A number of people I have shared my story with ask very similar questions. When I explain that I derive all my nutrition from Plant Based sources they appear dumbfounded. “I could never live without meat”, “I could never give up cheese”, “my body needs fat”…
I generally respond with a very simple observation I made in the ICU after my surgery.
If the Doctor expressed you have one hour to live but if you give up meat you will lead a long life… what would you choose?
Albeit this is an exaggerated point; I find it fascinating that many people choose the “meat” over life. I constantly meet bypass survivors, generally on the beach with my shirt off, that express to me that they have not changed a thing since their operation. Or recently, an acquintance, who after being checked in for a mild heart attack, snuck out of the hospital to have a cigarette and relax. “Life is short and I choose to live my life doing the things that make me happy.”
In my opinion Life deserves a little more respect than that. By choosing not to make a significant change in the process that enabled your disease you are making a suicide decision. By choosing to continue to engage in an activity that has proven harmful to your health, you are openly stating that you have no ability to control the threat. Powerless and living with no will power is a meaningless existence. It is the same way a person contemplating suicide would live, day to day without joy or meaning.
It takes lying in a hospital bed after surviving to understand the concept that our existence is not just our minds, it is not just the thoughts that we have. The mistake most of us make is allowing the mind to control the body. I did it for many years. The mind however is a terrible mentor to the body. The mind is focused on immaterial things; power, money, status, greed, pleasure. The body is purer. The body has simpler needs; water, nutrition, oxygen.
I have made a change. I choose to live my life allowing the body to set the pace and the mind can take a backseat. I spent the first 40 years ignoring my body and I ended up in a hospital bed. The point I am hammering away on is avoid making decisions based on what your mind wants. Can you give up cheese to save your life? Of course you can. Is meat more meaningful to you than taking care of your body? If it is, congratulations. Your life just got a lot simpler. No need to save up for a rainy day, no need to wear a seat belt, you can stop avoiding skydiving, swimming after meals, and just about any other activity that is life threatening.
Realign your existence, Body before Mind.
Oxygen- without it you have about 6 minutes to live.
Water – you have a couple days to live.
Nutrition – at least a month.
Meat & Cheese – you tell me.
Think about it this way: my body could kick the shit out of my mind in a fight.