It was 2011 when I became vegan. I was in Italy, lying on my couch watching one more documentary about the starvation of polar bears caused by the excessive fishing of salmons. The previous day, I had seen some news about the disappearance of sword fish in Italy for excessive fishing and how the use of a dragging net had damaged most of the fragile marine environment.
I was feeling utterly depressed and guilty. I used to eat a lot of meat, fish, seafood, cheese… You name it! Eating is a cultural act in Italy so it wasn’t about giving up junk food which I had already done eons earlier. It was about renouncing mozzarella cheese on top of pizza – the real pizza not the American version of it.
Luckily for me, I love cooking and I’m of a very exploratory nature so I decided to start experimenting with vegan recipes. I was used to eating rice on a daily basis and have bread and pizza occasionally. I learnt to make my own bread and experimented with different kind of flour to make the healthiest pizza possible. I also learnt how to make seitan (mock meat), how to make fresh soy milk and how to make delicious patties which resembled meat.
I actually didn’t have a lot of problems switching to a plant based diet because I love animals and Nature so much that I would have done anything to be part of the solution and no longer the problem.
At first, I thought that vegan food had to be somehow oriental, but then I realized that there are a lot of Italian recipes which are completely vegan – yes, including pizza!
In fact, before, during and right after world war II, people used to eat a mainly plant based diet and only occasionally have meat. Having meat at that time meant to actually kill the animal with your own hands.
Nowadays, I think that very few people would be willing to make their hands dirty of blood just for their meal. Especially when you know that is not necessary.
My health has dramatically improved ever since. I no longer have allergies, I digest food more easily, I feel lighter and full of energy since the early morning. However, vegan doesn’t necessarily means healthy. At first, I used to eat a lot of french fries and other comfort food. I drank liters and liters of coffee and had many pints of beer with my friends – pizza and beer get married together – as they say in Italy. That was definitely not healthy so I had to gradually give up the things that were disturbing my stomach the most: greasy food, coffee and alcohol.
Now that I live in Asia, life is much easier though I’m still going through a process of healing which I think will last a few years. Drinking plenty of water and having a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables either raw or lightly cooked is the secret of perfect health.
Then of course you have to take care of your thoughts – mens sana in corpore sano – a healthy mind stays in a healthy body. This is a motto that the Romans used during the Roman empire.
My advice to you today is, don’t blame anyone for your troubles and start taking responsibility for yourself.
By becoming vegan you will definitely help millions of lives of innocent creatures and contribute to a better, sustainable and greener planet!
Stay foolish stay vegan