Sandie Sajner was born in 1950 and grew up eating the Standard American Diet. Many of my family members were diagnosed with obesity, heart disease, and cancer and most died an early death. They blamed their health problems on heredity, saying that nothing could be done about it.
As a licensed practical nurse (LPN), I believed in the medical profession and encouraged people to see their doctor, take their prescriptions, and have their surgeries. In 1985 I entered Ohio College of Massotherapy in Akron, and was enrolled at Kent State University to earn an RN degree. After two years at Kent, I withdrew from my classes and proceeded to further my understanding of complimentary, alternative health care as a massage therapist.
Even though my medical books didn’t say that our bodies were designed to eat all plant-based foods, the anatomy and physiology indicated this to me. As I started to transition my diet, my favorite foods began to taste bad. Steaks were tough and chewy; I could visibly see arteries, veins, nerves throughout the meat! Fish was often not cleaned of its scales or their bones. Milk and ice cream made me cough and produced phlegm and mucus. I lost my taste of these foods and continued to learn about the health benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle.
After a few months of eating lacto vegetarian, I educated myself on the reasons that human animals are not meant to digest other animals’ milk. I was moving away from oils and processed foods, as well as gluten products. I was 80% raw vegan and 20% cooked vegan. I had a lot of confrontations with my relatives and friends because of how I ate. It was very isolating, but I was determined to live an optimally healthy vegan lifestyle. When people would say to me that it’s just too hard, I would reply, “It is as difficult or as easy as you want to make it, and I’ve chosen to make it easy.”
I first became vegan because our body is not designed anatomically or physiologically to eat flesh food of any kind. It is reasonable to eat and thrive on a plant-strong diet. Second, because I believe that the divinity and sacredness is in all of life. Every animal, fish, reptile, and creature that is killed suffers with fear and pain. If there is one quote from the Bible that I could quote, it is, “Thou shalt not kill.” My third reason is that I didn’t want to be irresponsible with my diet, as I knew that it impacted the health of our planet. I recycle, obtain spring water, use rain barrels, plant gardens, eat “weeds” from my lawn, and educate the public about living an optimally healthy vegan lifestyle whenever I can. I believe that we all have a purpose on this earth, and we all have the power to change the world.