Do you need to be Vegan to save the world?

So I had a lot of people lately, bash me for not being a vegan and I’ve seen it happen to others. I am pretty resilient so I shrug it off because I understand that they are ignorant, but sometimes you need to speak out.

I generally don’t have a problem with vegans, but I do have a problem with the ones who stir up trouble with non-vegans, telling them that they are killing the earth just because they aren’t vegan, or anyone who tries to discourage someone who is trying their best to live an Eco-Friendly lifestyle.

What some vegans and others don’t realize is that you don’t have to be Vegan to save the world, you just need to be more conscious of where your meat and other items come from, and just because you are vegan doesn’t mean you are doing much to save the earth.

My experience with the vegan diet

I have personal experience with veganism, not the lifestyle but the diet. 3 years ago when I had a severe gallbladder attack, I gave up meat, fried foods and went on a vegan diet.

I am a meat eater so it was difficult for me at first, but about a month after I started I thought maybe I would stick with it as my body (besides my gallbladder) felt good.

It seemed I had more energy and I was starting to gain some weight, which if you don’t know, I am very thin and can’t put weight on very easily. So it seemed good.

I was on the vegan diet for 4 months then other problems started. My gallbladder started feeling better after those 4 months but my body was suffering. I felt like I was starving even though I was eating well and felt full after I ate.

I had severe brain fog, everything hurt, I started getting migraines, the weight I had gained started to fall off, and my anxiety had worsened and I was a total mess.

Now mind you I was eating very well. Lots of whole grains, beans, veggies, vegan protein powder, the works, but it wasn’t until I started introducing meat back into my diet that I started feeling well again.

My body needs animal protein and the vitamins that come with it. My husband is the same. Due to his health issues, his doctor prescribed that he eats 30 grams of animal protein at every meal. They specifically told him that alternate forms of protein wouldn’t be enough, it has to be animal protein. Yeah, 30 grams is a lot, but animal protein provides his body with the nutrients he needs to live a normal life.

My whole point in telling you this is that the vegan diet doesn’t work for everyone. If it works for you, that’s great and I’m glad it does, but it doesn’t work for my body or my husband’s body, and that’s okay. Everyone is different.

Changing how we purchase meat

Because we eat meat every day, we buy responsibly, hunt and fish.

As humans, we are so disconnected from where our meat comes from.

Hunting has given us even more respect for life than we had before. If you eat meat, you’re still taking part in killing an animal, although it’s easier on the mind to just buy the meat at the market, instead of hunting.

Also Read: Why I Hunt

Now not everyone can stomach hunting, so I’m not saying if you eat meat you have to hunt, but I feel it’s important to know where your meat comes from and become acquainted with the process of how that animal was processed.

Am I a bad person for eating meat? No, humans much like other animals are omnivores. It’s not a balanced or healthy view to say that we can’t eat meat. To be healthy we need to eat a variety of things.

The problem lies with large meat processing facilities and mega-farms. They are terrible for the environment. If we stop supporting these, we’ll be helping to save the planet. If you’re like me and you eat meat, buy from farmers’ markets or shops that support farms or companies who raise their cattle and other animals sustainably.

Raise your own livestock or give hunting and fishing a try. Purchase wild-caught fish and seafood.

We can make our voices heard by where we spend our money. This is the same with veggies, grains, and fruits. Stop supporting companies who use roundup, GMOs, and other harmful processes to grow. Buy organic, support farmers’ markets, and grow your own.

Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

Vegans as I’m sure you all know, don’t use or purchase animal products of any kind. This is appealing because I love animals too! I’m not a monster.

Although I do use animal products, a lot of the products I use aren’t obtained by hurting the animal.

I don’t purchase synthetic materials of any kind if I can help it. Polyester clothing and microfiber towels are not welcome in my home, because they are bad for the environment. I will always opt for natural products.

I love wool clothing! Shearing a sheep, goat, and alpaca, doesn’t hurt the animal. In fact, it’s a kindness to the animal in most cases, as the wool becomes so long and thick that it can suffocate the animal if it’s not trimmed.

I do wear leather shoes, have leather purses, and work with leather to make sheaths and other products. Leather can’t be obtained without killing an animal, but there are ways to get leather from sources that use every part of the animal in one form or another. Although this seems cruel, since it’s natural it’s better for the environment than vegan leather.

Vegan leather is synthetic. It’s made with PVC, polyester, and other plastics. The production of these products is reliant on fossil fuels. The process creates carcinogenic byproducts that are toxic to humans and animals. So although it might sound better than real leather, it’s causing more harm to the planet and animals.

We are all doing our best

I live every day with Earth on my mind. Am I perfect? Not at all! But I try to reduce my carbon footprint as much as I can.

I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but there is balance in everything. Not all practices of veganism are Eco-Friendly just as not all practices by non-vegans are Eco-Friendly. We all have to work hard to make sure we are doing what we can to save the environment.

I have been bashed for not being a Vegan and have had many try to shame me for hunting and fishing, but it’s who I am. I am a hunter, a conservationist, a naturalist, a human who is trying to live every day with nature, wildlife, and the planet in mind.

If you’re a vegan, I applaud you. Don’t let anyone shame you for not eating meat.

If you’re like me and a vegan diet or lifestyle doesn’t work for you, keep on living with the earth in mind! Don’t let anyone shame you for eating meat or using animal products. You don’t need to be vegan to save the earth.

One thing we all have in common is that we are trying our best to live an Eco-Friendly lifestyle. Let’s encourage each other instead of tearing each other apart. The world is full of hatred and negativity. Let’s be kind and work together for the health of our beautiful planet.

Whitney Stokes

Whitney is a naturalist who started in 2018 to encourage natural and sustainable living.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Anne

    Thank you for this post. I am not a vegan, but love animals and nature. We definitely need to change how we obtain meat and realize that a plant based diet isn’t always eco-friendly. We nee to have a balanced view of things.

  2. Chris Kosto |

    I applause you for your efforts, being vegan is not easy, you need to sacrifice many pleasureable foods!

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