spacer
Thrive logo
spacer
spacer Log in | spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
spacer
corner browseissues corner
spacer
spacer
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
corner popularlinks corner
spacer
spacer
spacer
corner spacer corner
corner spacer corner
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer

Vegan Physique Transformation: From 27 Eggs and 1.5 lbs of Turkey a Day to Plant-Based Overnight
By Christopher McKinnon

Ever since I hit puberty, due to cultural conditioning; mass opinion, taste, convenience and tradition, I ate as many animal products as I could fit in my stomach.  I heard that was “how you built muscle.” This lifestyle consisted of, for my junior college year before going vegan, eating 27 eggs, a pound a half a ground turkey, multiple glasses of milk and several cups of shredded cheese a day.  I believed that animal protein was an essential building block, not only for human life itself, but for the goals I had regarding my physical development.

For the first 21 years of my life, I hadn’t ever been exposed to an individual who spoke strongly about the ethical ramifications with respect to animals, the environment and our global community that the animal agriculture industry brings with it.  I had always sympathized with vegetarians who referenced animal life as important, but I didn’t see that life path as applicable to me given my goals and scope of knowledge at that point.  That was, until I met a woman, who I then saw during the summer leading up to my senior year of college, by the name of Bella.  She was gorgeous and had a phenomenal body.  She was a gymnast.  Having been vegan for over nine months herself at the point I met her, she silently and patiently watched me get up every morning, crack my 27 eggs and fry up my pound and half of ground turkey.  For a couple of months, she never said a word about it to me.

That was until July 9th, 2016, during a car ride from Seattle to Spokane.  It was then that Bella and I had a radically open-minded conversation regarding animal rights.  It was during this interaction  that, try as I might to avoid the inevitable, upon sincere reflection, I could not possibly justify on ethical grounds unnecessary subjugation of another innocent, defenseless, and voiceless sentient being to imprisonment, violence, and murder.  I was inspired by her lifestyle, seen in this light, but also a bit confused and even more so uncomfortable.  “But how could this possibly work for ME?” “How can I still build muscle?” “Where will I get my protein?”  And of course, “wait, but EVERYONE eats this way?!…”

It was precisely after this conversation that we pulled into a Chipotle Mexican Grill and I ordered a chicken burrito.

I know what you’re thinking, and it is probably the same thing I catch myself thinking most times I experience a similar interaction with one of my friends or family members today…

She remarked, “That’s interesting.”

At first, no doubt, I was put off.  I felt that she should mind her own business.  Yet, a powerful aspect of that momentary experience alluded to me that she was right.  If I truly value the life and freedom of animals as I say I do, and I am committed to pacifism to the extent I like to believe, then eating another being unnecessarily is certainly not justifiable behavior in accordance with these ideologies.

Thankfully, I can honestly say that single chicken burrito was the last animal product that I intentionally purchased.  The last time I affirmed, with my dollar, the unnecessary suffering of another sentient being.

At that moment I committed to trying veganism for a week.  As I had no clue what foods to look for, how to prepare the food or what a well-balanced diet really looked like, I offered to buy the groceries for that week and simply requested that Bella pick them out, cook them for me and lead me through a proper week of eating plant-based.

To be clear, although it was initially a steadfast ethical reflection that mandated that I eat plant-based, I was also simultaneously heavily worried and uncertain as to the effect that eating plant-based would have on my “gains.”

So, following the first week of eating plant-based with Bella, as I embarked on my first shopping trip to the grocery store entirely plant-based, I found myself frantically researching protein sources on my phone and constantly asking Bella if this food would suffice.  Being as mine and her physical goals were of a different nature, I wanted to ensure that I would still be able to pursue my fitness career with as much gusto and progress eating plant-based, as I already had for years eating “traditionally.”

I meticulously tracked my weight twice a day, my physique twice a day (by taking pictures morning and night), and my strength.  After about a month of rigorous training and record keeping, I was still seeing the expected progress I was used to.

After about thee months, I watched the famous Gary Yourofsky speech and it left me speechless.  This was the first time that I genuinely felt that some serious part of the vast majority of the social mindset was seriously ethically flawed.  I had never heard someone talk so unapologetically about how wrong and cruel eating animals was, about how we need to fight for their freedom.  I was moved.  It was after watching this speech that I knew, with 100% certainly, that I would never go back.  The experiment was solidified, and my life changed.

I began to walk and talk the vegan life at all times and all hours and in all ways.  I talked to anyone who would listen, got in screaming matches with uncles over Thanksgiving dinner at my grandparents, and also successfully influenced more than five people to go vegan.

Little did I know that this road, the road of the freedom fighter, would be so full of trial and tribulation.

Not from the standpoint of my own position and decision to go plant-based, but rather from the standpoint of communicating effectively regarding newfound and rekindled love for all sentient life that the vegan lifestyle brings with it.  I don’t know why, but I sincerely expected and acted, talked and engaged with others as though the picture would be as clear to them as it was to me.  But it wasn’t, at least not usually.

I started getting very angry, the world started to look ten thousand shades darker.  The twisted and unfortunate side of human ignorance had been cast into the light.  I looked around and saw murder factory after murder factory, families lining up in shopping isles with corpses in their cart.  Children drinking milk that was meant for another child.  I ran into PHD Glaciologists who didn’t know that chickens laid eggs as part of their menstruation cycle (he thought that “we bred them to lay eggs.”). I had countless fights over the dinner table in my own household.

This process and these events are still a part of my daily life, and they will continue to be for a good while longer in the foreseeable future.  And this is what the next part of this article is designed to address. How to meet the world where it is in order that we might hold its hand and walk it to where we are.

I realized, as I now see with clarity through further reflection and reinforcement, that individuals cannot and will not be changed.  Especially when they feel and know it is desired that they behave differently.

Any attempt to change an individual is seen, by them, as an attempt to destroy them.

Because our eating habits are more ingrained in us than hardly any other daily practice we have, I liken the experience of challenging your metaphysical suppositions regarding ethical treatment of animals to challenging the existing framework of one’s organized religion.  I grew up strictly Roman Catholic, and although I no longer subscribe to the churches interpretations of the story of Christ, I remember how hard it was to question sincerely these narratives.  To go one further, I used to attend church once a week for an hour.  We, or at least most of us, eat anywhere from three to six times a day.  We sit down and reinforce, consciously and subconsciously, our behavior and therefore our self narrative, multiple times a day at the breakfast, lunch and dinner tables.

Because there is such heavy identification with ones’ behaviors, it is difficult, I have found, to engage individuals unabated regarding lifestyle changes.  The best I can do, I realized, not only from interaction with others, but though reflection regarding my own journey towards vegansim, is serve as a living, breathing example of a flourishing human being.

When I go into the gym to train, when I sit down to eat, I think about what I am standing for, about what I am representing, and whose hopes are on my back.  All of these innocent, defenseless, and voiceless beings are no doubt begging for those of us who see their suffering for what it is, to stand up, to speak up.  And I realize that talk can be cheap, and even being the orator that I am, I realize that actions are a lot more effective than words.

I find, that by representing the vegan lifestyle through my physical development, I am crafting an unarguable point in favor of the plant-based lifestyle.  I realized that one of my most compelling points of reference to argue for veganism was not even to open my mouth.  It was rather to carry myself with dignity, integrity, and strength.  I realized that a picture is worth a thousand words.  And me looking the part of an elite athlete is more effective at convincing non-vegan individuals of the potential for sustainable and flourishing plant-based life, than speaking a bunch of words.

I competed, April 22nd of 2017, in the Empire Classic Men’s Physique competition.  I took third place in the Open.   As shallow and superficial as it may appear to some others, I found this opportunity a perfect avenue to show the world and its many doubters that you can indeed attain an incredibly muscular, conditioned and healthy physique without the use of animal products.  What started as a passion many years ago has evolved today into a mission; one that I feel compelled to carry out.

 

Ultimately, inspiration is the greatest gift.  A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.

I hope to stand as a voice for animals in the fight against the injustice being inflicted upon them.  They are voiceless, defenseless, and innocent.

I seek to encourage each and every person to seek development through self-imposed challenge.

 

Challenge yourself physically and you will grow and change.

Challenge yourself intellectually and you will fall in love with the scent of intellectual discourse.

Challenge yourselves spiritually and awaken to your true potential and vision.

This is my dream, my vision and my path.

Christopher McKinnon Bio:

I am practicing fire knife dancing, a performance art, calisthenics, a functional art, and bodybuilding, an aesthetic based art. In am using the time I have here in Portland as a personal trainer to develop myself into the person I know I have the potential to be. A voice for those who do not have one in a time that they need it more than ever before.

Visit Christopher McKinnon on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/christophermckinnon/

Back To Stories.

spacer
COMMENT (0) | animal consiousness, fitness, health
spacer

Comments

Leave a Reply





spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
newsletter
spacer
spacer
spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
corner comments corner
spacer spacer
corner spacer corner
spacer
Copyright 2018 loveunityvoice.com. All rights reserved. |
spacer
spacer