This U.S. Navy Fighter Pilot And Veteran Is Fuelled By Plants


– When the guys started finding out I got the question in front of a crowd, “You’ve stopped eating meat?” And when I confirmed that,
it was just a very blunt, straight-to-the-point,
“What is wrong with you?” I grew up, I would say,
the standard American kid. I played sports, and being from the South, the diet in the South is obviously very, the traditional Southern diet includes a lot of meat, a lot of dairy. If someone would have suggested to me when I was in high school
that I should be vegan or give up meat and eggs and dairy, I probably would have
laughed in their face. None of my family ate that way. No one that I looked up to ate that way. The journey for me started when I watched a documentary
called “Cowspiracy” and the documentary just
gave me an ability to, I guess, see that one
individual, i.e., me, could actually potentially
have an impact by being vegan based on just the numbers
that they present there, the background information
that they present as far as you can save this much water, you can save this amount of land. It will not be potentially deforested to go towards animal agriculture. You could save this many animals. That really, to me, struck
a chord that made me think that I could actually, as an
individual, have an impact, and that was the reason,
I’d say the largest reason, why I got started, and
then once I was started, it was easy to continue from there. I’d also educated myself a little bit on just the background
of the animal industry and just the poor living conditions that most animals are in. Being vegan on deployment
is not very easy. I will say the Navy and
the military in general does a good job of listening
to what sailors and Marines and airmen and soldiers
want in terms of their diet, and they will then incorporate that. On deployment it’s been a challenge based on there are not that
many people that are vegan, and so the military is catering
to a small number of people. Given that I am from a… Navy fighter pilot community, I knew the reaction would
not be very nice initially. When the guys started finding out I got the question in front of a crowd, “You’ve stopped eating meat?” And when I confirmed that,
it was just a very blunt, straight-to-the-point,
“What is wrong with you?” in front of everyone. Now, I will say I get a lot of questions. I actually get, because I stayed vegan for three-and-a-half years,
I get a lot of questions in terms of how it is that I sustain it, what it is that I eat on deployment and at home, and just, in general, how I feel and if I have seen any
type of physical setbacks based on being vegan for three years. If you’re thinking about being
vegan, I would encourage you to try it first for 30 days. Any family has got someone in it that could benefit from being vegan, and honestly, everyone could
benefit from being vegan.

3 thoughts on “This U.S. Navy Fighter Pilot And Veteran Is Fuelled By Plants

  1. The questions I pose and I hope this will be addressed overall and specifically within the (US) military, is, how well is a healthy(!) "vegan" diet supported right now, and what are the plans to make that happen. This Navy veteran mentioned it, that there were / are challenges to sustain a healthy plants-only diet, especially on deployment – you can't function at an optimal level without proper nutrition – in a best case in this scenario / optimistically, this would mean a decrease in intellectual (concentration, reaction) and physical performance, but even more so, medium- to long-term, being prone to sickness, tiredness, … Therefore, the (US) military needs to make it a priority to monitor and support a "varied whole-foods plants-only, low-heat, low-to-zero-added-oil, properly supplemented (especially B12, possibly D3) dietary lifestyle" – this is not (just) about one's dietary choice, this is about the betterment of everyone's health, short-term and long-term – and nutrition needs to be(come) one of the #1 priorities of the (US) military.

  2. My concern is with the statement of "go vegan / eat plants-only for 30 days" – first and foremost nutrition education and related to that health education needs to come first, nutritionfacts.org being on the forefront there – what to eat, what (not so much) to eat, possible negative health reactions to look out for (soy allergies, for example) and how to deal with those, and specifically not to fall into the "organic produce" trap and knowing the difference between produce labeled as organic and that labeled as certified organic (usually only found online / on Amazon) – and ideally also non-GMO; and about how to wash, soak, re-wash and boil lentils / beans / legumes properly to avoid bloating.

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