By Silvia Lucci, Co-Founder, LUHV FOOD

I can’t believe I’m one of those weird people and proud of it nonetheless! . I am an Argentinean that was raised eating T-bone steaks with almost every meal. A good parent would always have a piece of meat and a fresh glass of milk, to provide for all the nourishment necessary to support a growing child, and I had one of the most dedicated parents.

This basic concept of nutrition was incorporated into my cultural DNA for almost 50 years. For the longest time I believed that vegetarians were these weird people; people that did not comprehend that they needed a meat protein based diet to grow healthy and intelligent children. “Their kids will be weak and slow” I think I actually believed that.

But, life has a way of biting you in the butt (could not find a more sophisticated idiom). The joke is on me. I have been a vegan for several years now. Yes! ! Not just a vegetarian, a not-cheating full time Vegan. How did it happened to me?

I realized that after I accepted the fact that not only was I a vegan, but I was proud of it, that I was happier and healthier than I have ever been throughout all my life. Veganism was not just a healthier way of living, it encompassed a wholesome lifestyle that was bigger than my health, although that was pretty important in itself. I also realized that you come into veganism through three doors:

HEALTH – ENVIRONMENT – ETHICAL

The health door​ is open by those that were looking for plant based diets. Veganism is one of the most healthier lifestyles when followed correctly and with nutritional conscience. Vegan diets are usually higher in dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamins C and E, iron, and phytochemicals, and they tend to be lower in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol, long-chain n–3 (omega-3) fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B-12 (8). In general, vegetarians typically enjoy a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), obesity, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers (3). “Health effects of vegan diets, The American Journal of clinical nutrition.” 2009

The environmental door​ is open by those that are committed to saving our planet. There is common knowledge that raising animals for food is highly at fault for most of the destruction to our environment​. It is the largest source of greenhouse gases, land use and degradation; the number one source of water pollution and rainforest deforestation. There are some recent reports that are more conservative on that statement, but they still cannot diminish the destructive effect that animal production has on our environment.

“The key conclusion – that beef production demands about one order of magnitude more resources than alternative livestock categories – is robust,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Finally, but not least, is the ethical door​ which is open by this group of committed people that believe that all life deserves to be protected. Ethical vegetarian concerns have become more widespread in developed countries, particularly because of the spread of factory farming, more open and graphic documentation of what human meat-eating entails for the animal, and environmental consciousness. Eisnitz, G. A. (2009). As humans we are morally conscious of our behavior and have a choice, whereas animals do not. We can decide to stop killing or hurting animals under the pretense of survival or health. Vegans go even further in their belief that the suffering of any animals for the production of our food is morally wrong.

The best part of opening these doors is that when you pass through one of them, you are in a room with all these incredible, deep, conscious, happy people that are committed to a life of purpose.

When you are vegan, the sole act of eating, makes a difference in the world, is an act of giving. It is good for yourself, morally and physically and in the process you just happen to help save the planet. Not a bad day. Veggies anyone?

Learn more at http://www.luhvfood.com/.