Friday, October 7, 2016

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Vegan Bruh- Glenn

Being a vegan hasn't taken away this vegan bruh swag

How long have you been a vegan? I've been a vegan for about 23 years now (I'm 51 now) but I was a serious burger bandit before that lol. White Castle was my favorite hangout spot. Double cheeseburger with pickles. I was addicted to White Castle burgers. I remember treading through a snowstorm one night just to get my burger fix (it was closed for the storm, however).

Was transition easy? LOL. "Easy" is a relative term. Some things were very easy to curb. Chicken, beef, pork, cow milk, and eggs were done overnight. No sweat. Fish, however took me a little more than 4 years as I recall. Fish was so hard to kick.

Any tips/advice for someone interested in being a vegan? Sure! The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. Take a step. It doesn't have to be a big step but take a step. Nice, small steps. The key to this is preparing your mindset. Free your mind and the rest will follow. This is what I teach my clients and how I structured my vegan coaching practice.

I also encourage people interested in this transition to start a "Meatless Monday" where you have a Monday with no meat. Then maybe add a "Tofu Tuesday" the next week. Add a "Wellness Wednesday" and before you know it, you too will be eating healthier and feeling better than you probably have in years. Add a day a week and enjoy the benefits of a healthier diet and life.

What's your favorite vegan recipe? Truth be told, I don't like to cook. But when I do its vegan pancakes with some vegan sausage.

Black male vegans/vegetarians are rare but seems to be growing in popularity. Why do you think that is? Interesting question and a provocative one in that I think it's an extension of what we experience as men in general and Black men in particular in America. This is a society that does not appreciate men and manhood in general. Comments like "take it like a man:, "man up, etc... indicate that men in general are supposed to be defined often times as having a tough exterior and maintaining a handle all aspects of their lives. Anything short of that may indicate weakness. Somewhere in the male mind we have often been conditioned to think its "manly" to eat steak and potatoes.

As a society we suffer from a manhood issue. It's "weak" to go out and pick vegetables but it's manly and strong to go out (in our minds at least) and go kill something and provide that for our families. That's for men in general, irrespective of ethnicity. As Africans in America, add to that the multi-faceted complexities and issues we have endured in this country and we have put our own spin on this manhood issue. Often we as Black men don't find it necessary to take out health into consideration, unfortunately.

We are often eating what we learned from our parents or community and meat was "good enough for Aunt Mable and she lived to be 153 years old to eat" so we tend to continue down this ridiculous path. Additionally, the brothers tend to look at the vegetarian thing as a white people's thing not truly understanding that we were the world's first farmers. I think that is also an indication of the amount of detachments we have as Black men from our true selves. I'm glad this is changing amongst the brothers. More brothers are taking their health more seriously and wanting to eat better. That make me very happy.

Vegans can often be sanctimonious and turn people off with this type of attitude. Ain't nobody want to hear all of that. I want people to know that brothers who are vegans are not all alike. I'm down to earth, talk junk, handle my business, and got mad swag like most brothers I know. I just don't want to die of clogged arteries, heart disease, or diabetes and die prematurely like too many brothers I've known. Brothers need to work it out.

Vegans are sometimes known for being extreme. What's the one thing you want people to know about vegans? The dirty little secret we vegans know that most meat-eaters don't know is that... the food we eat is 100% more delicious than what meat-eaters eat. LOL! I've been on both sides and let me tell you, the food on this side is so much better tasting.

For years my family (meat eaters still) thought my food tasted like tree bark and grass, until they decided to try some. They were blown away by the richness and taste. I told them "...and you thought I was suffering all of these years for good taste? Surprise!"

Has it had an impact in other areas of your life? Absolutely! I understand the amalgamation of diet, animal rights, and the effect this life has on the ecosystem and how these are tightly interwoven much more clearly since I became a vegan. I'm also a kinder and gentler man because I'm a vegan. I'm much more balanced than I use to be regarding life in general. That may have come from old age too LOL.

It may have come from me being a martial artist, nightclub bouncer, and seeing and experiencing violence first hand coupled with appreciating the lives of animals. Maybe it is a holistic approach overall. Interesting question. I'm going to think more about this later. Thanks for sparking that.

Is there anything you like to add? Be the first kid on your block to be a Black Vegan!


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