I converted to vegan after viewing the Fork over Knives DVD. I was never overweight. Ate out the 'bad' things in the house, then did not replace them. I roughly follow the Engine 2 diet. I had been borderline high blood pressure for decades. But 6 weeks into it I lost about 6 lbs! and had added a cell phone in my pocket! Now can easily get 120/70 for blood pressure. My weight has stabilized after loosing 15 lbs. I drink coffee, green tea, alcohol in moderation (since I started home brewing beer, all a no go with Engine 2). At one point did weave too low on salt. I also eat sardines/mackeral maybe every 10 or so days.
Right now eating 'bird' sunflower seed (super cheap). 95% of sunflowers grown are black seed sunflower bred for oil production, only 5%(usually stripped sunflower) for human consumption. Will stop this when I grow my own sunflowers.
Luckily was on this diet since now get stroke systems without an effect so far for the last ~2 years.
I don't like the mindset that you "convert" to veganism. It's a dietary choice, and for some, an ethical one.
I think that to equate it with religion would displease not only religious vegans, but irreligious vegans, as well as religious people who view that kind of thinking as a sort of appropriation of patterns of thought that belong to religion, like talking about diet demeans belief, somehow.
The distinctions are only important to those that want to stress divisions in society, usually for some political goal, or for the manipulation of people, either by food-shaming those that feel differently, or by glorifying that which doesn't merit it (oreo and diet coke veganism).
You know what my much better half and I made last night (okay, she did most of it, I only washed dishes and helped with spicing)? A curried peanut butter and sweet potato soup. I could feed it to any vegan guest that came by. We aren't vegan. My rabbit is a vegan, and some of my favourite meats come from vegans, but I am, most assuredly, an omnivore.
So why did we make a vegan soup for dinner and subsequent lunches? Because it's delicious, because it fit with the mood, and because we had all the components to make it in the pantry and we didn't want to leave the house.
I like the idea that if more omnivores shopped and ate like my much better half and I did, there would be less money going to support factory-farmed meat, and that the money saved might go to buy much better meat, from local and pasture-raised, grass-fed herbivores, hopefully supporting ideas like the One Bad Day theory of raising animals.
I think we'd have a lot more omnis eating more of their diets directly from plant sources if we weren't constantly told that our chosen diets promote slavery and murder, and that we must be "saved" by the church of veganism, or else be damned.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
There are roughly 100 million cows/bulls only in America, each the size of a sofa. Belch a lot of methane in atmosphere, plus eat a lot of grain that many could feed humans instead. Yes grass fed probably better instead of CAFO situations across America. I do not try to push diet on any one. Each can choose their own path in life.
Power corrupts. Absolute power xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx is kinda neat.