The vast majority of us aren't born plant-based. Something triggered an AHA moment for some, while for others, it was a long and reflected journey. Even after transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle, we still end up making up less than a few percent of the population. Estimates suggest that 7-8% of Canadians are vegetarian and a much lower percentage of them are vegan. Having been a meat eater for most of my life, I can still relate to the thought processes and cognitive dissonance that would create resistance for anyone thinking of making a transition towards plant-predominance. I've been a plant-based advocate for almost a decade, and my transition towards a plant-exclusive diet was, in my opinion, quick, having transitioned fully in about 18 months. « Plant-based » is an umbrella term, including all forms of vegetarianism, veganism and flexitarianism (a term used to describe people who eat a plant-predominant diet, but do include small amounts of animal products). When people tell me: « I could never stop eating meat », I reply: « You don’t have to ». Never let being perfect get in the way of being better.
My Personal Journey
Lifestyle change can be motivated by intrinsic factors, or extrinsic ones. Acquiring new habits must align with one's beliefs and core values. It has to be who you want to be. I wanted to be healthy, and after having went through a few medical scares, I recognized that my nutrition had to change. This intrinsic motivation was enough for me. I saw my daughters suffer from the same health issues that had plagued me and the pain I felt while witnessing this far surpassed the friction that a lifestyle overhaul would cause. This highly motivated me to change with a sense of urgency. Within 18 months, I had transitioned fully and the rest of my family soon followed. Would I have changed if my health challenges hadn't arose? Would I have spontaneously stumbled across the scientific data backing the whole food plant-based diet if I hadn't been searching for it? And if so, would I've been as receptive to hearing what the science had to say? Who knows, maybe not.
« CHANGE HAPPENS WHEN THE PERCEIVED BENEFITS SURPASS THE PERCEIVED FRICTION THAT THE CHANGE WOULD CAUSE »
The Process Of Change