Chapter 14’s Chad Ackerman Reflects On Vegan Rebirth

Gotta love Smiths references

Our pal Chad Ackerman — who reps Chapter 14 and is Gun Shy Assassin’s resident film reviewer — has not been to the movies lately, but we’re sure he’ll be catching all of the new flicks that come out between now and the Oscars very soon. Anyways, if you follow his film reviews, you may be interested in the following missive I got from Chad the other day. I’m not vegan or vegetarian or anything, but I thought his words were touching in an honest way, and figured I’d pass along his note for those who are more open-minded than I. He did not write this intending for it to be printed, but agreed to letting us run it.

The other — October 23, 201 — made it exactly one year since I decided to start eating as a vegan. It was only supposed to be a one month experiment, but after one month, me and my wife Laura were addicted to it.

I have heard so many rumors and myths about vegans that I wanted to see for myself. My father is a meat specialist, and my uncle is a hunter. This had shaped a lot of my decisions and eating habits early on. When I was 10-years-old, I was introduced to a Canadian punk band called Propagandhi. Their front man and guitarist, Chris Hannah, had lyrics that began to make me question lot of things, and think about eating animals.

I cared a lot about animals, but I would think that I needed “meat” to survive. I needed the protein and the calcium from animals or else I would get malnourished. I heard that vegetarians and vegans were all deficient in one way or another, and that they had to live on supplements. Wow — after 26 years of my life, I finally questioned, read, and watched enough documentaries to finally try what Chris and Propagandhi were preaching about.

I am not with PETA. I am not selling you a product. I just want to let you all know that being vegan for one year has changed my life in only positive ways. I was tired all of the time, and now I feel like I have a hidden battery pack in my body to go longer, and be more alert. I have lost nearly all of my excess fat that would cause me to never fit into clothes that I had that just sat in my closet. I sleep better, and I have not had a problem with dropping off the kids at the pool (deploying the troops) for one year.

I have had a bad left knee since junior high, and I have not been able to walk long distances without my knee swelling and causing me to stop. Now, me and Laura run one mile and walk one mile five or six days a week when we get off of work. I am not writing this to tell everyone to stop killing animals or that I am bad ass for having some discipline with my diet. I am writing this to really express how much better my life is now from just changing my eating habits.

If you know me even slightly well, you know that I can eat everything, and that I eat a ton. I still eat a ton (maybe more than I used to), but I lose all excess fat, and I have kept a steady weight. I am now gaining a little weight from muscle. We have saved so much money on food and other groceries. I am not deficient in anything, and my skin has cleared up drastically. I have honestly not had a pimple in one year. Also, if you have known me in the past five to six years, you know how much I would get sick. I have not been sick since September of 2010.

Now, I am not saying that being vegan has made me a superhero and I will never get sick. I just love life, and I love my family and friends. I love people. I just want everyone to know that if you decide to start eating a little different, and dismiss all of the false stereotypes associated with eating no animal products, it may benefit you greatly — your health, your mind, and your spirits.

If you want to check out a good book, “The Kind Diet” by Alicia Silverstone is a great one. “Food Matters” and “Forks Over Knives” are great documentaries to watch (streaming on Netflix) as well. Thank you again so much for reading this. Much love to all, and good health.

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