This is an unusual post as it’s not related to Apple or the Mac or the iPad, it’s actually about me!
But don’t be concerned as it’s the first and last on this particular subject, it’s just that I’m getting a lot of questions asking why I’ve just set up a new Twitter account. So this is just the back story, and will be the only non-Apple related post on this blog.
@donmcallister is the main Twitter account that I’ve had for almost 10 years, and in that time, I’ve been fortunate enough to end up with over 12,000 Twitter followers. Most, if not all, of these followers I’m assuming follow me due to my connections with the Apple world, primarily via ScreenCastsOnline. I take immense pride in growing this follower base and I’m hyper sensitive in what I post to my Twitter feed. I always try to post interesting Apple related Tweets and RT what I think is appropriate.
@sconline is my primary “business” feed where I promote ScreenCastsOnline content and other nuggets of useful Apple related information.
So the reason for this post…
Up until about two months ago, I was a card carrying meat eater – no, more than that, I was a huge meat eater. If a meal didn’t have meat in it, it wasn’t a meal as far as I was concerned. Despite this, my health was fine. The only thing I struggled with was a constant battle with my fluctuating weight. I was continually following periods of dieting, and then putting it all back on again. Just to calibrate, compared to a lot of people, my weight fluctuations were not a big deal, I’ve never been morbidly obese, I just felt uncomfortable in my own skin.
After a cruise early this year, I came off the ship feeling pretty unwell after overindulging. My first visit to the scales showed I’d put on about 10lbs over two weeks – I thought enough was enough.
I’d previously been aware of the health benefits of a plant based diet, but had never thought it was something I could adopt – I loved meat too much.
I’d also always had a slight inkling of guilt about eating animals in the past, but as with many meat eaters, I’d managed to block those thoughts out.
But, spurred on by the thought that something had to change, I set off to research more fully the benefits of a plant based diet.
I did some reading, I watched some documentaries:
- Vegucated – Netflix
- FoodMatters – Netflix
- Meat The Truth – YouTube
- Cowspiracy – Netflix
- Food Inc. – Netflix
- Forks Over Knives – Website
- Earthlings – IMDB
- Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death – YouTube
Warning – some of these may not be available on the links in your country. Also, some do contain pretty nasty imagery – I couldn’t watch them all!
As I mentioned earlier, it was mainly the personal health benefits that turned me onto investigating a plant based diet, but after watching the documentaries, the ethical and environmental impact of animal farming hit me quite hard – much harder than I thought it would. In some respects, I feel these aspects may be even more important to me now than my original, somewhat selfish reasons.
I also checked out a ton of Vegan YouTube videos with recipes, vlogs, etc – there is an absolute abundance of guidance and help on adopting a vegan lifestyle on YouTube. Mind bogglingly so.
I also visited lots of Vegan websites – you wouldn’t believe the amount of vegan recipes out there. I also discovered that you can “veganise” quite a few normal meals too.
So about two months ago, I decided to start following a Vegan lifestyle, initially for 30 days, just to see if I could stick it out. A vegan lifestyle means to eat no animal products and to try your best to live ethically without using animal products – this includes meat, fish, eggs and dairy products.
It’s not super easy initially, mainly as you have to think a bit more, but it’s really not that difficult – even for a die hard meat eater like myself.
Initially it was a bit difficult to get set up with the necessary foodstuffs – UK Supermarkets are starting to cater more for the vegan market but the US are streets ahead. There are some “faux” vegan meat substitutes I’ve tried, just to see what they were like. Most were pretty good – except for the Hot Dogs – steer clear of the Hot Dogs. I should really try another brand before saying that.
But, it has now been two months in and I’m sticking to the program.
I’ve lost some weight (but not yet finished) but more telling was my recent trip to Las Vegas. I came back pretty much the same weight as I went out.
I feel quite healthy and very pleased with my progress to date.
The strange thing is I really don’t have as many cravings for meat as I thought I would. I thought it would be a huge effort, but it really hasn’t been. It’s been more of an adventure and I’m eating much more variety than I ever did. Plus I’m actually cooking more home made stuff then I ever did, and enjoying it – both eating it and making it. The overriding surprise is that I don’t feel I’m missing out.
Eating out has generally been OK, although I was spoiled by the first restaurant I visited after turning vegan, in that they had a separate vegan menu – result! And the food was great too. Other restaurants haven’t been as vegan friendly, but there is always something available that is accidentally vegan.
The family are supportive, although none have decided to join me on my vegan journey, but that’s fine with me.
So now I think I’m in it for the long haul and wanted to Tweet a bit more about it, hence the reason for this post.
The problem being, I’m sure the majority of my existing 12,000 followers aren’t really interested in my vegan escapades, and that’s not what they signed up for. I’ve no wish to hijack my current Twitter feed.
So I’ve created a new Twitter account – @donthevegan – and I’ll restrict any vegan tweeting and RT’s to that account. The @donmcallister and @sconline accounts will remain just the same as they have been.
Please feel free to follow me at @donthevegan – I don’t think it will be a particularly active account, but I just wanted somewhere to post stuff. If you have any questions about my journey or veganism in general, please ask them on @donthevegan.
So that’s the one and only vegan related post on the blog – thanks for your attention if you’ve reached this far, and normal service will now be resumed.