When I ate meat, most vegans I spoke with were quick to sell me on the health benefits of a plant-based diet. They would regurgitate facts about protein, cancer, digestion, weight loss, wrinkles, etc.
Much of the information was contradictory to what I was told. I knew fruits and vegetables were healthy. That was easy to digest (pun intended)! However, I rolled my eyes at much of the other information. 40 grams of protein per day? Are you kidding me? I’m 6’3 and 200 pounds! Don’t even!
But when they would bring up anything animal welfare and environment related, this got my attention. I want to be a good person. I want to help the world. But I truly thought a lifestyle void of meat, eggs, and dairy would be one of extreme sacrifice. Maybe my skin would be clearer, but I would always be in a state of suffering, craving meat endlessly as I watch my muscles wilt away.
After thorough research and soul-searching, I decided to give up animal products in 2017 with the exception of eggs and fish. Without diving in too deep, 2017 was a solid year of transition. Yes, a few of the health benefits were there, especially with the absence of dairy, but nothing substantial to be honest. I have been eating very healthy for several years so I never indulged in fatty meats anyway; it was always lean cuts of chicken and pasture raised eggs.
Regardless, I decided to take it to the next level in 2018. I wanted to see if I would “see the light” and never look back, or if it the vegan thing was all just hype.
Today marks over 100 days vegan and I am in shock of all the unexpected benefits I have seen since adopting a vegan lifestyle.
5 Unexpected Benefits Since Becoming Vegan
1. Major confidence boost
Three years ago, the idea of not eating meat or dairy or eggs would have depressed me. I looked at it like climbing Mount Everest without a guide—next to impossible. Even leading up to January 2018, it appeared as a daunting task. Eggs were my last crutch. Accomplishing a goal of that magnitude instantly boosted my confidence.
More importantly, a newfound confidence blossomed from living in alignment with what I believed in. I didn’t want to partake in the exploitation or killing of these animals and was now living my beliefs. Think of it like an alcoholic going through AA. They know they should quit. They want to quit, but they don’t feel strong enough to do so. Imagine their confidence day 1 of AA. They are nervous and scared they will fail. Now, compare that to day 100 of being sober going to AA. How do they feel? Much stronger, much more confident. I feel like that!
2. Personal fulfillment reached an all-time high
I’m a selfish guy. I’m an only child and a Virgo. That equates to one selfish dude, to be honest. I always got what I wanted, never had to share, and lived by my own rules and on my own schedule. It has always been all about me, myself, and I.
After 100+ days of sacrificing comfort, taste (in some scenarios), and convenience for the lives of animals who I would never be forced to see face to face, I felt pretty damn charitable and selfless.
In fact, after doing the math, I realized I had been eating 2+ pounds of animal products per day before that. In one month, I had eliminated the need for at least 15 pounds of chicken and beef, 15 pounds of dairy, and 7 pounds of eggs and seafood. It was one of the first times in my life I felt the natural high of caring about others over myself.
3. Newfound sense of purpose
Instead of being a bystander in life talking about how messed up things were and acting as if I didn’t have a choice, I was actively “taking it to the man” 3 to 5 times per day with every meal I consumed. I was creating the change I wanted in my life and in the world as a whole. I was like a mini-activist without having to attend marches. Friends of mine would volunteer at soup kitchens and other types of charitable events once or twice a month while I literally felt like I was doing that every day.
I was living guilt-free for the first time and it felt liberating! The irony is that now I want to do more. I want to share and help more. The natural high of service has become a drug, but one of empowerment and deep inner joy.
4. Operating at a higher frequency
I felt like I began operating at a higher frequency in the world. I’ll touch on this more below but I believe I was putting out so much compassion and selflessness that I was manifesting the same.
This may sound crazy, but I felt 3 times more spiritual than I ever had before. I felt more connected to the planet, animals, other people, and the universe as a whole. A few weeks ago, a vegetarian friend of mine told me that many animal products calcify your pineal gland, basically your third eye or connection to source. I’ll have to look into this further so don’t take my word for it. Nonetheless, I have felt more in tune with my creator and the universe.
5. Career elevation
Lastly, my career has elevated in a few ways. This was the biggest surprise for me. I thought, if anything, I would be isolating myself. Instead, I became a source of radiance, energy, and positivity. With my elevated confidence and desire to serve, I was able to connect with clients on a new level. I had the energy and intent to truly help them whether it was in my real estate dealings or as a fashion model.
Besides that, they could trust me. Since I went plant-based for environmental and animal welfare reasons, they saw me as a guy who cared about doing the right thing. They saw a man who wasn’t afraid to stand up for what he believed was right. Who wouldn’t want to work with someone like that?