Why have I gone plant-based?
Before I can explain why I’ve gone plant-based I need to provide some background about me.
I was raised in a traditional French family, where we believed milk was good for bones, meat and meat derivative products were and still are part of the culture. Beef, chicken, lamb, fish, pâté, saucisson (cured pork meat), jambon de Pays (a version of Parma ham), were a regular occurrence on our table, most days. Most importantly, we had cheese at every meal, right after the main course and just before the desert, it was tradition and it was good.
We were favoring taste over health; and it was not apparent that we were damaging our bodies beyond potential weight gain for some of us. French people had been doing this for generations, so it must be ok, so we were telling ourselves quietly in our minds.
Sometime in 2014, my dad was diagnosed with a form of dementia, which was not Alzheimer according to the doctors. Followed by a dramatic weight loss over the length of 2 years, he collapsed early June 2016 and was admitted to the hospital with a lung cancer and never came out. He died 3 months later, in late August 2016.
My father’s death was the trigger of my personal transformation. This dramatic life event allowed me to reconsider things that I was taking for granted before, such as the consumption of animal products.
One of the first question I had after the fact was why he developed these diseases. To modern standards (standards which now I think are also the problem, our baseline is wrong!), my dad was not over-consuming of anything per say. It looked like he had a balanced nutrition and a normal consumption of wine during meals. He smoked, which is very bad, but not overly either. It is clear that smoking is the root cause of his lung cancer, but at the same time, his mum, my grandmother, also smoked most of her life and passed away at an old age. So, I wondered what was the difference between my dad’s lifestyle and my grandparents that could have possibly triggered the development of dementia and cancer? To be honest, there are so many factors that could trigger such diseases and I’ll never know for sure. But I was determined to find out more, based on unbiased trustworthy sources. It was then, the debut of my whole-food plant-based journey. I'll write a follow up article on the steps that took me to this conclusion.
Over the course of 2 years I took a 180 degrees turn on the lifestyle I was living and refocused my energy on science-backed sustainable long-term health, or in other words, how can I live a long balanced, healthy, disease-free, medication-free life. I’m still working things out for the most part, but I believe I’m on the right path.
I’ll write a longer post on how we made the transition, but in short, we very slowly removed meat from our meals and then completed our transition with removing all dairy and eggs products.
As much as I miss my dad so much, in leaving us, he gave me, and my family, a chance to change our lifestyle for the better, to enjoy a longer and healthier life. Thank you, Papa!