102 – Progress

This, of course, is the show where I help you live longer, stronger, thinner, healthier, happier, and a lot more! We have a lot of stuff jam packed into today’s episode!

We are recording outside today. I wanted to take advantage of my outdoor studio because before too long it will be cold and I am going to be forced to do this indoors again, which is totally fine.

I am really excited! I am leaving in a couple hours to drive down to Charlottesville, Virginia. I am going to be speaking tomorrow afternoon at the Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival. I hope I am going to have a packed room because I have a great message to deliver. The name of my talk is “How Anyone Can Thrive on a Plant Based Diet”.  I am thinking about “scoping” it but by the time you hear this, it will have already taken place. However be sure to follow me on Periscope. It’s a great app! I am using it a lot! It is available on both iPhone and on Android. It is a way that you can be connected to me in between my weekly podcast episodes. We can do some really cool stuff. It’s interactive and you can ask questions. I honestly believe it is where we are headed. It is the future of podcasting, broadcasting, and social media coming all together. It is free. And follow me at @DavidMadow.

I wanted to talk a little bit today about how far we’ve come. Even over the past year to year and a half. Because I am going to bet you right now that one year ago there just was not as much talk about plant based. You probably didn’t hear the word vegan. Of course, the word vegan has been around for a long time. It’s nothing new but in the past year, it’s getting much more attention. I have noticed that in restaurants it is becoming easier to find vegan options on the menu. More people are talking about it and more people are trying to immerse themselves in this culture. It is just incredible! And I am glad you’re with me! It doesn’t go without a lot of hard work. We have to spread the word!

When I started my podcast two years ago, I was still eating meat. Not a lot of it but I was still eating some meat. I even talked about that on my show. It was definitely a dilemma for me. As much as I loved animals and didn’t think it was right to kill animals, I still felt that we needed some meat in our diet. How wrong that turned out to be! It’s been about a year and a half now that I have been 100% vegan. When I first started talking about it on my podcast and on my Facebook page, I received a decent amount of backlash. A lot of people were very argumentative. For about a half a second I considered stopping what I was doing. No way! I am determined to move forward and to spread the word. Because when I can help other people with not only their health but also protect and save animals from suffering and all kinds of horrible things they go through, and help to save the environment, then I feel that I am contributing. I have made new friends and have had people agree with my message. Now that doesn’t mean that it’s not at a bit of a cost because I have also had a decent number of people send me hate mail, hateful messages on Facebook, or try to troll or spam my Facebook page. For some reason I can’t understand why. If I am trying to spread a message of health, loving animals, and things like that, then I don’t see why it would upset somebody. I am not telling anyone that they have to do this. I would never come out and say “you have to be vegan”. But would I say that I believe it’s a better lifestyle? Do I believe it’s healthier? Do I believe it’s better for the planet? Absolutely! I have been on both sides and I can tell you with 100% certainty, the side where you are not consuming animal products or using animals for entertainment, or clothing, or anything, is so much better for so many reasons. Nothing is 100% percent but if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or even cancer, there is a pretty good chance that going plant based could help these things and help prevent things in the future.

Why are people so upset about that message? Well guess what? They are! And I think it actually comes down to something I learned a little bit about. I am certainly no expert on this at all. But it actually comes down to something that psychologists call cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is if you are used to or are living your life doing some type of behavior. For example, if you have been eating animal products your entire life, a steak is normal, a hamburger is normal. But then you start to see this little buzz and hear that animal products can make you prone to more diseases. And it’s causing animals to suffer. And when you start to find out the truth, that’s when cognitive dissonance comes into play. On the one hand, you’re used to doing something that you think is right and you don’t want to stop. On the other hand, there’s this undercurrent of people saying that it’s not right. It’s killing you, it’s killing animals and hurting the Earth. So what happens is that you become very confused. You might be resentful or lash out at people but subconsciously you know that maybe something is wrong. In other words, your brain is being challenged. So if you are currently consuming animal products you could possibly be undergoing some cognitive dissonance.

Several months ago very few people had heard of the movie Cowspiracy but now it’s going more mainstream because Netflix is picking it up. I have been recommending the movie to my friends and followers for a little while now. If you haven’t seen it, please watch it. It will open your eyes to a lot of things that maybe you have been turning your head to, don’t want to hear about, or have been ignoring. This stuff is becoming more and more mainstream. More and more people are talking about it. It’s not going to go away. It’s going to get bigger and bigger and bigger. I don’t know if I will ever see it in my lifetime but I believe that in the next generation it will be commonplace to live a vegan lifestyle. We are finding out that consuming animal products is not good for your health. There is evidence out there. Chances are you will live a healthier life with no medication and live to a longer age if you are plant based. You also won’t be contributing to animal suffering.

Where am I going with this? In the past year the world has undergone so much change and I am noticing more and more of a buzz. I am getting more and more messages in my inbox saying that they are listening to my message and trying to do their best, they’re changing, they’re meat free, or they’re vegan. What is the next year going to hold? I think it’s going to be fantastic! I am positive that more and more people will be going in this direction. So I just want to thank you for being a friend, being a follower, and listening to my message. And I just realized that I have noticed that the actual amount of hate mail or people saying bad things about my posts. They are now few and far between whereas when I first started this they were pretty common. And I don’t know if that’s because there are more of us and it’s more acceptable now. I don’t know the answer to that but I do know that I feel so much positivity. I feel like we are absolutely going in the right direction. It’s not happening overnight. But I am seeing a curve starting and it’s going up. We are gathering a lot of momentum. I am excited! I have never felt better!

If I change one life in the room it’s worth it for me. If I change more than that, then so much the better. I would like to share a story with you. My friend, Ira Goldberg, wrote in for my 100th show. At about age 48, he was very obese. He looked and felt horrible. He even said he was “only one buffet away from dying”. He made it a point to totally change his life. He took animal products out of his diet. He went totally plant based. No processed foods. He started moving his body. He started walking, and before he knew it was running and biking. At the two year anniversary of changing his life, he completed an Ironman triathlon. You would not believe the difference! This man saved his entire life! YOU have the power to change it!

If you have not come on board yet, I urge you to at least consider a plant based diet. Unprocessed whole foods with very little salt, oil, or sugar. When you do that you will see your entire life turn around. You won’t believe it.

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