The Spectacular Plant Based Runner

I am living proof that a plant based diet is orders of magnitude better than one that includes meat or dairy.

I took up running when I was 43 years old. It was a not too terrible transition from cycling.

I excelled at distance running. Increasing my mileage up to about 10 miles for long runs.

The thing is, I drink 4 beers most every night. Yet, still, I'm able to achieve this higher level of fitness.

I"m not fast. But I have endurance.

I've been running a couple years now. There's been some decline as I surpassed age 45, but overall, I'm still doing okay.

I've never been a stellar athlete. Even when I was young and sober. But I'm stronger now, even as I age, even as I drink. It says a lot about how our choice of diet affects our overall health.

I should stop drinking. If I did, I'd probably be superhuman.

So what could a plant based diet do for those who are already young and sober? It would probably be spectacular.

Redefining the Modern Day Vegetarian

Vegetarian and vegan are very strict terms. vegetarians eat no living things. Vegan consume no animal products at all where feasible possible. I'm not one for labels. Or groups. I applaud vegans for their dedication to avoiding using animals. And respect vegetarians for trying to decrease killing.

I take issue, however, with the egg thing. Eggs are technically vegetarian. Nothing has died. Hens lay unfertilized eggs. No harm done. Except most egg laying hens are tortured. They are literally treated like egg laying machines. Kept in dark, confined hen houses. If cruelty is what you hope to avoid, eating eggs is not accomplishing that.

Certain sea life on the other hand is less cruel in my opinion. Wild caught fish for instance. They led a natural life up until the day they died. Bivalves like scallops, mussels and clams. Have no brain. They can't be tortured. They cannot think or feel. Shrimp, pretty low on the life-form hierarchy. Akin to eating an ant. Personally, I'd rather eat shrimp or scallops than eat eggs. Feels far less cruel in my gut.

In an ideal world nothing would die to be human food and certainly nothing would be tortured for our wants. But in the real world it's different. Vegans, vegetarians and occasional fish eaters need to cross that gap that divides us. We all have the same goal in mind. Less cruelty. Dare I say, even eating chicken or beef wouldn't be such a bad thing had the animals led a nice life and been killed humanely.

Maybe in a hundred years, if we last that long, everyone will be vegan. But in the meanwhile we need to focus on what's most important. Not specifically what you eat, but rather, which will do the least harm.