Another casual day of getting out to socialize and distract from my depression became a life-changing experience within an hour. Joining my mother at our favorite coffee shop, conversing with the owner who is an inspiration of mine. She wanted me to get out of my funk and stop being shy by forcing me to talk to this gentleman she knew. Real talk, I forgot what he did or who he was. All I know he was a beautiful brotha full of energy. We began to converse discussing struggles with depression and eating patterns. He stopped me in the middle of my sentence and asked, “what do you eat?” I told him I was eating healthy, going down a brief list of what I consumed. He stopped me again and told to me that he was vegan. My eyes rolled, assuming he was going to go on and on about animals, but he didn’t. His rant was long it seemed, but as I listened, there were valid points that he made. Points that touched me so profoundly, that after that day I became a vegan.
You ask, “what the hell did he say!?” Well, in short POC’s are designed to thrive not deprive ourselves. As a Black woman, too many of us are dying from preventable diseases like heart disease and breast cancer. Which made me want to begin my journey into taking my health seriously. Our diets are a big factor in our health and how we choose to live.
After a year into my vegan journey, I’ve done my research continued to educate myself about the manipulation of the meat and dairy industry. Especially how they target towards the community of POC living in low-income areas. I was continually annoyed with my people swearing that veganism is too expensive and for privileged white people. In the back of my mind, I know that the manipulation has worked for those who believe it. The standard western diet has led us to believe that protein is everything. The fast-food industry has been our crutch disabling us as a people. Falling victims to what Dr. Milton Mills would call institutionalized racism by the meat and dairy industry.
Low-income neighborhoods and families are not offered the best option, fragmenting our minds to believe that fruits, vegetables, bean, and rice are expensive, but on average meat, prices are $15 to $20 dollars. Veganism is not shopping at Whole Foods; it’s not only buying organic foods, but it’s also not eating salads all day. Veganism is feasible cruelty-free living towards sentient beings, that’s it! I spend 90 to 100 dollars for two weeks worth of food, something anyone would spend on a week of dining out or on processed food. You can be a junk food vegan, health nut vegan, an alkaline/electric diet vegan, and it doesn’t matter.
As people, we have to understand not to stress our environmental resources to feed our ignorance. We are hurting other beings because of a belief that suppresser told us so. Use independent thinking and listen to your body, most of us know better, but unfortunately, we do not do better. We are poisoning our bodies by becoming emotional eaters, developing eating disorders, and only not caring for ourselves. When that black man went on his rant, I could’ve easily reject what he was saying to me. However, I would be doing myself a “superior being” a disservice not to use the given knowledge into action. I wanted to stop the dissonance cognizance and take responsibility for my actions, mental, and physical health. My journey was not a smooth transition at first, but with dedication and taking time to consider meal options, I am still making sure I continue to choose to be healthy.