Updated: Feb 7
One of the most life changing decisions we have ever made was when we decided to adopt a plant based lifestyle
A year ago when we were traveling in Australia we learned some facts that completely changed our lives. We were working on Moreton Island located just off the coast from Brisbane. All our meals were included in our rent and served as a buffet in what we called staff room. The meals were more or less the same every week with only a little variety. At first we thought the food was alright, but after a couple of weeks we realised that the food wasn't as good as we initially thought. It wasn't the healthiest food either, but that was the menu for the next 6 months and since the job was on an island, grocery shopping had to be done whilst being on the mainland and we didn't have a fridge or anywhere else to store food. We had no choice but to eat from the buffet.
Our energy levels dropped, our skin started breaking out and especially Maria started gaining unwanted weight
After some time we started noticing that we weren't feeling overly well. Our energy levels dropped, our skin started breaking out and especially Maria started gaining unwanted weight. We also had a couple of incidents with the food not being properly cooked and when that happened Maria started cutting out the meat - not because she wanted to be a vegetarian or vegan simply because she didn't want to eat the meat they were serving.
As Maria started cutting down on meat she started feeling better too and the weight went down again. That made us think twice and since Jonas wasn't feeling any better we thought "hey, we need to figure out why". So as Jonas started cutting down on meat and eating more veggies, we both started feeling better. It became obvious, both of us felt a lot better from cutting down on animal products and eating more veggies, so we continued.
Both of us grew up as carnivores and never even considered changing our diet to either vegetarian or vegan. We were the ones who said "we could never stop eating meat". We were the ones who had some prejudices towards this kind of lifestyle and never imagined ourselves going in that direction.
The game changing turning point - going from carnivores to herbivores over night
We have two amazing friends whom we met whilst traveling in Australia. One is vegetarian and one is vegan. They both taught us a lot about health and how it has a direct link to disease, and they taught us a lot about the environmental impact our food choices have on the planet. Naturally we started growing a much bigger interest and curiosity on the subject. They recommended us watching a few documentaries on Netflix as a start which would help us understand and learn much more about this.
We watched the documentaries "The Game Changers" and "What The Health" on Netflix and just like that we went vegan over night and we have never looked back or missed having a piece of meat.
It might seem a little crazy changing our lifestyle based on a couple documentaries, but what we learned from watching these kickstarted a long journey of learning and discovering the truth. We watched other documentaries, kept doing research and reading through articles. The things we learned were shocking and we kept asking ourselves "how did we not know all of this".
We were absolutely blown away by all the information that was going through our heads and gaining all this knowledge made us aware of the negative impact animal products have on our health, animal welfare and the environment. We made a connection between everything we learned and our own lives and we realised that we had to change our lifestyle in order to follow our own beliefs, become healthier and reduce our impact on the planet.
WHY we went plant based
The impact your food choices have on your physical and mental health is much bigger than you realise. The most common reason of death is lifestyle diseases which is related to inactivity, smoking and an unhealthy diet. Animal products and processed foods has been proofed in studies to have very negative affects on your health and there's a direct link between these products and diseases like heart attacks, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, strokes, high blood pressure, dementia and the list goes on.
These diseases are affecting about 70% of deaths and are largely food born illnesses and therefore preventable. Removing animal products from your diet will lower the risk significantly of getting these diseases. It has become clear from research, studies and documentaries that animal based protein plays a large role regarding disease and removing these products will instantly improve your health. It has been seen many times over that a whole food plant based diet can improve illnesses and possibly reverse some of these diseases. Also there's absolutely nothing in animal products that you can't get in a healthier form from plants. Initially all nutrients origins from plants. In fact you are not getting all the nutrients you need from a meat-based diet and you are gonna get dramatically better nutrients on a plant based diet.
If you take a look at some of the largest and strongest animals in the world they are all herbivores. If you look at true omnivores and carnivores you will find that their anatomy is completely different from ours. Omnivores' teeth are for tearing flesh where herbivores' teeth are for chewing plants. Also an omnivore have much more stomach acid for the digestion of meat compared to a herbivore who has way less acid. The intestines of an omnivore is also a lot shorter compared to a herbivore which is because meat will putrefy in the gut unless it comes through quickly. If humans were meant to eat meat our entire physiology would need to change. Anatomically humans are herbivores. Once we learned that a whole food plant based diet was the healthiest way to live it wasn't a hard choice to make.
A plant based diet is the single biggest measure one can take to reduce their impact
From an environmental standpoint we're in an emergency. Animal agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to environmental footprints and is actually destroying our planet. Raising animals for food production releases more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector. Agricultural land is the leading source of rainforest destruction, species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, air pollution and loss of biodiversity. Animal agriculture is choking the earth and at the same time making its inhabitants, humans included, sick. It is undeniably the leading course of climate change. A plant based diet can reduce our footprint with 73% - it's the single biggest measure one can take to reduce their impact. We will do anything in our power to reduce our impact on this beautiful planet and going vegan is without doubt a step in that direction.
It has become clear to us that the only humane choice is to stop eating these living, breathing creatures and it's the best we can do to help stop animal cruelty
Animals have become objects without any other purpose than to be raised as a source of food. The reality of how animals are treated and the conditions they have while being alive is not like most of us imagine and that's one of the things that we learned which completely changed our perspective.
When animals are being raised in farming industries their lifespan is cut way shorter than their natural lifespan. This is in order to produce more and faster. They are kept in small cages, living and breathing in their own feces, getting sick and dying to then be contaminated furthermore by the dead animals laying around. They are being born and raised under these horrible conditions only to live a painful, short life before being slaughtered.
Animals are complex creatures very much capable of experiencing pain and joy and why should they be brought into this world only to be a source of food when it's been proofed that humans don't need animal products to survive or thrive. We don't need to improve animal welfare in farming industries, we need stop animal cruelty from happening by ending animal production. It has become clear to us that the only humane choice is to stop eating these living, breathing creatures and it's the best we can do to help stop animal cruelty.
Eating an animal based diet is causing the most destruction and suffering for both humans as well as animals and the worst part is that none of this is necessary to survive, but on the other hand it is killing us and the planet.
The governments and industries focus on treating sick people, not finding the cause for getting sick nor prevent it
So the reason why we don't know all of this is because our society revolves around money. The biggest industries rely on animal farming and production, healthcare systems and pharmaceutical production. These companies have a vested interest in making sure the public doesn't have the right information about what risks are posed to consuming an animal based diet. It's one big stratagem to make us consumers confused. If there's enough doubt and controversy then people have no clue what is right or wrong regarding health. What we learned was that many of the companies working towards treating sick people are being sponsored by the very industries that are making them sick in the first place and these are all leading back to the governments. The governments and these industries care more about corporations than they do people. The focus is on treating sick people and not finding the reason for actually getting sick nor preventing it - that's the business. That's how they make money. Imagine if this was exposed to the world and everyone knew what to eat to stay healthy, the society would collide.
Everyone deserves to know what they are supporting, consuming and taking part in
Making choices that are hurting people, communities, animals and the environment are wrong in our eyes and we can't believe we learned all of these things in an age of 24. We wished that we had uncovered the truth years ago. We don't have any hidden agendas by writing this. We only tend to share our journey and bring what we learn and discover out from the shadows. Everyone deserves to know what they are supporting, consuming and taking part in.
Our sources of inspiration and knowledge on this subject comes from Google research, studies, articles, the podcast "Plantproof" by Simon Hill and documentaries such as:
What The Health
The Game Changers
Forks Over Knifes
There are so many good resources out there. We are still learning and discovering ourselves, but we know that this was the most life changing decision we ever made and it has only affected us positively. This is not a phase nor another diet, this is a permanent decision to live a healthier and cruelty free lifestyle with less impact on the world.