To be vegan means to live a life eating foods that are absolutely animal free. Typically people become vegan due to health and wellness, concerns for the environment, ethical preference, or political reasons. I know some vegans love to announce their veganism and how many years they have been vegan, but I am not one of them. Sometimes I claim to be vegetarian just to prevent the questioning and high-maintenance stereotypes. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love being vegan and wouldn’t have it any other way. Being vegan is a part of who I am and I am not afraid to own my veganism. I am so passionate about this subject, and I have a sense of reverence for veganism that I hope to convey in this post.
In high school I gradually turned vegetarian only eating eggs, fish, and dairy. Some friends were giving up things for lent and I thought I would join in for fun. I never liked pork or red meat, so to challenge myself I decided to give up chicken and turkey. For those of you that know me well, my will power is mighty strong and I live up to my commitments, especially concerning my health. At the start of high school I had already given up sugar, meaning no candy, soda, etc. This caused people to question my motives, so I was constantly pressured to eat just one M&M for such and such dollars. I held my ground, and still do to this day.
When I reached my senior year, I decided to go vegan. I had some friends from work that were vegan and had their full support which made the transition really fun and positive. By this time, I had pretty much made myself lactose intolerant, so giving up the other stuff was effortless for me. I also gave up gluten and soy during this phase, and that’s when the hesitation from certain friends and family commenced. I admit I wasn’t the prime example of the perfect vegan nutritionally speaking, but I was happy with my choice, and still am.
Living a vegan lifestyle is quite easy for me. I live it to the extreme, but that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. I am happy with my mono-meals and don’t mind eating out and not ordering anything. I have an all-or-nothing mentality, so I would rather not question items on a menu and then be disappointed in myself once I have finished the meal. Personally, I don’t need too much variety in my diet, but there are so many options to choose from.
Veganism is my choice and I take pride in the health I gain from this lifestyle. I don’t need to preach about the health benefits because the science is there for you to find out yourself. The key to this life is educating yourself on how the body works, what is required to sustain life, nutrition, and consciously reading food labels and ingredients. Being vegan may not be convenient for some, but I would rather pay for fruits and veggies than visits to the doctor.
So why did I become vegan? I value my health as much as I value my life. I know too much to ever go backwards. Along the way I have come to know alarming truths about the meat and fish industries. I respect all life in this world and thus would never compromise another life for my own.
Feel free to ask any questions about veganism as I am happy to share what I know.