what it is, A CHOICE.
Up to June last year, I was largely unaware of what the word VEGAN even meant. But then in April last year I experienced what I choose to call "MY WAKE UP CALL"

On the 24th of April 2012 during a yearly health check-up, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. At the time that I was informed, I felt I had just been handed a life sentence. However, my instinct told me not to go on medication. Fear and determination drove me to make an immediate change to my life style.

So with a combination of Pranic Healing, Naturopathy, Ayurveda and Exercise, I made immediate lifestyle changes to improve my 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 program with an NGO called SHARAN. The diet called for us to stay VEGAN during the program. 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 program, my counts altered so dramatically that I was taken OFF insulin. Other participants on the program were able to loose weight, normalise their blood sugar & blood pressure, reduce their cholesterol, medications/able to get off them entirely in just 21 days.

Living the possibility of reversing my state of 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 become VEGAN for reasons of health,
I CHOOSE to stay VEGAN for reasons of accountability.

Some quotes that resonate with me:

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Mohandas Gandhi

"The human body has no more need for cows' milk than it does for dogs' milk, horses' milk, or giraffes' milk." - Michael Klaper

"Let food be thy medicine." - Hippocrates

"The question is not, can they reason? nor, can they talk? but rather, can they suffer?"- Jeremy Bentham

 "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

"I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man" - Mohandas Gandhi

So what is vegan?

VEGANS (pronounced VEE-guns) live on products of the plant kingdom. Veganism is compassion in action. It is a philosophy, diet, and lifestyle.
Veganism is an advanced way of living in accordance with reverence for life, recognizing the rights of all living creatures, and extending to them the compassion, kindness, and justice.
Vegans exclude flesh, fish, fowl, dairy products (animal milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, etc) eggs, honey, animal gelatin, and all other foods of animal origin.
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.

Reasons for veganism:

•    An equitable, ethical relationship between human and other living creatures.
•    The physiological human design.
•    An enlightened concept of repairing and maintaining health.
•    Practical solutions to the population explosion.
•    Spiritual development.

So I was wondering today as I wrote this article, is it a coincidence that the WORLD VEGAN DAY falls in between the festivals of DUSSEHRA and DIWALI - which is not only the celebration of good versus evil but more significantly of righteousness over treachery, of truth over falsehood, and of light over  darkness?

Hmmmmm... I wonder ....

About The Author

Meenu Nageshwaran is a Pranic Healer and now a recently turned vegan chef.

Upon turning vegan last year, the "foodie" in her chose to share her new found passion for a VEGAN lifestyle by teaching and catering "The Vegan Way"!

With an aim to aid those who choose a "Dairy Free" diet, Meenu's Praana Kitchen also provides Organic & Dairy Alternate products like milk, butter, cheese, spreads, to name a few.

Meenu's Praana Kitchen:

Our food choices play a dramatic role in how we feel and how we age. Food can work in the body as a powerful medicine, influencing a variety of ailments: severe, chronic and common.

I believe that the human body requires healthy food to perform at its very best. The long term absence of healthy food (or the continual presence of unhealthy food) causes a host of diseases and illnesses that could have been avoided with a healthy diet.

In recent years, with the miracle of the Internet and the relatively new found science of nutrition, many people have become very confused about what it means to eat healthy. It merely means to eat Real Food, in the most natural state possible. It really isn't that complicated. Humans (and animals) have been eating intuitively, for thousands of years now. We really Do Know how to do this...

Food is much more than something to nourish us physically; meals and dining not only become parts of regional cultures, but personal and family traditions as well.

Many of our favorite meals often have dairy products as a base or staple ingredient. The helpful substitutions you learn in the cooking classes will aid you in creating dairy-free versions of classic recipes of your past as well as new and exciting dishes that contain milk, cream, and butter.

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We understand that food is "personal" and a source of "joy", therefore we are not proponents of deprivation.

Our only "agenda", is to provide sensible information and cook delicious meals, and let you to decide for yourself.

CommentsThe food cooked for you is plant based, dairy free and prepared with mostly organic ingredients.

Meenu's Praana Kitchen provides workshops, cooking classes and private catering.

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