Every time when I am telling someone that I am vegan, of course, they ask me why. Being honest, there are plenty of reasons why I chose to be on a plant-based diet. There is the ethical fact, which is probably the most obvious one for me. However, during my vegan life, health and sustainable reasons play a more and more important role.
In this blog post, I would like to share my personal story with you. Why did I actually become a vegan …
… or the time I have discovered the ethical problems
At the age of 8, I asked my mom, where meat is actually coming from. She explained to me, that it comes from animals. So I asked back if the animals just provide it to us. Her answer was “No, we need to kill them in order to get the meat”. From that moment on I decided to stop eating meat and fish. First, I became a vegetarian. I absolutely didn’t understand how we can eat dead animals and how we can decide that animals don’t have the right to live a happy and peaceful life as we do.
Luckily my parents accepted my decision and didn’t force me to eat meat as this might have been healthier for me. They were really tolerant, even supporting my decision by cooking special dishes for me etc. By the way, my mom also became a vegetarian several years later.
… or the time I have understood the relationship between food and our health
In my twenties, I got very sick due to a compounded cystitis, which required me to stay in the hospital for several months and taking antibiotics for quite a long time. That was the time when my immune system cracked down. Almost every month I had a cold, I started to develop several food allergies (e.g. gluten, oat, barley etc.). My food allergies, plus being a vegetarian, made it very tough to find good and healthy food. I had a hard time to cover all my required minerals and vitamins. I actually had no clue about food and its nutrients, except that I didn’t want to eat dead animals. So I wanted to learn more about the food we eat every day and we put in our bodies to feel good and get stronger. That was the time I found out about how milk and eggs are produced in conventional farming. I wasn’t able to stand the thoughts that calves are taken away from their mommies and chickens never see the daylight, as we just want to have (cheap) food, which we think is healthy for us. I didn’t want to support that economy and so I became a vegan. Additional to being a vegan I pay attention to the quality of the food I eat every day and try to buy locally grown products as much as possible. And interestingly enough my immune system started to recover slowly.
In order to understand this relation more deeply, I have also started a distance study to become a Holistic Health Coach, so that I can help other people with their health problems, as I truly believe that we can influence our health with the food we eat in very interesting ways.
Beginning of my thirties
… or the time I develop a strong understanding of vegan food and supporting our nature
It is no secret that some of our ecological problems were caused by the mass consumption of cheap animal products. Currently, I am trying to learn more about those circumstances and how we are affecting the planet by our food or lifestyle choices. E.g. with the water consumption for the production of 1kg of beef you could shower daily a whole year long (15 400l). Vegetarians need only about half of the water compared to average meat eaters (to produce 1kg potatoes you need around 290l, and for 1kg cheese 3200l) .
As you can see I am still about to discover interesting facts about a plant-based lifestyle and will be very happy to share all my learnings with you. Let me know in case you want to read something about a certain topic and I am very happy to start to investigate and share my learnings and findings with you.
Thank you for reading 🙂
 Ruediger Dahlke, Renato Pichler “Veganize your life!”, 2015