The Freedom to be Vegan

In December, I worried about getting the runs from e-coli-soiled spinach. Other than that, I am surviving my jaunt into a vegan lifestyle. Today, on the Fourth of July, I will join meat eaters from across America in celebrating our freedom by charring our food over an open flame until it’s singed with carcinogens and tastes of charcoal. While activated charcoal is a natural detoxifier, I’ve never been a fan of BBQ. 

So how did I get to veganism? I trust my gut. I’m also highly impulsive. So after a three day juice cleanse turned into a six day juice cleanse, my gut told me to eat differently. That was last November. There’s no better time to give up meat, dairy, canola oil, soy, and corn than right before Thanksgiving.

I kid of course. It was challenging and I spent many hours and days in a hangry daze, floating somewhere between suffering major detox and stopping myself from sticking my face in a bucket of greasy KFC. I made it through. 

I’m vegan, but I’m flexible. I’ll eat a donut after church because Jesus blessed the world with cake donuts. I like cake donuts with frosting and sprinkles and I appreciate that a chicken gave up a life so that I can enjoy the blessing of being surrounded by my church family while dunking a frosted cake donut in freshly brewed church lady decaf nestled in a styrofoam cup. Praise Him for the little things!

I actually didn’t decide to be vegan because of  any philosophical belief about animals. Ethically, I argue that we should expect very high standards for our food (let’s save this thought for later because that’s a manifesto all by itself) and we should also expect very high living standards for the animals that will become our food. My nutritional choices, however, came about because of a purely selfish reason: A decision I made about my health. 

There isn’t a day that goes by where someone doesn’t offer me their wholly unsolicited advice about my food choices. Even my wife has her opinions, but she lovingly prepares meals for me that most definitely create extra work for her because I am the only vegan in our house of five. As Proverbs 15:17 reads, “Better a small serving of vegetables with love…” 

Today I’ll request a small corner of the bbq to grill my giant organic, free-range, gluten-free, non-gmo, portobello mushroom.  You can grill your meat. Let’s not debate it. I have the freedom to be vegan and, just as Proverbs 15:17 reminds us, “Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred.” Don’t hate. 

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