An Incredible Journey

7.10pm GMT – 28.01.2017 : Nick Bean @schimmbo for Vegan Global News @veganglobalnewsveganglobalnews.com

Having been meat free all of my life I can’t easily empathise with people who struggle to make the change to veganism in adulthood. People often say it’s difficult to make the switch which I can only put down to the fact that eating meat, eggs and dairy was something they had accepted as normal and natural for a long time and is at the core of what they were taught by the people they trusted the most, their family. As I’ve said before, core beliefs are hard to break.

What I can do and what I try to do it to show people what amazing place veganism is. The food is truly magnificent once you properly discover it and the health benefits are almost unimaginable unless you experience them yourself. And because at our core none of us want to complicit in the harm inflicted on animals raised for food or to the environmental destruction that it contributes to, you know in your heart that you are doing the right thing.

It changes you in other ways too. You get the gift of compassion; you become a better version of yourself. You’ll feel like a new person and like a drug, want more of it. Through kindness, friendship and generosity, both given and received, you can find the person that deep down you’ve always known was there. The soul you kept hidden away in case showing that side of yourself was seen as a sign of weakness.

I can only compare it, for the sake of this piece, to people who feel close to their god. I don’t have a religious bone in my body and I don’t believe we need to worship idols and as many do. I believe religion, in the way it’s generally understood, has been the root cause of the majority of conflicts throughout history. Personally I believe religion should come from within and is an individual moral standard to which we should hold ourselves.

Our planet cannot sustain our current lifestyles, this fact is undeniable. The Earth is warming and one million new people are born every four days. We struggle to feed the seven billion we have today, one billion people currently don’t get enough to eat each day and it’s predicted that there will be nine billion of us by 2050. To pass this planet on to GLOBAL NEWS generations in anything like the condition we found it, there will have to be changes, sacrifices.

Alone you can’t influence the fossil fuel companies to change their practises. You can’t tell the 300 million Indians who live without electricity that they shouldn’t strive for the lifestyle that we’ve enjoyed for 100 years. Sure you can drive less, take shorter showers and turn lights off but realistically we’ve past that point.

What you can do is to change your diet. I’m not talking about Meatless Mondays because all that means is that you’re only contributing to the destruction of lives and the environment six days a week. You have to go the whole way and become vegan.

This probably sounds tough, but as I said in the beginning, I can’t see that. For me it’s the easiest, most natural, in fact the only way to live. What I can do though is offer you an amazing support network made up of the most amazing people, people who will be there for you any hour of the day or night. You will be welcomed with open arms into the fastest growing social justice movement on the planet. You will get all the help you need along with wonderful recipes and ideas on places to eat out.

I’ll encourage you to come to events where you will hear truly inspirational people speak, to go to lectures and hear the leading doctors explain exactly why we should all be living this way. We’ll see cookery demonstrations that will literally blow you away. I’ll encourage you to take part in protests and demonstrations and to stand in front of trucks heading for a slaughterhouse. I’ll encourage you to find your voice, to talk to and encourage others. Then after a time you‘ll find your own path.

You’ll find a new family, not to replace your old one, but to compliment it and you’ll find a new you. The compassionate soul that’s been quiet for so long will find its voice and its heart. You will be proud of who you’ve become and your only regret will be that you didn’t do it sooner.

And you never know, one day you might even become as annoying as me.

Adopting a Plant Based Diet

7.25pm GMT – 22.01.2017 : Nick Bean @schimmbo for Vegan Global News @veganglobalnewsveganglobalnews.com

There’s a common misconception that eating a plant-based diet is unnatural, that it’s the choice of hippies, activists and the socially marginalized. Instead, I suggest that it is beyond a doubt the most natural, healthy, and advisable thing you can possibly do to optimise your wellness and become bulletproof to disease.

We live in one of the most prosperous nations on Earth, and yet overall we’ve never been less healthy. One out of every three deaths is caused by heart disease. A close second is cancer, killing one out of every four. 50% of us are obese or overweight. And by 2030, 50% of us will be diabetic or pre-diabetic.

How did we get here?

Of course the answer is complex, but the biggest contributor is what we eat. Currently, 94% of the calories consumed are empty, lacking any true nourishment whatsoever, with only 6% of calories coming from fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and seeds.

Natural has become unnatural. Unnatural has become natural. We’re completely upside down when it comes to food and health. And it’s time for a change.

To right the ship, we must begin by confronting the reality that we’re actually addicted to foods that are killing us. Top of the list are processed foods; soda, snacks, desserts and other packaged items laden with preservatives, saturated fat, sugar, fructose corn syrup, sodium, and other unnatural chemicals. Of course, we all know these foods are bad for us and yet so many are powerless when it comes to giving them up.

Why?
Because many of these foods are specifically made to activate the pleasure centres in our brain, enslaving us to habitual poor dietary choices, the very essence of addiction. When combined with our national preference for excessive meat and dairy intake, blood cholesterol escalates, clogging our arteries. Our cells become cancerous and our immune systems spiral out of control in response, creating a state of chronic inflammation. This confluence of factors creates a persistent condition in which our bodies become disease incubators, sentencing us to an almost certain future of chronic illness.

The standard operating procedure for treating these common chronic conditions, everything from high cholesterol to erectile dysfunction, is to prescribe medications that treat symptoms rather than address the root cause of the issue. Counsel and guidance to improve diet and exercise have been supplanted by Statins, Viagra and countless other drugs designed to quell the symptoms of every conceivable malady.

Taken as a whole, hearth disease, obesity, cancer and diabetes account for approximately 75% of our current health care costs, to the tune of countless billions of pounds annually. This is simply not sustainable.

And yet the great irony is that so many chronic diseases (except certain cancers of course), in fact 90% of all Western disease, need never exist in the first place. It’s time to reverse the trend.

You might be surprised to learn that a plant-based diet is the only nutritional protocol known to man that has been shown to prevent, and in many cases, actually reverse, these four and many other chronic illnesses that unnecessarily plague us.

In the most simplistic terms, if we flipped our diet so that we began getting 94% of our calories from fresh, whole plant-based foods (rather than current levels of 6%), most of our diseases would simply vanish. And our health care crisis would essentially repair itself.

Going Vegan

Personally, I cannot emphasise enough how adopting a 100% plant based diet will change your life. But I also realize not everyone is ready to jump in with both feet on day one.

It’s not about deprivation. Instead, it’s about a willingness to release old ideas you’ve harboured your whole life about what a healthy diet entails. It’s about being open to the adventure of experimentation, exploring and rediscovering whole foods in their natural state. It’s about developing an enhanced connection to and relationship with your body, learning to pay greater attention to the nexus between the foods you eat and how you feel and function. And ultimately, it’s about developing a more acute intuition about what truly serves you, so you can reprogramme yourself to make better choices that are in your best long-term interest physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

As your diet changes your energy levels improve, your preferences will shift from empty calories to foods that actually nourish you. The more whole, plant-foods you incorporate into your routine, the more likely those unhealthy cravings will subside. And before you know it, that hankering for cheese might just vanish altogether.

Embracing a plant-based won’t just repair your health. It is the key that will unlock your heart and allowed you to discover, embrace and unleash a better and more authentic version of yourself on the world.

Circle of Life

8.42pm GMT – 16.01.2017 : Nick Bean @schimmbo for Vegan Global News @veganglobalnewsveganglobalnews.com

People often talk to me about the circle of life. The lion stalks and kills the zebra then eats it down to the bare bones. This is “the beauty of nature, the way it’s always been”.

But what happens when a bear kills a hiker in the US? Do they call that part of the circle of life? No, they get a posse of people with guns to go and kill the bear. Or when a tiger takes a child in Bangladesh? Do they call that part of the circle of life? No, they get a posse of people with guns to go and kill the tiger. Aren’t these animals just doing what comes naturally to them? Should they be hunted and killed for this?

You can’t have it every way.

And on that, if any of you want to go chase down a pig, catch it, kill it with you bare hands and eat it down to the bone then fair enough, you have my total respect. You won’t do that though, you’ll get someone else to do it for you. You won’t even watch. You’ll get them do to it in a place far away from where anyone can see. You’ll get them to package it and put a sticker on the front of a happy smiling animal in a sunny pasture. And what’s worse, you’ll believe it, just like you always have.

People often talk to me about the circle of life. This is simply a poor attempt to justify your own existence.

Empathy & Compassion

6.45pm GMT – 09.01.2017 : Nick Bean @schimmbo for Vegan Global News @veganglobalnewsveganglobalnews.com

These are two words that I believe are at the core of all humans. We are born with these traits and only lose or disregard them through the experience of living. What I mean by this is our environment and those we interact with influence and shape us in ways they we are generally unaware of. We accept things as being normal far too easily. In many ways these traits are also considered by many as signs of weakness.

Imagine your children when they were young, how kind, gentle and loving they were. The worst people to have ever lived were kind gentle babies once, we all lose or disregard these traits in varying degrees as we are forced to survive modern life.

Empathy
At its simplest, empathy is the awareness of the feelings and emotions of others. It’s the link between us and others, because it is how we as individuals understand what others are feeling as if we were feeling it ourselves. We all empathise with others; when you know someone is feeling low by their body language or when you are told a sad story and imagine yourself in that position. Some are more empathic than others, some do their best to ignore it or at least choose their moments to acknowledge it.

In what is fast becoming a “dog eat dog” world, to honestly justify your claim of being a “good person” you need to really empathise with those around you. Take a few minutes and imagine how you would feel if your child was dying of starvation and there was nothing you could do other than watch your baby die. Imagine the fear of those living in a war zone, waking up each day not knowing if it will be your last.

Compassion

Compassion generally follows empathy. Compassion is a strong feeling of sympathy and sadness for the suffering or bad luck of others and a wish to help them. Compassion is donating to a good cause, or simply helping a stranger in need. Too often though we feel compassion but do nothing about it. It can initially cause a strong emotional response but we allow this feeling to lessen and carry on with our lives. We often share these stories with others who also empathise but also do not act on it. Some actually revel in having other peoples’ sad stories to tell.

We have made this world the way it is. By choosing not to act we show how uncompassionate we really have become. How disconnected with how we were as children. As I said, it can be seen by some as a sign of weakness, but this is not the case. Many are afraid to show their true feelings and if they see it in others will ridicule them, but this is fear, it’s a way of deflecting it away from themselves in case they are ever seen for who they really are. You have to choose to be better, you have to be stronger and true to yourselves. I honestly believe that 99.99% of people are good people. Deep inside they want to be seen as good people but they build walls, as they are afraid of others seeing them for who they really are.

We have such a short time on this planet, we should all try and be the very best versions of ourselves that we can possibly be.

Veganism is about much more than not eating meat or dairy products. It’s about kindness, compassion, justice and equality to all earthlings. Only when you become vegan can you call yourself a truly compassionate person. The vegans I know are the kindest, gentlest people. They are the most generous and the most open. I am very proud of who I am. I am proud of the fact that I care for all living creatures and that I show it through the way I live.