I don’t understand where soymilk comes from. When someone can show me the nipple on a soy bean, that’s when I’ll drink it

This is perhaps the most misguided and entertaining quote I’ve ever heard about soy milk. It came from a guy in the middle of him challenging me on my vegetarian(then vegan) ways. I get a lot of questions about why I’m doing this, where I get my protein from, how this can possibly be healthy, et. cetera. So, I thought that I should blog a bit and try to put some perspective on it.

I’ve never been a huge fan of meat. The only red meat that served as a regular part of my diet came in the form of cheeseburgers from fast food restaurants. You know the kind, so full of fillers and additives that they can only barely be called food. So, once I cut those out of my life, I was down to mostly chicken. However, by chicken, I mean Wendy’s Chicken Nuggets. I’ve never liked cooking meat, especially since I live alone and only cook for myself. It just always seemed like a big hassle and a little bit of a waste.

In July, I started making some serious changes to my life. As I increased my consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, and cut back on the processed crap, more and more of my diet was coming from plant-based foods. I learned to love a simple spinach salad for lunch or a bowl of fruit in the morning. Then, I did a re-read of Skinny Bitch, which is an eye-opening, tough-love diet book supporting a vegan lifestyle. I had always heard about how awful the meat industry was, but it didn’t really sync in until the re-read. It’s a common practice for poultry farmers to cut off chickens’ beaks, because they are so stressed out and crowded together that they will peck each other to death otherwise. Slaughter houses are disgusting places. I was already doing some serious re-thinking on what I was putting into my body, but being confronted with these facts influenced me to kick meat for good.

I gradually eased into vegetarianism, and for a few months I ate cheese, eggs, and fish. There was one incident where I decided to celebrate Thanksgiving the “right way”, and felt sick for several days after. Then, in January, I decided to go balls to the wall for 28 days and try veganism. Since the month has been over, I have added back in some dairy, but my body doesn’t feel ready for fish or eggs right now. Plus, I’ve found avoiding non-natural products is a very effective way to ensure that most of my diet is low in fat and cholesterol and high in important nutrients and vitamins. So, no, there is no nipple on a soy bean, but it still makes one hell of a latte.