I might’ve ruined my son’s life this weekend when I told him we were going to become sugar-free vegans. Yep that picture above is basically what his face looked like as the words came out of my mouth.
“I don’t want you watching any other documentaries on Netflix, Mommy.”
The boy is right. I should never watch another food-related documentary on Netflix EVER AGAIN if I want to continue my love affair with bacon.
It all started when I thought it would be fun to watch Vegucated, a documentary that followed three meat and dairy loving New Yorkers over a six week period as they learned about and adopted a vegan diet.
I pushed play thinking I’d be exposed to new info on how a plant based diet could improve my health, but when all was said and done I was exposed to SO MUCH MORE information. The bulk of the film uncovered some nasty facts about animal agriculture the industry doesn’t want us to know – hence my current desire to throw out every piece of meat I have tucked away in my fridge and freezer.
The film brought up some serious concerns for me regarding how most animals are bred, raised and treated for large name brands of meat and dairy. And when it revealed that some of these companies are also genetically mutating animals to produce certain types of meat in larger quantities (HELLO big chicken breasts and more white meat!) my head nearly exploded.
Do you know how the milk is made that you drink or eat in your cheese? I didn’t. I thought happy cows frolic through lush green pastures naturally producing milk all year round because that is what cows are born to do – but that’s not the case.
Like humans, cows don’t produce milk unless they’ve given birth. So the reality is female cows are artificially inseminated, give birth, have their baby taken from them, and then they’re milked for all they’ve got until they AIN’T GOT NO MO’.
Once they’re out of milk the process is repeated over and over again until they die.
Sidenote: I have an uncle that is in the midst of setting up his own farm so I called him up to see if this was true. He said yes, but assured my that in most instances the calf stays with its mother until it is weaned, and that after it is weaned a farmer begins taking milk from the cow for human consumption. I have a hunch this really doesn’t happen in cases of the milk that is mass produced for our grocery stores, but I’m really no expert.
I think learning where my milk comes from was the most alarming thing I saw in the entire movie. Perhaps it’s my maternal and feminist instinct. The thought of having my body used for milk and my offspring repeatedly snatched from me was depressing.
My mind was so blown by Vegucated that I decided I couldn’t stop educating myself there and so my Netflix marathon continued with Hungry For Change, a documentary that promised to expose all the “shocking secrets the diet, weight loss and food industries don’t want you to know.”
As a woman that’s been on a perpetual diet since the age of 15, I just HAD to watch this.
What did I learn from it? Sugar is the devil and all those low cal and low fat versions of the food most diets tell me to eat have TONS of it.
I never realized this but your body reacts to sugar much like a drug. Seriously. Ingesting it causes a beta-endorphin rush in your brain, stimulating the production of morphine-like chemicals.
Totally explains why when I’m under stress or bored I want to makeout with a jar of Nutella – it makes me feel goooood.
But just like a drug, that awesome food-related high comes with a cost – it’s wreaking havoc on the inside of my body.
Scarier still? I found out most of the convenience products (i.e. processed food) I grab off my grocery store’s shelves aren’t even food anymore – they’re food-like products made from ingredients created in laboratories.
The blueberries in the packs of “Little Bites” muffins my kid loves so much AREN’T FUCKING BLUEBERRIES!! And here I thought I was making a healthy choice for him since they’re portion controlled.
Then came the part of the documentary where they talked about what manufacturers put in beauty products. Turns out the Clinique moisturizer I’ve come to love because it makes my skin feel so nice contains URINE. Ok it’s synthetic urine (Urea), but still.
Why was I not alerted to this before?! Perhaps the saleswoman at Macy’s simply forgot to ask me if I like to engage in golden showers daily when I purchased my last tube from the Clinique counter.
Suffice to say, I’ve stopped using that
crap pee on my face and switched to moisturizing with Coconut Oil – which is actually working out pretty well so far.
I’ve even ordered some Shea Butter and scented essential oils to try to make my own body butter.
This week I threw out every package of food in my pantry that contains sugar, partially hydrogenated anything, dyes, or has a laundry list of ingredients I can’t pronounce. After a trip to Trader Joe’s this week I’m pretty well stocked on healthier and gluten free versions of things.
(I’m sure my son will hate me for that when he comes home from his Dad’s tomorrow, but I’m going to attempt to sneak things in and see how he reacts.)
I plan on relying less on convenience foods moving forward and making more things from scratch. I love to cook anyway, so why not? The time it takes to cook and plan meals is the only real factor, and if I need to block out time to do it on the weekend then so be it.
Shit’s gettin’ real around here – literally.
As far as going completely vegan, I’m still on the fence – though I’ve refrained from meat and dairy this week.
“Sex, Lies & Veggies” just doesn’t have the same appeal – though if there’s anyone that could make vegetables look sexy it’s me.
Only time will tell…