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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Vegetarian Essays

Vegetarians in Paradise regularly presents informative articles by guest contributors on subjects of interest to vegetarians and vegans. This month we are reprinting a letter from one of our readers who has some kind words about how VIP helped him on his vegetarian journey. Although his last name is Allen, we are not related.

You've Helped Me

Far More Than You Know

By John William Allen

Hello :

I would like to say Thank You. You've helped me far more than you know. So Let me explain. Please read on.

I am a 22-year-old male who lives in Middletown, OH. For a little over 21 years, I have been a dedicated meat consumer. I enjoyed chicken, turkey and bacon (especially bacon).

About 4 weeks ago, I made the decision to become vegetarian, on my path to becoming Vegan. I don't know if you've heard of this book called Everything You Know Is Wrong by Russ Kick. In this book there was an article called "A Vegetarian Planet." I was interested in the article because my taste for meat was somewhat dwindling.

John Allen I am considered slightly obese, weighing in at 255 lbs, and 5'10." I was dissatisfied with myself and my weight, although that was only my minor concern. My major concerns were my heart and vital organs. I had been given medication for high blood pressure, more preventative than causative, since my blood pressure was only slightly above normal. However, for safety I was put on the medication.

That did it for me--22 years old, and on blood pressure medication. So I gradually started looking into healthier foods. Anyway, back to the book. I read the vegetarian article and was shocked. Inside, it told of meat processing plants, egg farms and dairy farms. I was appalled at how these animals were being treated.

I have always had a soft spot for animals. So this was a major injustice to me. I decided I would become vegetarian. I had been reading about it and had found it very intriguing. I learned about the myths surrounding vegetarianism (i.e., the "protein" myth), and started down the veggie path.

I am a Christian, and becoming a minister. I have always believed in God and his Creation. Once I began studying plant alternatives, I discovered humans were never truly designed to eat meat. And now, I eat all plant and plant-based foods.

This is where you come in. I was confused about what I could eat. So, I went to the largest free library in the world: the Internet. I went to vegan.com (I believe that is what the website is called) and ordered the free Vegetarian Starter Kit. I was still in a bind, since it would take some time for the kit to reach me, so I have winged it for the past few weeks, eating mainly soy and salads until today.

Now, with your very detailed list of vegetarian foods, recipes, etc., I have a very good idea of what I can eat and what I need to watch closely. You have my heartfelt gratitude, and I mean that literally. Even simply winging it, I have felt more energetic, lively, aware, and cognizant. I hope that my blood pressure is returning to normal so that with my doctor's consent, I can soon stop using the medication. I also hope that my weight will fall into healthy range.

As of this writing, I am more determined than ever to be vegetarian. It is actually easier and better than I could have hoped for. I had reasoned that I would eat nothing but lettuce and carrots, et al, however, I am delightedly wrong. Thank you for your large supply of information that is so easily available.

I know this is a long email, but thank you for reading it. I owe you a heartfelt display of gratitude. And should I pass that way, I will want to do so.

One last thing, If you have anymore advice or information I may be able to use, please feel free to tell me.

Your most humble (and soon to be healthier) admirer,
John William Allen

Click here for past Words from Other Birds Articles

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