I’ve never really believed in the “don’t knock it till you try it” mentality.  I myself am partial to a more theoretical discovery of good and bad, or as they say: smart people learn from their mistakes, wise people learn from the mistakes of others.  Unfortunately, not all questions regarding how to live the good life are easy to answer from observation.

I know that eating animals is bad for the world’s climate.  I know that the conditions that animals have to live in while being grown for meat are despicable.  I know that most of the people who have studied animal cognition believe that many animals should be treated with dignity and some even deserve the same rights afforded to humans (read more).  These things are not particularly controversial, or at least not to those who care to read up on them.  What I don’t know is whether or not the vegan diet is actually better for your health.

It’s recently been brought to my attention that the consumption of animal products, primarily meat and dairy, may be closely related to rising rates of cancer, heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and nearly every other disease that plagues western civilization.  Compelling evidence, that appeals both to my common sense and to my academics sensibility, has been placed before me and I can find no evidence to the contrary.  It seems I have no more excuses but to at least try to eat in a way that I know is more ethical and may have great health benefits.

The plan is to go vegan for two weeks starting tomorrow and monitor my own health, my sleep habits, my digestion, my levels of energy and cheer, my weight, my blood pressure, and anything else that I think of tomorrow morning.  To be honest it won’t be a big change.  Already I eat meat with no more than one meal a day and I don’t eat dairy.  About 50% of my diet is raw fruits and vegetables.  For two weeks I’m going to push that number closer to 100%.

Best of all, this plan fits in with my whole philosophy of health: eat lots of good stuff, be active and avoid convenience, sleep eight hours a night, and try not to worry so much. In my life, it’s the eating part that needs the most improvement.  The rest I’m pretty good at.

Thanks to my dad and his wife and partner Robin for inspiration and wisdom.  It’s not easy to eat vegan if you love all food as much as I do, so it helps if there’s someone around who knows how to cook.  Maybe in the end I can learn from others, get off the gravy train before the damage is done, and hoof it to Plantsville, capital city of the land of good health and long, happy lives.  I’ll keep you updated.

My question to you: if you’re aware of the ethical and health benefits of eating an all-plants diet, what’s stopping you from giving it a try? (…and if you’re not, google it.  That’s not so much a question as it is a suggestion.  How about “Why haven’t you googled it?”)