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Becoming a vegan: quite a challenge

The vegan way of life is followed by an ever increasing number of people - but certain prejudices still prevail: vegan cooking is complicated, the food is monotonous and you have to refrain from so many enjoyable things. When the media suggest a „vegetarian (not even vegan!) day of the week“, protest arises. How come?

I’d like to point out just two major aspects: 1) us being imprinted by fear over generations and 2) unconscious addictive behavior.

1) On the one hand, we are shaped by an affluent society, in which everything is always available - naturally occurring times of famine are long forgotten. Appearances are deceptive... We are still affected by the anxieties of our ancestors, who experienced hardship and learned to fear it. We unknowingly adopted this fear. Food being available in abundance at all times, gives us a feeling of security: „As long as we can get everything, the situation can't be that bad!“ How common those unconscious fears are, could be seen in the hamster purchases at the beginning of the corona crisis.

2) On the other hand, we are conditioned by certain kinds of food. Most people don’t want to believe that sugar, gluten, animal protein, roasting agents, caffeine, processed food and flavor enhancer are causing „addictions“. These products tend to provoke cravings and give us a hard time finding the right measure.

Having consumed too many of these substances since childhood, we can no longer trust our body to signal cravings in a healthy manner. The body cries out for pizza, pasta, schnitzel and chocolate, instead.

By consuming such foods, our brain's reward center is activated and makes us feel happy and satisfied (as is the case with many drugs). Natural physical signals, showing us the demand for life enhancing nutritional components, are masked.

We feel easily attacked by any external demand concerning our diet, because of our long-established fear of hunger and our beloved addictive habits. Consequently, we feel reluctant.

If we want to sustainably break this mechanism (rather resembling a childlike defiance reaction), it makes sense, to address the associated psychological issues and solve them.

The understanding of eating behavior and psychological dynamics being interrelated, allows us to recognize that we are actually suffering. This insight offers the possibility of developing compassion for ourselves and, as a result, motivates us to find suitable strategies for a healthier diet.

By developing a genuine compassion for ourselves, we will subsequently be able to extend this quality to all living beings. This leads to a peaceful way of living.


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