From Vegan to Paleo- A Space I Know Quite Well
Typically when we hear of a celeb ‘going Paleo’ it’s in the context of this ‘great way to get ripped in order to play a role’ while once in a while, it’s due to an attempt to overcome a health issue. Today’ we’re reading about actress Anne Hathaway not only shifting to Paleo but apparently apologizing publicly to PETA for doing so. I don’t know Anne, but I know this space, so well. I was a die-hard vegan for two full years and it certainly wasn’t an overnight occurrence for me to begin eating animal flesh. I’ve read a few snippets about her plan to apologize to PETA, but I’ve also read some statements she made which indicated she simply wasn’t feel well following the vegan approach. So I wonder why she feels like she’s doing something wrong. For me, it was a very slow process of considering all factors and balancing out what I believed in, what I felt was right and what made the most sense. I, too, felt low-energy and was also dreaming about eating fish for a good 18 months before I finally did so. And I felt guilty. But the more time passed, the more research I did and the more I tried different ways of eating for myself, I came to the conclusion that supporting animal welfare and eating animal flesh are two dynamics that can absolutely coexist. In fact, I realized that if animal welfare was my main focus, by boycotting ALL animal products, specifically those coming from the smaller, local farms and ranchers who are trying to do the right thing, I wasn’t actually doing anything to help make progress in the realm of supporting animal rights. By saying no to the small percentage of grass fed meat, pastured poultry and pork and wild fish suppliers who’ve dedicated their businesses to implementing humane methods to raise their animals, as though they were in the same category as stockyard raised beef and battery cage reared chickens, I was actually doing the former a disservice. Yes- boycott the bad guys, the Monsatos of the world who are simply focused on making a buck at any cost to the consumer and animal, but really, think about it, if only for a moment. I know the space. If someone had told me fourteen years ago that I should eat meat and chicken and fish, I probably would’ve wanted to take a swing. But with experience, trial and error, research and my own personal education and growth, I do feel now I’ve found the balance. I support animal welfare. And I eat meat. And from the bottom of my heart and soul, I do not feel one contradicts the other. And I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been, with more energy, better sleep, a lean physique and racing at a higher level than ever at age 40 than I was at 30 or even as a 25 year old vegan with chronic stomach issues and low energy. If that isn’t enough for reassurance, I don’t know what is! Do your research and find your own balance – that’s the best route to go.