Day 78: The Year of the Vegan

A new year is upon us, as you can undoubtedly tell from the ridiculous number of Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and Nicorette commercials. Television, radio, and web browsing sidebars are lighting up like Las Vegas promising hope and even salvation for amazingly low prices.  They go right for the struggling individuals heart by promising to fix what ails them.  I also noticed a rash of anti-depressant ads, which is a good fit with the rest of the solutions for sale.

One particularly galling ad enticed consumers with a weight loss plan that could help them shed unsightly pounds in time for special events like beach trips, weddings and school reunions. That right there, friends and neighbors, is the problem.  When human beings are losing weight because of social engagements, we have completely lost sight of what is at stake here.

I am not Mr. Highandmighty. I understand the shame of not wanting to face old friends because of the blimp that I’d become and I understand some advertising geniuses know that they can squeeze a few extra dollars out of humanity by poisoning it with the idea that special events are why we should lose weight.  I understand.

I also understand that if someone is dieting to lose the deadly, life-shortening fat on their body because they want to rock out to Milli Vanilli with the Class of ’90, that they will gain it all back with a vengeance shortly after returning from their glory days.  Every pound that returns will bring with it the potential for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes- threats more loathsome than even Milli Vanilli.

Losing weight for a social engagement is very short sighted.  Healthy living and the potential decades of extra life they offer are why I am living a plant based lifestyle.  I am joyfully getting healthy so I have a better chance to be in the front row of my Great-great-granddaughter’s wedding.  I am dropping pounds with aplomb for the chance to see the 80th season of the Simpson’s.  I am happily losing weight so that I might make it to my 75th class reunion where I will still be able to dance and even do the Cabbage Patch.

At each of these wondrous events I doubt very seriously that people will comment on how thin I am.  Instead I expect them to gasp at my youth, gaze at my vigor and throw flowers because by then I will be king of the world.

Giving up all meat and dairy and living a plant based life will hopefully make me as attractive as Bill Clinton or even Ellen DeGeneres.  Hopefully.  The additional reasons to make the change, however, are infinitely more valuable.  You can gain decades and decades of life.  You can reduce your carbon footprint by 70% or more.  You can remove yourself from the iron grip of our current food industry.  You can sleep easier knowing far few animals and people suffered because of your lifestyle choice.

Sure, it isn’t as glamorous as losing weight because your ex is going to be at the office holiday party, but maybe some of us are ready to find a deeper meaning in the way we live our lives.

Happy 2012: the Year of the Vegan.


About jasongillett

I'm Jason Gillett, 2 year VEGAN, and a 41 year old family man. My wife & I teach in a FL school. I am using a blog to chronicle our family's new life. View all posts by jasongillett

18 responses to “Day 78: The Year of the Vegan

  • Cooking Books is Vegan

    I agree. ^^

  • Sheree

    What a beautiful, heartfelt posting. Thank you and Happy New Year!

  • Diane Cockerham

    You’ve said it very well Jason!! Here is to a happy healthy 2012!! Still love your falling snow : )….

    • jasongillett

      Happy New Year to you too! I’m afraid the snow stopped on the fourth. Next holiday season we will get them back- right about the time we start talking Tofurky again! All the best in 2012~

  • Ann

    Great post, Jason, so thoughtful and well-said. I wish you a happy and fulfilling 2012.

  • Regina Verow

    Amen. You added some powerful ideas to my list as well. Thanks and here’s to an awesome 2012!

  • Annmarie

    Keep up the good work and the great writing!

  • GetSkinnyGoVegan

    The best of luck to you!! If you stick to the “Engine 2”, Esselstyn, or 80/10/10 types of eating vegan then losing weight should be a breeze. Don’t pick up all the vegan cookies books!!! I usually eat high raw but made 2 recipes from the Babycakes book on New Year’s day……..too delicious. Which is great for selling veganism, but they won’t help me lose weight!!!!!
    Look forward to following your adventure!!

    • jasongillett

      YES! I learned recently that vegan does not equal weight dropping healthy. I found a vegan bakery and a gourmet french fry stand that illustrate how right you are. I am focusing on the raw and single ingredient meals because I am EASY to please and have meals all the time. For third meal today I had almonds and for fifth meal I had romaine, sesame seeds and vinegar. I think ninth meal is some frozen broccoli- not ideal but I bought it for emergencies and its been a month with no broccoli emergency, so I just need to eat it. It makes me feel like Superman or Popeye, and while gourmet fries and vegan cupcakes are RIDICULOUSLY good, they aren’t as good as I feel now! Happy New Year!

  • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan

    Well said! I particularly love the comment about losing weight for your great-great-granddaughter’s wedding, so to speak. Now THAT’s an event worth anticipating. 🙂

    • jasongillett

      I can see it now- little Bernice, all grown up, with her new husband, son of the late Senator Bieber, pulling away in the stretch hover-limo amid a hail of rice and well wishes- and as the blue glow from the limos thrusters round the distant corner… we will head back into the reception party, and I will show everyone how we use to break dance back in the 80’s. “One of you youngins’ bring me a big piece of cardboard and a Run DMC tape!”

  • Salty Saltmarsh

    Amazing, amazing, amazing. I just read your entire blog. Keep it up and love how you create your stories. Was a great read! Thanks for sharing and see ya around!

    • jasongillett

      Thank you VERY much for reading the whole thing! When I go back and see how many days have gone by I am a amazed- and then in awe of what one, two and twenty years might look like! I’m honored you read through~ Happy 2012!

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