My Vegan Journey
After 2 years of veganism I think it's finally time to do that blogpost explaining to you a little bit about my journey.
I was raised omnivore by my parents. I have always been a person that has a very positive relationship with food. I love to eat. I didn't question what I was eating growing up because everyone I knew ate the same way. I knew a couple of girls In high school who were vegetarian & vegan but I just didn't completely get it yet. I thought I loved animals but I was real only showing compassion to pets while supporting some very cruel industries. However at that age I think most people don't question what their mom puts for them on the table for dinner. I applaud those that did. I recall one time asking my dad if he thought it was sad to eat animals. His response was that without our demand for meat those animals would have never been born. I thought maybe they would rather have never been born but I didn't dig deeper at this time. If I did I would have discovered that animals breed for meat consumption would really rather never have been born as they live in terribly abusive conditions are separated from their families and are killed very prematurely using barbaric methods. No chicken from stop & shop lived a long and happy life prancing around a field with its friends and then died of old age.
However I don't think that would've been the right time in my life for my transition, it was something I had to do on my own free of critique or judgement. Freshman year in college my roommate started eating vegetarian. This is when I really started to open my eyes and believed there was actually a lifestyle where i could not harm animals. Crazy right? So I made the decision that once I was off of my schools shitty meal plan and back home for the summer I would stop eating meat and I did. People always ask me how I did it but it's really just that simple. I stopped eating meat. I had a slip up within the first month but that's okay. I think we all should give ourselves patience to change and not get hung up on perfection. When you do make a mistake it is just important to learn from it & challenge yourself to do better. This is the attitude I kept throughout my transition into vegetarianism and later into veganism. If you put pressure on yourself to be perfect on the first day you may become overwhelmed, discouraged, and go back to your old ways because you think it is too hard, but with patience and motivation you will find this lifestyle very accessible and easy.
After finding out how horrible animals are treated in the meat industry I knew I could never go back to eating it. As I explored more recipes and ways of eating fruits and vegetables lightening my dairy intake was natural for me. In the time since I went vegetarian I have become much better in the kitchen. There is something about working with so many fresh ingredients and so much color that sparked an inspiration in me that cooking some chicken never could. I love to play the game of I have X, Y, Z in the fridge, how can I creatively turn this into a delicious meal. I never cooked much before vegetarianism but as I wanted to control what was going into my body and the best way to do that is to prepare most of your food yourself.
I wasn't yet thinking about veganism as a concept until about five months later from going vegetarian. I started watching a lot of vegan YouTube channels as a way to get inspired for different plant-based recipes. There came a point where I was pretty much eating vegan but was still eating cheese. I never really loved milk, yogurt, or eggs so those things were not difficult for me. Cheese was hard for me to let go but from my experience after about a month without it I never craved it again. Cheese is not a dietary staple, when there are vegan alternatives available I love to try them, but it is not something I feel needs to be included every time when grocery shopping. As far as sweets and ice creams I find vegan alternatives are so amazing. When I travel I am always looking for what local vegan food I can try and this is very fun for me.
My official start on my veganism journey was two years ago in January. My best friend really opened my eyes to the cruelty involved in the dairy industry and how truly unhealthy it is. So with that we both decided to go from vegetarian to vegan together. I don't remember much having a hard time transitioning. For me it was a journey, no one wakes up as a perfect vegan and no one is one. Veganism to me is asking yourself who had to suffer for this meal? This makeup? Or this coat? And then challenging yourself to do better. No one should have to die or suffer to support your purchasing habits. We all have the capability at are fingertips to google is "blank" vegan.
As far as health is concerned I truly am of the belief that humans should not eat meat. I don't view humans as some superior species to every other animals. Every animal in the wild that eats meat has the ability to hunt and kill without weapons or technology. When a lion catches its prey it tears it apart and eats it. There are no ovens, seasoning, and steak knives involved. We have the ability to eat meat but I do not think it's natural. I feel much healthier since eating vegan. My digestion especially is much better and I feel more energized. I love the fact that I can eat healthy plant-based food in abundance and be within my recommended calories while getting all of my nutrients in.
Later I realized that veganism is not just about food and decided to buy only vegan makeup, beauty products, and clothes. It is something to consider at all times. When making any decision I ask myself what affect it will have on animals & the environment, I will live cruelty-free for my life there is no way to ignore these things once you allow yourself to wake up. As you can see my transition was gradual but I must stress that you have the ability to become vegan tomorrow if you so choose.
I hope you enjoyed this post. I am curious if there is anything here you would like me to elaborate on. Please leave me a comment below with your thoughts.
Wander often & wonder always,