Wednesday, 12 August 2015

HOW TO SAVE THOUSANDS OF LIVES WITH ONE DECISION

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi


Today I made a decision.  A decision also made by others that some people frown at and mock.  But a decision that will prevent me from having the blood of thousands of lives on my hands.


I recently watched a short movie called Meat video and I felt horrible and angry.
Horrible that perhaps I had unwittingly been a part of such savagery and angry that I was incapable of smiting such evil like the hand of God,  the old testament one.  However restricted I might be to rain down fiery sulphur upon these pieces of human filth, I'm not totally powerless.  Just because I can't stop it doesn't mean that I have to be a participant, and so, I'm giving this vegan thing a big ol' crack.
Rachel's on board, although I don't think she fully appreciates the difference between a vegan and a vegetarian yet.  Everything from now on has to be scrutinised. Make up, clothing, soaps, cleaning products and of course food.
To be honest, I'm not sure I fully appreciate the situation I'm embracing either because I LOVE EATING MEAT.
Meat to me is like scotch to Ron Burgundy.  How am I going to go without my poached eggs and avocado or a big ass beef pattie on my burger with pineapple and beetroot? (it's an Australian thing) How is it even possible to have granola with out milk and yoghurt, or pizza without cheese and pepporoni? And SEAFOOD?  Holy mother of sweat meats. Fish, prawns, occy? How about oysters? Come ooooooon, they're not a real animal!  
Without even realising it I've just stumbled on to a hugely contested argument about the value of different types of life that I personally think comes down to your reason for the change in lifestyle. 
A vegan by definition is a person who does not eat or use animal products. So if you choose to eat shellfish such as oysters, clams and mussels you are not a vegan. That doesn't mean that you aren't doing a good thing by following certain lifestyle guide lines.  You can still feel enamoured that cows, chickens, pigs, etceteras are not being tortured and killed in your name. It's not a big deal.  Our power is in making our own decisions and not living by someone else's ideals.
My personal decision to go on this journey has been something I've considered for quite a while but complacency and not thinking too hard about it always won out.  Arguments I had in my head were in the realms of:
  • How will I get all the nutritional requirements my body needs to operate at such a high level? 
  • My training will be wasted because I won't be able to build and maintain muscle mass, especially having a very high metabolism and being naturally quite thin.
  • I don't like a lot of fruit and vegetables so there'll be nothing to eat.
  • I'll spend ALL day in the kitchen prepping and cooking.
  • I couldn't be stuffed
And then I think back to last year when I spent a few weeks in Africa filming an anti poaching documentary.  Damien Mander, creator of the International Anti Poaching Foundation in Zimbabwe is a giant of man.  He's an ex Australian Navy Clearance Diver and an ex private military contractor with around 12 Iraq tours under his belt.  He's seen death and depravity in it's most extreme.  He is also a vegan.
Damien told me that after moving to Africa and setting up the IAPF to protect the lives of animals, he could not in good conscience then kill and consume other animals for food.  It would make him a hypocrite and so he found a way.  In the wilds of Africa with vastly less resources than any of us have at our disposal, he found a way.  So what's my excuse now?
If Damien can do it, if a 136kg NFL linebacker can do it and even accredit it to making him a stronger, healthier player then it's time to get my ass in gear.

I have learnt through my period of recovery after losing my hand and leg to a shark that there are very few things if any, that can happen to us that somebody hasn't already been through.  There is no reason that we have to do it alone.  All it takes is a little research and perhaps finding a champion of your cause. Someone or group to follow and aspire to be like who can lead you to victory.
I now have in my repertoire and support team the Thug Kitchen cookbook.  A handy vegan reference where I can find amazing looking vegan food and get sworn at with multiple fucks per page.  Seriously check it out. These guys like 2 things a lot. Cooking and swearing. 

Now it begins.  I'm going to ease myself into this with the grace of a fat naked man lowering himself into a Russian hot tub ensuring that I don't shock myself into regretting my choice instantly and there by ensuring longevity in my fight to save thousands of cute furry lives.

I know that they taste great and if they didn't want to be eaten then they shouldn't have been made of meat but if I have the choice of life or death, why would I choose death for something that just wants to live.

The happiest video ever: