Thanks Jess, for asking some more Vegan questions! I shall answer them!
1. Any other thoughts you can share about the benefits of going vegan, beyond the environmental and ethical implications?
I’m gonna say that aside from ethical and environmental benefits – we’re left with health benefits. And those are VAST. I think I linked to this list of 57 health benefits in the last post. Which I think says a lot. But the largest for me personally are – maintaining healthy cholesterol, blood pressure, excess fat, and inflammation. I want to prevent ever having diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure. And I really think that eating a plant-based diet will do that. Veganism will not help with the EDS (aside from hopefully keeping weight down and joint inflammation to a minimum). But my Mom has MS, and while it’s not hereditary, my chances of having it are much higher. Some research has suggested that a plant based diet can help with preventing and “treating” MS and its symptoms, as well.
How does your body feel? Hair and skin?
This one is hard for me to answer right now. Because I’m still so new to this way of eating… so I truly hope my answer changes over time.
But currently –
How does my body feel?
Well, I haven’t lost any weight. Which, to be honest, I had hoped to. I’m still tweaking my Vegan diet to hopefully find a sweet spot that allows my body to release some fat stores. But, it hasn’t happened yet. Aside from that, I’ve had some good upticks in a few areas.
1. Digestion. I never considered myself to be someone with a touchy digestion. I would get some angry bowels at the sight of dairy. Especially ice cream, excess butter, milk, or super cheesy things. And if I ate a big steak dinner or something… there’d be some rumbles in the jungles. But I kinda thought that was normal. Anyway, nowadays, poopin’ is a breeze I tell you. After the first 2 weeks or so, I never had gas or painful bloating from things I ate. I never had what I call “angry pewps” or anything like that. Just easy, breezy bathroom trips. Healthy digestion is a HUGE indicator of your health. Thinks going awry in your downbelows can really muck up the rest of your body!
I also find that I recover faster. If I blew my knee or shoulder out at the gym, it used to be nearly a week of pills and ice to get it usable again. Now, it’s better when I wake up the next day.
I take my arthritis meds less. Which makes me feel really good, because I don’t feel nicely on them. They make me drowsy and woozy and blech. Not to mention what they must be doing to my stomach lining.
I have had less issues with my tonsils. I’ve only had tonsillitis once since becoming vegan. I normally would have it at least once every month and a half or so.
Hair and skin?
Also, kind of hard for me to answer, cause I feel like I still need more time. I’ve never found anything to help my skin. Its just as bad as before, actually, perhaps a little worse. I don’t know the cause of it, but the skin is an elimination organ… so I am trying to trust that eventually, I will be finished eliminating the “bad stuff” from within, and not putting more in. My hair, however, is thriving! It has finally started to grow, after being stunted for 2 years! It is longer, and fuller, and definitely healthier. I think this is due to both the vegan diet and the more holistic hair care products.
And any economic advantages or disadvantages besides veggies as a whole being cheaper than meats?
First of all, let me be very honest about this. I don’t budget for groceries. Joel and I budget all other aspects of our spending but we do not follow a budget on groceries. I don’t know how much I spend now, versus how much I spent before going vegan.
That being said…
I think that there’s many levels of monetary spending on ANY type of eating. You can eat a very expensive omnivore diet, or a very cheap one. You can eat a very expensive vegan diet, or a very cheap one.
Nothing is cheaper than rice and pasta. Both of which are vegan. A cheap block of cheese and a 5lb bag of potatoes are about the same price. But, a pound of cherries and a pack of 2 steaks are also about the same price! I honestly feel like its negligible. I actually wanted to find a good, thorough, NON-BIASED article about the cost difference of Vegan vs. Omni, but to be honest, I couldn’t find one. People like to bring in the idea of the OTHER costs of eating meat & dairy – like the cost of healthcare and quality of life. To me, those factor in. But a strictly dollar-to-dollar comparison seems hard to come by. I, personally, don’t think I am spending any more or less right now… but since I still purchase meats and dairy for Joel and Bry, I can’t truly compare receipts.
Most Vegans also care about organic fruits & veggies. Which, obviously, cost even more. So that’s another factor. I buy organic and local when possible, but I’d say it’s less than 50% of my produce. In the summer, much higher, because our local farmstand are brimming with tasty organic veggies. In the winter, though, it’s a sad state of affairs, and I just buy whatever is available.
Ok, I realize that I am rambling now, and possibly not even answered the question the way you had hoped. My short answer would be – eating vegan can be VERY cheap. A bag of rice and a case of cans of beans and you’re set.
And if you start to factor in the health, environmental, and ethical points as well, it becomes a much bigger discussion of “cost”.
I also just now realized that you asked about economic advantages OTHER than the cost of veggies vs. meat. Duh. I see the word economics, and I just assume you meant the cost for an individual/family. Here’s a good article about the larger economical implications.
Here’s a tiny taste of the most common type of argument :
“Farmed animals are fed more than 70 percent of the grains grown in the U.S. It takes 4.5 pounds of grain to make 1 pound of chicken meat and 7.3 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of pork. Approximately 700 calories worth of feed are needed to produce just one 100-calorie piece of beef. It is more efficient and economical to eat grains and soybeans—and all the foods that can be made from them—directly rather then feeding them to farmed animals so that we can eat those animals. Around 1.4 billion people could be fed with the grain and soybeans fed to U.S. cattle alone.” (read more)
Soooo yeah… still not sure I answered Jess’ question, but I sure tried. And I like rambling so… there you have it!