30 Day Twitter Fast Results

Last month I wrote about going on a 30 day Twitter fast.  Well, #MyTimeIsUp.  I’ve had a lot of observations over the last month, and I think you’ll benefit from hearing about them.

The Bad

Although the experiment as a whole was beneficial, there were definitely some negative aspects of it as well.

The main one being, I was less visible.  I flew under the radar persay.  There were several times I wanted to share one of my youtube videos, or blog articles with my followers, and being unable to was extremely annoying.

Sharing my content through Twitter allows people who would otherwise be unaware of my work to benefit from it.  In addition, it also improves my rankings in google and youtube.

The other drawback of leaving Twitter is it prevented me from reaching out to new people I wanted to hang out with over summer break.  If I hadn’t gotten someone’s number before school ended I had virtually no way of contacting them.

Normally I wouldn’t find this particularly annoying, but during a period I’m trying to expand my social circle and become more extroverted it was a definite drawback.

The Good

Although there were several negative aspects of not being on Twitter I feel the positives definitely outweighed them.

The most obvious benefit of leaving Twitter was the extra time.  Prior to this experiment I had been spending 32 minutes per day on the site.  Some of that time was probably wasted in the form of other excess internet usage, but I was also able to use some of it to write new articles as well as begin meditating more regularly.

Another benefit of leaving Twitter is I was able to stay more present to the moment.  Whenever something funny used to happen I would rush to Twitter and tweet about it. Like most people, I enjoyed the small feeling of validation when someone would retweet or favorite my tweets.

It was a gradual shift, but over the last several weeks I’ve found myself spending less time thinking of witty statuses to impress my followers, and more time enjoying things as they happen.

The final benefit I’ve noticed over the last month or so is I’ve been able to avoid most of the negativity that’s typically broadcast by my peers.  I don’t miss the endless self-pity and drama.

Final Verdict

I’m still not sold on the benefits of social networking, but I’m going to modify my approach and give it one last shot before dropping it entirely.

I now visit Twitter only once per day. In addition, I now follow 0 people.  Some people may consider that impolite.  Too bad.  I’ve found that even when I’m only following close friends and other personal development bloggers the noise to signal ratio is still too low for it to be worth my time.

I’ll still mention others in my tweets, and reply to them when they mention me, but I don’t want to have anything to do with reading ALL their tweets.

As of now I doubt I’ll maintain a social networking profile at all in a few months, but I want to test these adjustments before jumping to a conclusion.

I’m curious to hear about your experiences with social networking.  Do you think it’s worth the time?

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Pain, Pleasure, and Depression

I’ve trained myself to be the type of person who’s emotions are almost entirely independent from external events.  Unlike most people, I draw my emotions from within.  As long as I’m taking consistent action towards my goals and living in alignment with my values I’m able to the happiest person I know.

On the flip side, if I’m constantly procrastinating or doing things I know I shouldn’t be doing I quickly enter a depressed state.  Most people think this is a negative character trait, and I used to as well, but now given the choice I would actually chose to have my emotions function this way.

It’s been shown that people are motivated by two things.  The avoidance of pain and the acquisition of pleasure.  Someone who’s overweight may feel somewhat motivated to lose weight because they know that doing so would make them look better.  However, they most likely won’t begin exercising because they associate the pain of exercising to be greater than the pleasure of losing weight.

Multiply this by the fact that it takes several weeks of exercising to begin noticing results and it’s no wonder we live in a nation of obesity.  Most people are slaves to instant gratification because of their hunter-gatherer  brains.  We’re genetically designed to get things while the getting is good.  Unfortunately, this is a less than optimal way to live in today’s society.

The difference between myself and most people is that I’m aware how to effectively use the pain vs pleasure response to my advantage.  I’ve consumed enough personal development material, and trained myself to hold enough empowering beliefs that the overwhelming majority of the time it’s actually easier for me to do the right thing than waste time or procrastinate.

In other words, the main reason I’m able to live what appears to be a massively disciplined lifestyle is that I would actually have to go against the pain vs pleasure response to sink to the average person’s level.  I don’t have superhuman amounts of discipline.

The only difference between myself and the average person is that going against my values is so painful for me that doing so just isn’t an option.

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Walnut Grove

Today I performed a juggling show at Walnut Grove, an assisted living center.  I had a great time, and the residents seemed to enjoy it as well.  After I finished my show I stuck around for a while and chatted up perhaps a dozen residents.

One of them was a frail old man who was there because he had had what appeared to be a stroke.  He had trouble talking, but he managed to communicate to me his love for cars.  He showed me his photo album from the 60’s.  I couldn’t believe it.

He was once a muscular man who was clearly DA BOMB.  I couldn’t put my finger on it, but he seemed to have had such a strong personality, he seemed to have been so cool that I was able to feel it through the pictures.  Now, he was alone, frail, and scared.

Just looking at him filled me with sadness.  I could see the frustration in his eyes every time he was unable to express his thoughts.  I saw his hands tremble whenever he tried to grab his fork.  The worst part was the frightened look in his eyes.  It sent chills down my spine.  I wanted nothing more than to help him, but I knew there was nothing I could do.  At least not directly.

I wasn’t about to let his suffering go for naught.  Seeing this man made me think.  It’s only been a few hours since I left Walnut Grove, but he’s been on my mind constantly.  Regardless of how well I’m doing now, one day I’m going to die.  Guaranteed.

One day I’m going to be on my death bed looking back on my life.  What am I going to think of my life?  What will I care about having accomplished?  What will I regret?  What can I do now to prevent myself from having those regrets?

I’ve got a lot of questions, but few answers.  One thing is for sure, I’m disgusted with how little the average person is grateful for.  Maybe if we were a little more grateful we’d be happier.

Stop worrying about what you don’t have and start being thankful for what you do have. You only get one life. Cherish it.

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Video As a Medium

I’ve decided to start a new motivational series on Youtube.  Although I love blogging, and plan to continue indefinitely, I also want to experiment with video.  I feel video has a lot of potential as a medium because it’ll allow me to more accurately express my emotions on personal development.

If you’re interested in following the series be sure to subscribe.  Also, I’d like to get some reader feedback.  As of now, my public speaking skills are shaky at best.  I’m joining Toastmasters once soccer season is over to begin improving them.  Do you have any other ideas on learning to become a better speaker?

Another thing I’d like feedback on is if you’d like me to post the upcoming videos on my blog as well.  I don’t want to force them upon you if you’re only interested in my writing, but at the same time I don’t want you to miss out on them if you don’t have a Youtube account and therefore can’t subscribe.

Regardless of how you feel, thanks for the feedback and have a growth filled day!

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How I Used Pain As Leverage

I’m unique.  I’m able to put a lot more on my plate than most people.  This past year I had A’s in all of my classes aside from car care (Who would’ve expected that to be a hard class?), was a starter for varsity soccer and a state level club soccer team, lifted weights three times per week, juggled for an average of two hours daily, regularly uploaded new youtube videos, and began writing for this blog.

I get a lot of questions from people asking, “Why do you do what you do?”  “How are you able to motivate yourself to get up every morning and just go out and beast it?”  The answer to these questions is really simple, but before I get into that I want to give a little disclaimer.

Because of something called publication bias you likely have a distorted perception of me.  I tend to write more about my successes than my failures because doing so allows me to talk about things I’ve actually lived through and understand.

I see lots of people creating websites about making money online when they’ve never made a dime off the internet.  Likewise, I see a lot pick up artists giving advice on social dynamics when they’ve never gone out a night in their life.

The reason I try to avoid doing that is because I’m not blogging to give you rubbish advice in the hopes of making a quick buck.  I’m trying to help people change their lives and become the greatest motivator this world has ever seen.  Obviously, this requires authenticity.

I never want you as a reader to put me on a pedestal.  I don’t want you to think of me as some kind of guru who’s on another level from everyone else.  I have struggles just like you, and I’ll be sure to write more about them in the future.

With all that being said, I’m light-years ahead of most people my age, so I’m going to tell you a little bit about what’s gotten me to this point.

Growing up I was a huge video game addict.  I played for hours everyday, and during my grade school years it wasn’t uncommon for me to go a whole weekend without contact from the outside world.

Along with being an introvert, this addiction prevented me from any regular practice of social skills.  I was never able to get any social reference experiences and as a result I was extremely awkward in almost all social situations.

Looking back I would diagnose myself as being depressed, but in the moment I was quite fine with being an addict.  I saw no foul play.  I found video games more interesting than people, so I thought it was only natural I gravitate towards them.

Fortunately I would begin to change towards the end of elementary school.  During fifth grade I realized I was a huge nerd and being the insecure ten year old I was, I worked to change that.  At this point I wasn’t willing to give up video games, but I was willing to change my behavior at school.

I didn’t make large changes to my behavior until sixth grade, but there were a couple things I began doing differently in fifth grade.

For one, I began using swear words.  My mom always told me not to use “bad words”, but since all the cool kids were using them I began to as well.  I figured, doing so was just fine.  I wasn’t hurting anyone, and she couldn’t be mad about something she’d never know about.

Another change I made was I began working to befriend the cool kids.  I thought they’d want to be my friend if I gave them candy and played football with them at recess.  In retrospect they probably thought of me as their little bitch, but at the time I didn’t know any better.  I thought I was just another one of them.

Ultimately, however, my middle school years were the time my personality changed tenfold.  After graduating fifth grade I realized going to a new school would give me the opportunity to build a new reputation.

So, when I got to sixth grade I put on a fake persona.  Just like everyone else, I wanted to be cool so I did exactly what I thought cool kids did.  I avoided the geeks, and treated them like shit whenever other popular kids were around.  I gave stupid answers in class and pretended to be cool because I thought it was the in thing to do.

The saddest thing was, it worked.  I sat with the popular kids at lunch and worked with them whenever we had group projects.

My most significant memory from sixth grade, however, was Friday, March 13, 2009.  I remember the exact date as it was just so far out there.  One of the most popular girls in the grade texted me, and said she had a crush on me.  Crazily enough, I had a crush on her too.

We sent each other more than 200 messages and texted each other for nearly five hours.  I feel bad because I was at a friend’s birthday party that day and I payed hardly any attention to him because I was so engaged with her.

Of course, as you can imagine it didn’t take longer than two or three days before she realized I wasn’t who people thought I was.  I was desperate to keep her, so in typical chode fashion I sent her an endless barrage of romantic, albeit somewhat stalkerish messages because I thought love was just like the movies.

You get girls enough flowers and give them enough compliments and they’re stuck loving you for the rest of their life right?  Wrong.  She said that being boyfriend/girlfriend just wasn’t going to work out.  I cried.  In retrospect it was good for me, but it definitely stung in the moment.

Fortunately, it got me headed back in the right direction.  I was still far from authentic in my interactions, but I stopped forcing the fake cool kid persona on everyone else.

Seventh grade was relatively uneventful.  I began running track, playing massive multiplayer online games, and crushing on a new girl.  Other than that, not much happened.

Eighth grade was the year that changed everything.  By this time I had dropped the cool kid persona completely and accepted that I was just going to be a nerdy, loser for the rest of my life.  Only, I wasn’t.

After my last relationship was conducted completely through text and ended before we had ever gone on a date I was pissed.  After more than a year of crushing on a girl I decided I was going to ask her out, IN THE REAL WORLD.

Well, at least I tried to.  After school one day a girl told me to follow her to my crush’s locker as today was my day to ask her out.  My heart began beating rapidly and I started panicking uncontrollably.

When we arrived at her locker I summoned all the courage I had.  Unfortunately, all it amounted to was a half-assed, shaky “You go out with me?”

Just looking at her I could tell she almost felt sorry for me.  She didn’t even have a chance to reject me, as I turned my back and ran the other way.  Déjà vu, heart break #2.

After a couple weeks I was back to normal and I actually began crushing on a new girl.  I was surprised as prior to this my heart wasn’t the type to jump from girl to girl.

I went back to what I knew best and got the girl’s phone number.  I must’ve been really good at text game, because after a few weeks the girl said she had a confession… She had a crush on me!

The next day, the whole school knew about it.  I received tons of congratulations and sat by her at lunch.  I felt awkward the whole time as I had never talked to the other girls much and I sensed they were uncomfortable too.

At recess I hung out with my friends as I’d had enough of her friends’ awkwardness.  But wouldn’t you know it, they found me.  They wanted me to do something romantic with her.  Whether that be hugging, kissing, whatever.  The whole thing made me completely uncomfortable so I turned around and booked it out of there.

I could tell she felt embarrassed she was with a guy who was such a loser he couldn’t even hug her in front of her friends.  I’d feel the same way, but back then my social anxiety was so bad I simply couldn’t.

I felt horrible. It was one of the worst days of my life up to that point and school wasn’t even over yet.  The worst part was things were just getting started. Things were about to go even more downhill.

We said our goodbyes at the end of the day and an hour or so later she texted me.  Just like the last two girls, she just wanted to be friends.  I LOVED this girl, and less than 24 hours later she dumped me.  I was crushed.

I spent the whole night crying.  It was the saddest I’ve ever been.  My family went out that night for dinner because my aunt was in town, and holding back the tears was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.

I was depressed.  Big time depressed.  I don’t think I smiled once that whole weekend.  I cried constantly. I barely touched my food.  I don’t recall the exact amount, but I remember losing 5-10 pounds that weekend.

Fortunately, as the saying goes, “A setback is a setup for a comeback.”  It was during this time I discovered personal development.  I thought it was absolutely amazing that people could change their lives and I began making an effort to do the same.

I had a chip on my shoulder.  I began training for soccer every single day.  I began running several miles to get in shape every single day.  I started reading for hours every single day.  I was pumped to turn my life around.

I USED THE PAIN AS LEVERAGE.  I was an out of shape, socially clueless loser, and I hated it.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  The only advantage I’ve ever had over other people is I hated being a loser more than ANYONE ELSE.

I was so fed up with my circumstances that I had no choice, but to change.  Your life is the result of whatever you tolerate.  So when losing was no longer an option, when failure was no longer an option, that was the day my life changed.  That scared little boy’s decision to change is what made me into who I am today.

You’ll never do what you want to do, you’ll never be what you want to be, until success is your only option.  

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Teenager’s Perspective On Veganism

As I mentioned earlier this week I’ve been vegan for about a year-and-a-half now.  I made the switch when I was fourteen years old and I’m now sixteen.  The experience has been mostly positive, but I’d be lying if I failed to tell you about the drawbacks and doubts I’ve had about being vegan as well.

Physical

From a purely physical stand point I definitely feel I’ve benefited from veganism.  Once the initial detox was over I found myself consistently more energetic.  I found myself having the energy to spend more time producing and doing rather than consuming and watching.

In addition I’ve found that my need for sleep has reduced since eliminating animal products from my diet.  It’s not been a drastic change, but I’ve been able to feel well rested on 15-30 minutes less per night than before.

The most noticeable change, however, is that I’m able to wake up more easily in the morning.  Before I’d feel like a zombie when I woke up, but I now feel relatively well upon waking.  I still experience some level of sleep inertia, but it’s not nearly on the level it once was.

Despite the talk about protein on a vegan diet I’ve actually found myself doing better with athletics over the last couple years.  Although my lifting ability was relatively unaffected by my switch to veganism, I found my cardiovascular capacity to be leaps and bounds better than it was before.

The explosiveness of my muscles hasn’t changed much, but they seem to almost never tire.  Although I haven’t run much this year, I found in the months following the switch my times dropped in all my endurance events and the overall level of exertion seemed less extreme as well.

I also found that after workouts I almost never had the next day soreness.  It still happened on occasion if I tried a new lift or workout, but it wasn’t the daily occurrence it used to be.

As far as my body goes, the only thing I haven’t liked about veganism is the endless predicament of getting enough calories.  Between lifting and juggling I have a huge caloric need and it seems as though I need to eat constantly to be able to get enough calories.

This isn’t a huge issue as my parents still pay for and prepare the majority of my food, but I could definitely see how this could pose an issue for older people switching to a similar diet.

The good thing about eating vegan, however, is that I almost never have that post meal bloated feeling I used to have.  I did go through periods of digestive hell when I went through my mad Kashi phase, but since I stopped eating Kashi I almost always feel energetic instead of weighted down after eating.

Mental

Without a doubt I’m sharper on a vegan diet.  My speed of thought is quicker and I’m able to process more complex situations without as much difficulty.

I don’t have any tangible evidence in the form of say an IQ test pre and post vegan diet, but subjectively I feel as though I now have greater mental clarity.  When I look at some of the things I’ve written pre and post veganism it seems as though my thoughts are more concise, but at the same time, deeper.  It’s like a switch went off and I was able to understand more complicated things, but express them with fewer words.

I also found the overall difficulty of school dramatically dropped off.  I noticed I was able to pay less attention during class while still maintaining straight A’s.  I also found myself working more quickly and having to come home with less homework.

I feel my mental health is the one area of my life where I experienced virtually no drawbacks after switching to veganism.

Social

My social life has definitely been hit by becoming vegan, but not to the extent I expected it to be.  I thought that when I became vegan hanging out with my friends away from my house was going to become virtually impossible, but I was completely wrong.

Although I lack the spontaneity my friends have in being able to hit up any restaurant, this actually hasn’t been a huge issue.  I was never into eating out, so few of my relationships revolved around eating anyway.

There’ve been a few times where I had to hang out with new people, or find something else to do because my friends only wanted to meet up for food, but it’s been an almost irrelevant rare occurrence.

What’s affected me more is when I’m hanging out with friends and dinner time rolls around.  When I first switched to veganism this was tremendously uncomfortable for me, but now it’s almost a non issue.

Whoever’s house I’m at usually has some fruit so I’m usually able to eat while everyone else is.  The only thing that I’m still working to become more comfortable with is answering other’s questions about veganism while we’re eating.

Food’s a sensitive subject for most people and even more so at the dinner table. I’m trying to become better at quickly addressing their curiosities and changing the subject as I understand a long drawn out debate will do nothing aside from making the whole situation awkward for everyone.

That being said, veganism hasn’t been a huge issue for my social life.  Although I’m working to get out more, I’m still largely an introvert so these issues have likely affected me less than more extroverted people.  I’m interested to see how this changes as I become older and my social scene changes.

Spiritual

Although I initially became a vegan for spiritual reasons, I’ve felt some moderate issues with its congruency in recent months.

Although I’m certain it’s wrong to treat animals the way they’re treated in factory farms, I’ve been thinking a lot about the whole circle of life issue lately.  It’s definitely wrong to torture animals, but is it entirely wrong to eat ethically slaughtered ones?

I don’t know.  One side of me feels it is, but the other says that eating animals is just part of the natural order of life.  Everything must die in order to make room for new life, and the consumption of meat is just one example of that.  I’m really confused on the right way to feel about the whole situation.

Another problem veganism presents is it inhibits my ability to travel.  In a few years I’d like to be able to head to an airport, buy a ticket to a country I’ve never heard of, and spend a couple weeks there.  Obviously having such a small subset of foods I’m able to eat really limits my ability to do this.

Veganism also limits my ability to backpack and travel in more remote places that may or may not have many options for food.  I feel travel is a huge element to spiritual exploration and being somewhat limited in this regard has created a lot of inner turmoil.

I don’t know how I’m going to address this going forward, but it’s on my mind almost constantly.  There’s nothing I find more exciting than the possibility of exploring far off lands, but I just haven’t found a way of effectively doing that as a vegan.

Conclusion

Overall, I’ve been happy with being vegan and plan to stay this way for the foreseeable future.  With that being said, I’m also open to new ideas and change, so I’m not making a lifelong commitment to it.

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Not Having Talent

I see a lot of people who are butt hurt about not being talented. Whether it’s with women, sports, art, whatever. They feel bitter because they see others getting results they didn’t have to work for and they want the same for themselves. Despite being a common way of thinking about talent, it’s completely wrong.

Aside from possibly professional sports, not being talented at a particular endeavor can actually be beneficial. Let’s use pick up as an example. Some people are naturally good with women.

Those people were lucky to pick up good habits with women as they grew up. The thing is, because they never had to put in a conscious effort to get good with women they don’t understand the process and why women become attracted to them.

On the other hand we have people who aren’t naturally good with women. My favorite example being Tyler of RSD. While most people would feel sorry for themselves and accept that this is simply the cards they’ve been dealt, Tyler didn’t.

He started going out and practicing seven nights a week and became perhaps the most famous pick up artist in the world. Now he’s actually better than the naturals he once resented.

Tyler’s actually in the most enviable position of all because he now possesses the skills to attract women, and he can relate to men who are currently struggling with the problem he once had. In addition, he’s become a better person through his involvement with pick up and is now better equipped to tackle the other challenges in his life.

It sucks to suck, but looking at the big picture, it’s actually more beneficial to start out being incompetent in almost any given field. As long as you’re willing to put in the work to improve, you should actually be grateful you weren’t handed a god given gift. Those who start at the bottom often have more potential than anyone else.

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Insights From The Book Rules

I’ve been on summer vacation for almost a week now. After much procrastination I finally decided to clean out my backpack today.  Most of the papers in there were irrelevant worksheets meant to simply kill time, but I found a couple worthwhile projects in there.  One of those projects included notes I took for a book I had to read for English class.

Whenever I read a book I take notes on important ideas from it because I’ve found I forget most of what I read.  The book I had to read for English was Rules by Cynthia Lord.

It’s a book about twelve-year-old girl who just wants to have a normal life.  She’s spent years trying to teach her little brother “the rules of life,” but because he’s autistic he’s unable to control himself and he frequently embarrasses her.

Anyway, below I’ve taken several quotes from the book and elaborated on them.  Even if you’ve never read the book there’s still some good lessons to be learned here.

“Sometimes you’ve gotta work with what you got.”

-Despite coming from different backgrounds and perhaps being naturally inclined toward certain things, we all have the power to make the conscious decision to do the best with what we’ve been given.  Regardless of where you come from you have the power to choose where you’re going to go.

“Sometimes people answer because they didn’t hear you.  Other times it’s because they don’t want to hear you.”

-This quote is interesting because it can be applied on a deep metaphorical level.  For example, often when I tell people they have the power to do whatever they want with their life they disagree because they’ve been so socially conditioned to think otherwise.  Other times however, they disagree simply because they don’t want to take responsibility for their life.

“Some people think they know who you are, when really they don’t.”

-Sometimes I take offense or feel inadequate when someone I just met gives me the cold shoulder.  On a logical level I now understand they’re not rejecting me, they’re just rejecting their five minute first impression of me.  I’m still working to fully grasp this on an emotional level, because once I do I’ll have less fear of rejection and I’ll be able to meet interesting people at an accelerated rate.

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Be THAT MAN Now

Sometimes situations come up where I just don’t know what to do with myself.  I’ve yet to find the perfect solution for these situations, but there is a question I ask myself every time this happens.

I ask, “If I was my ideal self, what would I do right now?”  I don’t always like the answers I get from this question, but they usually show me the path with my best interest at heart.

Alternatively, you can ask this question from the perspective of one of your role models.   If I was Eric Thomas what would I do right now?  If I was Tynan what would I do right now?

You’ll probably have different role models than me, but since we’re also likely to have different values that’s fine.  The important thing is, if you decide to ask the question from this perspective you have to be sure to pick a high quality role model for whatever your goals may be.

The perspective you choose is for the most part irrelevant.  The important thing is once you get the answer to what you should be doing, YOU MUST DO IT IMMEDIATELY.

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Why I Became a Vegan

For those of you who weren’t aware, I’m a vegan.  I used to eat animal products, but haven’t consumed any since November of 2011.  I’ll write a post later this week on my experiences after a year and a half of veganism, but for now I’d like to share why I initially transitioned to this lifestyle.  I wrote about this right after making the transition so the following post is actually straight from 14 year old Cameron in December of 2011.  

Vegetarians have always fascinated me.  I was always curious about why somebody would want to live that way. I thought it was honorable that someone would live without eating animals but I also thought that people with a vegetarian life style were missing out.

How could someone live without being able to eat chicken or steak?  If they couldn’t have milk would they just eat cereal plain?  Where did they get their protein?

I had held this belief for as long as I can remember and I never questioned it until this school year.  Since high school started I’ve had to read a number of books.  One of the books really had a big impact on the way I think of the world.  That book is Animal Farm.

Animal Farm is a mid 20th century novel written by George Orwell.  It’s about a farm of animals who realize that being raised on a farm with poor living conditions and little food just to be slaughtered one day is a terrible way to live.  After this realization they spend a couple months planning on how they’re going rebel and they finally overthrow a drunk Farmer Jones.

Initially I wasn’t sure why Animal Farm resonated with me so much.  I wasn’t a big fan of fiction or classics.  Then one day while I was eating a turkey sandwich I realized what my subconscious was trying to tell me through Animal Farm.

How could I criticize Farmer Jones for mistreating his animals if I ate animals?  By choosing to eat animals I increase the need for farms that raise animals.  More farms means more slaughterhouses.

If you’ve never seen a slaughter house you probably think they kill animals in a quick painless manner.  And for some slaughter houses that may be true.  However other slaughterhouses don’t care about the animals.

In some slaughterhouses the animals are tortured and abused before being killed.  Before you read any further go watch a few videos on slaughterhouse abuse.

It’s heartbreaking but to make a conscious decision about eating animals you have to see just how poorly they’re treated.

With this new perspective of the world I was disgusted whenever I saw meat. Previously meat had been my favorite food but now I would always think about the harsh conditions the animal must have had to endure just to make it to the slaughterhouse let alone what may have happened once it got there.

After my realization I became a vegetarian but still consumed milk and other animal products.  After a while I felt that consuming dairy was unethical as well so about 3 weeks ago I became a vegan meaning I no longer consume any animal products.

I still wear some old clothes made from animal skin but I’m doing my best to avoid buying any new clothing made from animals.

Transition

I thought becoming a vegan was going to be difficult but it’s been a relatively easy transition.  It’s had little affect on me socially and finding vegan food hasn’t been tough either.  I thought that going vegan was going to greatly reduce the variety of my diet and for a couple days it did.  But now my diet actually has more variety because of all the new foods I’ve been trying.

The only negative thing I’ve experienced as a vegan thus far is the detox. Usually when someone goes vegan they have a period where they feel worse than on their previous diet.  This is the body getting rid of toxins that accumulate from consuming meat and dairy.

Most people will get detox symptoms the first first week or two and then experience a higher energy level than on their previous diet.  I actually experienced the opposite.  I felt great the first two weeks but this week I started getting detox symptoms.

My energy levels stayed the same but several days this week I felt queasy and had 7-8 stools per day.

Overall I’ve been pleasantly surprised with life as a vegan.  Although my energy gains have been modest thus far,  I’ve enjoyed needing less sleep and having increased mental clarity.  The best part about being a vegan, however is that now I have a clean conscience.

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