Often my clients ask me about my diet and whether or not I’m vegan. Many yoga teachers are vegan because choosing a vegan diet is a powerful expression of ahimsa (the principle of nonviolence toward all living things), one of the yamas in Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga. But veganism is not for me personally.
However, for the past year I have been cutting back on meat consumption. I completely eliminated beef from my diet. I still eat chicken, eggs and seafood, but only once-twice a day. Most of my diet are fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and home made bread (whole wheat flour or sweet bread). I allow myself to indulge in cakes, pies, pancakes, ice-cream, chocolate and other sweets, but I try to eat those “cheat” foods in the morning so that I can burn through them as the day goes by.
The main reason why I decided to reduce meat consumption is not because I am a yoga teacher, but because of sustainability reasons. In my previous post, I demonstrated some lifestyle changes that I personally take to decrease my carbon footprint. I also pointed out that if you were to make only ONE big change- you should reduce meat consumption and eliminate beef from your diet and here’s why.
I have watched a few documentaries on this topic such as “Food. Inc.”, “Cowspiracy” and “Meat the Truth”. All of them are available on Youtube either for free or for a nominal fee. I highly advise you watch all of them to shape your own opinion on the issue. If you don’t have time in your schedule to watch full documentaries, please, do watch this short version of the eye opening documentary “Cowspiracy – The Sustainability Secret”. It’s only going to take 16 min of your time.
Many have heard and seen the famous documentary with Al Gore (“An Inconvenient Truth”). He mostly talked about transportation and electricity as major contributing factors of global warming. I wonder if he’ll talk more about GHG from livestock agriculture in his sequel ? Its coming to movie theaters this year. Unfortunately, most politicians and non-profit organizations ignore this issue or undermine it’s significance. EPA.GOV and STATISTA.com both display statistics that goes along with what government wants us to believe- that most GHG emissions are the results of electricity and transportation sectors.
The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. My life is awesome without hamburgers, steaks, carnitas and beef stroganoff. There’s millions of other things in my life that make me feel happy and fulfilled. There’s hundreds of other foods that make me feel great in my body and mind. My every day mantra is that “I am being the best of myself”, which means I’m making the best choices for my own physical and mental health, the health of people around me and our planet. I strongly believe that one of the paramount factors in living sustainable lifestyle is giving up beef and reducing consumption of meat and dairy.