Vegan Diet: Pros and Cons

vegan
I met some new friends who have just turned into a vegan for health reasons. So I researched a bit about the pros and cons of vegan diet.

Not many research has been done on vegans. A few studies show that vegans and vegetarians have lower levels of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, and some cancers, compared with those who consume low levels of the plant foods. In addition, the use of spices such as turmeric, ginger, garlic, and onions to flavor food protects the consumer against cancer, stroke and heart disease.

However, vegans may suffer from deficiency in B12, which is very important for the brain. “Vitamin B12 deficiency can have serious consequences such as early dementia, lack of coordination, forgetfulness, nerve dysfunction, memory loss, disorientation, difficulty with concentration, and difficulty with one’s balance when walking. Hence, they need to take supplements or fortified soy or rice beverages.”

Vegans may also suffer from Omega-3 fatty acids. “Long chain omega-3 fatty acids are important for cardiovascular health as well as brain and eye function. The fatty acids can be obtained from fish. The vegetarian can now obtain the omega-3 fatty acid DHA from microalgae supplements. In addition, the body can convert alpha-linolenic acid to the long chain fatty omega-3 fatty acid DHA, although this is a fairly inefficient process. Alpha-linolenic acid can be obtained from a variety of vegetable sources, including flax seed, canola oil, walnuts, tofu, soy beverages, and soy products.”

If vegans can select their plant-based food carefully, they don’t need to eat meat to maintain good health.

Reference: http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info/updates/vegan-diets-pros-cons.php

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End of Suffering

Present moment

Suffering is the greatest spiritual teacher for many people. We surrender and let go when we realize that we have suffered enough. Then we will learn that suffering is mind generated. If we can stop self-inflicted suffering, we will stop causing suffering to the others. Inner peace can be achieved when we present in here and now. When we can get rid of the regrets in the past and the worries about the future, we are living at the present. Now is the only moment that we have.

Reference: Eckhart

Going Home to Yourself

Home

“We all start looking for the beautiful, the true, and the good in other people.  Each of us feels that we lack something, that we are only half a person.  And we wander around looking for our other half.  We have an inferiority complex and believe that the true, the good, and the beautiful don’t exist in us.  We have a perception that we are not worthy.  We don’t say these things – we may not even be consciously aware of them – but deep down we feel that we have no beauty, goodness, or truth.

Because we wish we had these things, we try to seem like we do, even if only on the outside.  We want to show other people that we are good, that we are not really beautiful, even if only in appearance.  And so we try to improve our appearance with cosmetics, clothes, diets, or plastic surgery.  We want to appear more truthful and knowledgeable, so we look for things to study or unusual experiences that will bring us prestige.  We adorn ourselves with titles and awards.

We are all deceiving each other.  Deep down we feel there is nothing good, beautiful, and true in us, and at the same time we are desperate to show other people how good, beautiful, and truthful we are.  And while we are deceiving others, we are also being deceived by them.

The truth is that people think that the true, the beautiful, and the good exist somewhere else, in someone else.  They don’t know that they are true, beautiful, and good at their core.  When we know the truth, we will stop going in search of something.  We will stop wandering around feeling that we lack something. And we are able to stop deceiving others.  We don’t have to adorn ourselves because we have discovered the true, the beautiful, and the good here within us.”

Reference: Thich Nhat Hanh

True Love

true love

I read an interesting article about the definition of true love and I think it will help us love properly. The author said true love should include four elements, including loving-kindness or benevolence, compassion, joy and freedom. Loving-kindness is not only the desire to make someone happy, but also the ability to do so. We need to understand a person’s deepest troubles and aspirations in order to love this person in a right way.

Compassion is the desire and the ability to ease the pain of another person. We need to look deeply into a person’s core and his nature of suffering in order to be able to help him to change. However, before helping another person, we should take care of ourselves so that we are mentally healthy enough to do so.

Joy should be present in true love. If you cry all the time or you make another person suffer all the time, it is not really love.

Lastly, when you love, you give freedom to the person that you love. The person whom you love should feel free both inside and outside. You should ask yourself if you give enough space to your beloved one and yourself to grow.

Poison from meat

Meat

I read a book called Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, who are models in USA.  Kim has a Master’s degree in holistic nutrition.  I have learnt a great deal about the meat that is sold in the markets.  Some of the facts inside are quite horrifying.

They mentioned how meat can make us sick and fat.  Farmers nowadays inject a lot of antibiotics into cows, pigs, chickens and other animals.  Antibiotics alone can make animals gain a lot of weight in a short time.  In addition, they sprayed pesticides on their skin, which can cause various kinds of cancers in human.  They inject hormones to make animals grow ten times faster.  As a result, if we eat these dead bodies of animals, we will gain weight very easily or even develop cancers, heat disease, kidney disease or impotence.

Chickens have higher concentration of a kind of chemical that causes cancer (colon cancer, stomach cancer or breast cancer).  Fish also has high concentration of heavy metals, PCBs and other chemicals that cause blindness, paralyzation, abnormalities in babies and impotence.

The writers also mentioned how butchers torture the animals before they slaughter them.  During transportation of the animals from the farms to the slaughterhouse, many animals are forced into overcrowded trucks.  They are not given any food or water for days.  They don’t have toilet breaks too so they have to stand on their shit.  Sometimes during winter, those poor animals get lung disease or flu on the truck.  Their skin is stuck on the walls of the truck because of the cold weather. Many of them are still conscious when their skin is being removed and dropped into boiling water!  These poor animals died with very high levels of adrenaline because of these kinds of torture and it is toxic for human bodies.

We are actually eating a lot of sick and depressed animals every day!  For the animals’ sake and for our own sake, we should consider eating less meat and more vegetables.

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