Forget the Calendar

According to the calendar, today’s my 52nd birthday. It’s hard to believe; I don’t feel any older than I was on the day I stopped eating meat and dairy 15 years ago. Though my choice to go vegan was for the sake of the animals—whose misery and death I was no longer willing to be a part of—the karmic reward (so to speak) has been the arrest of some of the detrimental conditions common among people in my alleged age group and a slowing down of the aging process all living things are subject to.

Unlike vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and legumes, which can be kept as fresh as the day they were picked, meat begins to decompose the minute an animal is killed and their blood stops flowing. Any hunter or backyard butcher knows it’s a race against time to preserve dead meat before it spoils or is taken over by parasites (the microscopic kind as opposed to the human ones).Meanwhile, if not performed with great care, the morbid act of “gutting” an animal can spread E. coli and other intestinal nasties onto the “food.”

No matter how freshly killed the host animal was, their flesh is a product of death. It stands to reason that eating dead flesh cells, which contain no fiber and literally rot in the colon, will adversely affect whosoever consumes them. That’s why most herbivores live twice as long as the carnivorous species. And it’s why people who eschew meat and dairy* can potentially prolong their lives and find themselves feeling much more youthful and vital than most of their meat and dairy-eating counterparts.

*(For its part, dairy is rife with mucus forming pus—creating a favorable environment for respiratory contagions—as well as animal fat and acidic animal protein that leaches calcium from adult bones, while eggs are notoriously high in cholesterol.)

There’s a lot of truth in the saying, “You’re as young as you feel.” Forget the calendar, I don’t feel any older than 37. I can walk just as far, ski just as hard and chop as much wood as I did back then. I have just as much strength and stamina and am every bit as active in all ways—perhaps even more so, since I’ve had a decade and a half to recover from the ill effects of eating animal products.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

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29 thoughts on “Forget the Calendar

  1. Happy Birthday Jim – and thank you for being awesome :) Will share this blog as usual, I have been vegan for nearly 3 years now and feel the best I have ever felt.

  2. Happy Birthday! The late fifties were an awesome time to be born. The world was still beautiful, lots of wild places to play in!!!! I have been a vegetarian for years and recently am making the transition to vegan. I find dairy is more like an addiction, extremely bad for you but hard to let go. I am doing pretty good now that I have found non-dairy cheese that I love. Thank you for the wonderful posts.

    • Thanks Lynda! And thanks for being vegetarian for so long. I found it was easy to give up the dairy addiction once I learned the details of how dairy cows are treated. I’d spent time on dairys but hadn’t realized that in order to produce milk, cows must routinely produce calves practically all of whom are separated from their mothers within days and are promptly stuck in veal crates for the rest of their short lives. Spent cows are sent to the same slaughterhouse that cruelly butchers so many beef cows, and the chickens who lay eggs for supermarkets are treated even worse.
      Of course the fact that there’s a vegan cheese substitute definately makes the transition easier!

      • I grew up on a beef farm, in a farming community. From a very young age I didn’t want meat at all! I just made the connection about dairy this year and I am glad I finally get it! We are inundated with misinformation about dairy, brainwashed by the media and schools etc. I am looking forward to feeling better!

    • What non-dairy cheese do you love? I am vegan but the food I was most reluctant to part with was the strong cheese – I liked limberger when I was two and sharp bitey cheddars. Don’t crave them anymore – the addiction part is gone.

      • Daiya cheese is my favourite, good for the cheddars and mozarella’s. I haven’t tried any substitutes for the strong cheese but try Dr. Cow Aged Vegan Cheese, if it is available in your area. It is made from cashew, brazil and macadamia nuts etc. There are so many different alternatives out there now. Good luck!

  3. Happy birthday! I’m new to your blog and I’m looking forward to learning from you. I became vegetarian and then pretty quickly vegan all within (about) the past year because, like you, once I learned about what happens to produce dairy, I could no longer participate in the cruelty.

  4. Happy Cruelty Free B-Day Jim! I don’t eat meat either and haven’t missed it these many long years. Here’s to Vegans and Vegetarians. May they be fruitful and multiply!!

  5. Happy Birthday Jim! Me too with the feeling younger now than many years ago. I worked as a typist once ages ago, a temp assignment at a meat distributor. The instructions, policies, whatever the heck they were, describing the handling and various decomposing states of these carcasses, with the swelling of corpses, then the deflating and oozing of rank gasses & fluids and so forth considered as normal stages before the butchering process… well, it was unappetizing to say the least. Truly ghoulishly disgusting. And idiotically enough I was still eating the stuff back then, but it was one more “seed” planted that led me to going vegan. Best life decision ever! Thanks for sharing this article!

  6. Happy Birthday! I can add that the tools for turning your friends on to a vegan lifestyle include ALL of the video, EARTHLINGS, and Gary Yourofsky’s best speech ever -which shows video of burly men beating up calves on a dairy farm – that is what turned me away from dairy.

  7. Happy birthday Jim and according to my calculations you have lived 1639872000 people seconds and counting. Though I am a raw vegan (fruit bat is the name) It’s a glorious thought about how more people are hopping on the veg train.

  8. All I need is crusty wholewheat bread and lots of home-made Houmous! That is what filled in for my former love for cheese. discovering that many of my health problems came down to a dairy allergy effectively made half the decision for me. Happy birthday Jim!

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