As of today, I have been vegan for a little over a month, and guess what? I’m not a crumbling piece of flesh, my bones feel stronger than ever, and I am still enjoying the food that I eat. The first week of being vegan was difficult not because I’m “missing out on bacon and cheese”, but more because of the response I got from the people around me. It’s crazy to see just how butt hurt people will get when you make a decision to not eat meat or drink milk. I only bring up veganism when necessary but I’ll never be afraid to defend it. Don’t get me wrong, I used to be one of those people that would look at vegans as think of them as annoying people who think they are better than everyone else because they eat tofu everyday. Boy was I wrong. Being vegan has opened my eyes to many of the issues going on in the world that major food industries and the government try to hide from the public. I’m glad I went vegan because I feel like I’m doing something for my planet and I’m not supporting the slaughter, exploitation, rape, and murder of innocent beings. Sorry (not sorry) if that bothers you.
Things I’ve learned:
- Make sure you completely educate yourself. For anyone that tries to criticize you for being vegan, nothing will shut them up more than backing up your claims with real facts and statistics about what they are supporting if they consume or use animal products.
- If someone asks why you won’t drink milk or eat the platter of meat that’s for dinner, and you reply, “sorry, I’m vegan”, be prepared for:
- You need milk to have strong bones. Getting milk from a cow doesn’t even kill them.
- You need meat to get protein.
- How will you survive without bacon?!
- Let’s see how long this will last, it’s just a phase.
- Don’t come to my house and expect me to cook anything special for you (yes this is actually something a family member told me)
- How to respond to these responses:
- No actually I don’t need milk to have strong bones, have you ever heard of almond milk, coconut milk, or soymilk? Yeah well they are all great sources of calcium WITHOUT the fat and cholesterol that is in cow milk. Plant-based milk doesn’t involve the rape and exploitation of cows. It doesn’t make sense that as humans we feel the need to drink the milk from cows when they are meant for raising calves to the 500+ pound mammals that they are born to be. Do your research.
- Protein isn’t only found in meat, where do you think the animals get it from? From eating PLANTS. It makes more sense to eat the primary source of protein without having to ingest all the saturated fats and cholesterol that comes with eating meat. Beans, dark greens, lentils, quinoa, bananas, and so many other plants provide just the amount of protein we need in a day.
- Trust me, I don’t need a strip of flesh full of fats, cholesterol, and salt to survive.
- I plan on living this way for the rest of my life, it may just be a “phase” to you, but at least it’s a “phase” that doesn’t support the overuse of water, deforestation, and slaughter/rape/exploitation of innocent animals while also increasing the longevity of my life.
- I never asked to get any special treatment, but I’m perfectly fine staying at home or eating my own food before I leave.
- Not everyone is rude and ignorant; I am lucky enough to have a handful of friends and family that are supportive of my decision. I will never force my opinions onto others (maybe encourage), but all I ask is that my right to live the way I do is respected.
- Eat bananas, everyday.
- If you’re planning to eat out with friends or family, always look up the menu online first so you know what to order, or if you have to eat something before you leave.
- If you ever feel like you’re losing your grip with veganism, rewatch all the documentaries to remind yourself of what you’re doing for the planet and for the animals.
- Don’t fall into that “annoying vegan” category. It’s good to try to educate others and encourage the vegan lifestyle but don’t be too pushy and militant. Only bring veganism up in conversations if you have to, don’t be that person that says “I’m vegan” in every sentence. There are some really stubborn people out there that refuse to give up meat; don’t let them get to you. Spread awareness to others, but realize that the people who won’t listen are the ones that just don’t care, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Things I have accomplished:
- I guess you can say that I kind of went vegan overnight. Some people usually start of as a vegetarian and then work their way towards veganism, which is totally fine. To me, the dairy industry is probably one of the worst ones so giving up dairy products wasn’t hard at all. For a month I’ve completely had a plant-based diet. I don’t crave bacon or burgers; the sight of raw flesh in grocery stores actually makes my stomach turn.
- I don’t buy any more products that are made of animal products, or are tested on animals. I’m in the process of using up all the non-vegan products I already own.
- I stopped using my genuine leather Fossil purse that I’ve had for over 2 years. The thought of having a once alive and thriving animal hang off my shoulders made me sick.
- Most of the meals I eat are raw; I rarely eat processed foods.
- I actually read the nutrition labels now! (To make sure that I’m getting the amount of nutrients I need and that there aren’t any animal products)
- I feel absolutely no guilt about the foods that I eat now.
Tips for newbies like me or anyone who is interested:
- Youtube is your best friend. It’s an easy way to educate yourself and make your transition as easy as possible. I watched many different youtube videos to learn more about why I’m choosing to be vegan and also recipe videos for inspiration and ideas.
- You don’t need to eat salad everyday. Salads are great, but it’s still possible to enjoy other dishes like pasta, stir fry, burritos, etc. A vegan diet can be limited to an extent, but it doesn’t limit you from being able to enjoy delicious and nutritious foods.
Sorry for the long post, there are just so many things to say about veganism and I am so grateful that my eyes were opened to this amazing lifestyle. It’s really not that hard to make the switch; I highly encourage everyone to learn about it and at least try it out!