I'm not a vegan. I'm not even a real vegetarian. I call myself a week-day vegetarian which means what it sounds like. Some of you might therefore call me a flexitarian but that is a bullshit label. Literally, every human being on the planet is a flexitarian and the label holds absolutely no commitment other than to eat exactly what you feel like eating anytime or anywhere. At least I've got the weekday thing going on and to be honest, I'm not even religious about that. I stick to it for the most part. So go ahead and call yourself a flexitarian. We all will know that you just want to sound like you're doing something.
I started fooling with a vegetarian diet four decades ago after reading Frances Moore Lappe's book, "Diet For A Small Planet." It taught me about the problems that a carnivorous diet causes for the planet. I learned that 16 pounds of plant protein go into making one pound of meat protein. I also learned about protein complementarity and how all the talk of not getting enough protein on a plant-based diet is crap.
Three further personal elements went into my leaning into plant-based eating. The first was that I really like legumes and whole grains. I always loved the rice and beans that came on the side when we went for Mexican food and I realized that many world cuisines rely heavily on these two food groups which just happen to work together to produce complete proteins. Secondly, I was an inherently cheap guy and I loved that a plant-based diet was much less expensive. You could save the animal proteins for weekends and much less of your income would go towards feeding yourself. Thirdly, evidence was mounting even at the time that cutting animal proteins was far better for your health. We weren't overly aware of climate change back at the end of the 70s but that factors in a great deal now. Not to mention, the unethical treatment of animals.
Just a note about organic foods. I am not a fan. Not that I am in favour of raping the earth but organic food is the food of the privileged. Many organic crop yields are literally half of that of conventional farming. If all farmers went organic, how would the world feed itself? Not that conventional single crop massive farms are the answer either but organics are promoted by "big organic" in the same way that "big oil" continues to push its own money-making interests to the exclusion of evidence-based science and the interests of people in general. Don't be fooled. Sorry folks but the answers lie in GMOs which are safe having been exhaustively tested and investigated before being made available to the public. All you now furious organic eating people need to read some peer-reviewed science and not the health magazines available at your local health food store.
Here is what I ate today on World Vegan Day: