I have been eating a (mostly) vegan diet for almost a year-and-a-half now. I say mostly because sometimes I still like to eat cheese and ice cream, so I indulge.

In the last two months, I have allowed quite a bit of cheese to re-enter my diet – mostly because I haven’t felt well. When I don’t feel well, I don’t cook. And when I don’t cook, I default to things like cheese and crackers for meals.

I knew I didn’t like how it was making me feel, but I felt powerless to stop the encroachment of the cheese.

And let’s not talk about the bread and crackers that have re-entered my diet. (I like to say that bread is a gateway drug – the carbs in bread make me crave sweets like CRAZY!)

Sunday afternoon when I was feeling particularly weak and needed to just hang out on my couch (while my kids were raking leaves), I opened Netflix and got to looking at some of the things I have in my list to see if there were any that begged to be watched. I came across Vegucated and decided to give it a watch.

I obviously was already on the vegan bandwagon after watching Forks Over Knives, reading books like Eat & Run, Eat to Live, and Forks Over Knives, and talking to friends who were on the same path, but watching Vegucated put a whole new spin on things for me.

I choose to be vegan for my health. I truly believe that our Western way of eating is killing us. We eat entirely too much in the way of animal products and processed foods and that is hurting our health. I am not saying that a vegan diet is for everyone, but I do believe that everyone could benefit by cutting down on the amount of animal products and processed foods that they consume, and upping the amount of plant-based foods ingested.

Vegucated covers the health benefits of a vegan diet as it follows three people taking a six-week challenge to eat a vegan diet, but more importantly it encourages all of us to be educated about where our food comes from, and particularly how animals are treated in the process. It was eye-opening in a new way. It’s not that I didn’t know that there were issues in the industry, but to actually see some of the conditions in which these animals are kept and killed was heart-wrenching for me to watch.

Yes, my husband is a hunter. Yes, my kids and I just attended a hunter-safety course so they (and theoretically I) can hunt with him. Yes, our family (not me) eats what he hunts. And I am okay with that.

What I am not okay with is the harsh treatment of any being – human or animal – for the sake of the mighty dollar.

We don’t purchase much meat at the grocery store. We purchase beef from a family member who raises cattle. We purchase pork from a local farmer. When we can get eggs from people who raise them in town, we do. (Again – my family eats these, but I do not. How we manage to do that is a whole different post. đŸ™‚ )

It may not be much, but in these ways we try to make sure our money is not going toward the mistreatment of animals. (Or humans – but again – a different post.)

After watching Vegucated, I re-committed to the vegan lifestyle that I have chosen. No more cheese for me.

We all have to make decisions based on our convictions, and this is one of mine – to be healthy and to promote the well-being of others – whether human or animal.

Where do you stand on these issues? (Be kind – I will remove comments that aren’t.)