People who doesn’t eat friends...
Author: Melis Aydan // firstname.lastname@example.org
Illustrations: Elif Demir // email@example.com
Every day we hear more about vegetarianism / veganism; is it an emotional choice, a new trend, or the shape of the right diet for mankind ? Melis Aydan who herself is a vegan and opened a vegan cafe which she create unusual experience to her customers gives us the information that we don’t know which can radically shake up your eating habit.
a person who does not eat or use any animal products. Vegans exclude eggs,
dairy, honey and all the animal tested products.
Lacto- Ovo Vegetarian: a person who does not eat meat, poultry or fish. This diet includes dairy and eggs.
Lacto Vegetarian: This type of vegetarians only consume dairy.
Ovo- Vegetarian: This diet excludes every animal product except eggs.
Pescetarian: this diet excludes poultry and meat but includes fish and seafood.
Semi-Vegetarian: Excludes only meat.
Pollo Vegetarian: Exclude only poultry.
Frutarian: This diet includes vegetables and fruits.
In general the adoption of these diets has moral, religious, environmental and health reasons.
Allthough i knew humans are mammals, i got to realise what this really means in 2006. I tried to refuse meat in a huge part of my life but in one point i realised meat is the flesh of a cow or a sheep and our flesh is quite similar. I would never eat a human but i also couldn’t eat a mammal anymore.
For a long time, i only kept myself from consuming meat and then i got to a place where i made the decision not to eat poultry. And i still don’t know if i my body or my conscience directed me to this decision. My diet evolved to a pesceterian diet and i was happy consuming all the delicious seafood. But then again, my conscience start to act; fishes have eyes and teeth. Right at this point my mind silenced my conscience and i started to consume fishes and seafoods which doesn’t look like their natural form.
Then in 2013, I found myself in Cape Town where I got the see the perfection of nature. I discovered my connection with the universe through yoga and meditation. I was getting more connected and I reached point where I realized I should not be eating the beautiful sea creatures. So my diet changed into vegetarian.
In a yoga retreat we had a discussion about our diets. I was a vegetarian but by consuming dairy products I wasn’t just supporting the industry but also harming beautiful beings, including my physical and spiritual body. So I quit milk and then cheese, and the others followed. By giving up dairy I finally got rid of my tiny, little belly. I felt lighter, physically and spiritually.
At this point not only my diet but also my life style changed, and I found myself more in harmony with our beautiful planet, everything on and around it, the whole universe.
I learned a lot in this process and became business partners with my friend Olgun Yolçınar. Establishing Level Up Smoothie & Healthy Food Bar, we’re trying to set an example for living in a respectful manner to our planet, other living beings and of course our bodies and ourselves.
‘’You are what you eat’’
The adoption of a vegan or vegetarian diet might have religious or secular ethics. Many who choose these lifestyles have ethical beliefs like protecting the environment, animal rights, anti-violence, or anti- speciesism. Also many have religious reasons, i.e. some sects of Christianity and Judaism are vegetarian. Buddhism, Hinduism and many eastern beliefs do not accept killing other beings.
“Animals are my friends…I don’t eat my friends.” George Bernard Shaw
Speciesism is another issue to be discussed; we don’t eat the animals we have domesticated but the ones we have not. Animals used for food are as smart as a dog, some even smarter, and pigs can even play video games.
Environmental impacts of meat and dairy industries.
Today’s meat and dairy industry uses water, energy and grains in a really wrong way, affecting the planet we live on and our lives.
Water Pollution: The industries’ waste directly affects our water resources.
Air Pollution: The industries release 30 million tons of methane gas to the atmosphere every year.
Water Consumption: 1470 liters of water is used for every 500 gr of meat.
Energy Consumption: The energy consumed by animal production and transportation is 10 times more than vegetable production and transportation.
Recommendations to switch to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle
As my diet naturally evolved to vegan, I acquired my own nutrition principles. One thing to remember about nutrition is that it is personal. A vegetable may be good for one person while it may not be right for another. At this point, my first recommendation, whether a vegan diet is preferred or not, is to definitely have a food intolerance test. Here are some highlights for people who want to transition to a vegan diet to eat in harmony with our nature and to stand against the violence on earth:
Since all meat and dairy products are now out of your life, your sources of protein will be primarily grains, and vegetables and fruits. Chia seeds and spirulina are also good sources of protein for a vegan diet, which can also be supported with soy products. However, you should note that most soybeans, like corn, are genetically modified organisms.
Soy can also affect the estrogen levels, therefore I recommend that you at least prepare your own milk.
Almond Milk: Soak a cup of almonds in water overnight. Then drain the soaking water and blend the almonds in a blender adding two cups of fresh water. Strain the mixture using a sieve, and your almond milk is ready. This milk can be preserved in the refrigerator for up to three days. The remaining almond pulp can be roasted and added to your salads for some color and texture.
You should not be too hard on yourself as you transition to a vegan lifestyle or a diet more in harmony with nature. First thing you should is to get rid of all animal products in your refrigerator. Remember that you consume whatever is in your fridge. Although it is still a new concept in this geography, vegan dining alternatives and vegan food sellers are growing.
Foods you like can be prepared in vegan versions as well. Although sources in Turkish tend to be limited, the Internet offers extensive information on this subject.
And last but not least, humans are in essence vegan. We should remember that our ancestors who became carnivores in ice age mistakenly continued this habit unnecessarily. The human body does not need animal protein. Also considering the impact of meat and dairy industry on our planet and quality of life, becoming vegan is not only an ethical choice but also a lifestyle of standing for the environment and against violence.
For more insight on veganism, vegetarianism, and natural nutrition, you can always stop by Level Up. And finally here is a smoothie recipe that has become one of the staples of my vegan lifestyle.
Green Smoothie with Dates
5 spinach leaves
1 tablespoon hempseeds
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon spirulina
250 ml almond milk, coconut milk or any other plant milk you desire.
Level up : Teşvikiye Mahallesi, Ahmet Fetgari sokak, 16/C İstanbul (0212) 227 00 90