veganism

The title of this blog post probably made your mind wander to either positive or negative thoughts. I’m not writing a blog post with the purpose of convincing you to be vegan, so don’t worry. Instead I am going to write about my personal experience with being vegan for the past 9 months, and why I chose to go vegan.

Over the past few years, I’ve gone vegetarian twice for a period of a several months each, but was never able to make it last. It was hard to cut out meat when my entire family would be eating it right beside me, so I caved and gave up twice. Last May, however, I decided to challenge myself and go vegan for one whole week. A have a friend who is vegan so she helped me plan my meals. After the week was up, I realized I didn’t want to stop. Prior to going vegan, my stomach would be upset almost after every meal, and during this week I hadn’t experienced that feeling at all. I felt so good that for me it would be dumb to turn back. So I haven’t had meat or any animal byproducts since then.

“Why are you vegan?” has been the most asked question I have received in the past year. I will keep this (sort of) brief, because I could go on for a while. I break this answer down into three categories: for animals, for the environment, and for my own health.

I am an animal lover. For as long as I could remember, I have always loved animals more than people. I played with toy animals as a kid instead of Barbie’s and my favourite outing would be to the pet store just to look at the animals. When I was about 3 my mom asked me “what do you want to be when you grow up? You can be anything you want!” to which I replied “I want to be a horse.” I was just so used to eating meat growing up that I never questioned it. Looking back now, the thought of eating meat horrifies me.

“I couldn’t look into the eyes of an animal and say ‘my taste buds are worth more than your life’” – The Vegan Activist

I’ve always been concerned for our environment, since the day our class learned Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in elementary school. I would come home and tell my parents tips on recycling and composting. The first time I visited a dump I was devastated. I do use a car for transportation, I buy and throw things away: I am not perfect. But seeing what we are doing to our planet is of great concern to me, and I try to reduce my footprint as much as I can. By going vegan, I am helping reduce the carbon footprint that comes along with animal agriculture. Some statistics that stand out to me regarding animal agriculture are that 2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef. Additionally, livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, which is 51% of all greenhouse gas emissions (Source: COWSPIRACY ).

The final reason I became vegan was for my health. Last year I suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon, which resulted in being unable to walk for 4 months. I was not in a great mental state, and gained a lot of weight. When I went vegan, I felt amazing within the first few months. I had all this energy and was happier overall. I lost 20 pounds during my first three months of going vegan (combined with working out at least 4 times a week) and felt great. The benefits of animals in terms of nutritional value have been largely exaggerated for profit by the food industry. Humans can eat a plant based diet and receive all the necessary nutrients to survive.

However, consuming a vegan diet does not automatically equal healthy. I could live off of a diet of solely potato chips and pasta, which would be considered vegan, although rather unhealthy. Going vegan however does make you explore new recipes and read food labels, so you pay closer attention to what you’re putting in your body.

To sum up all the reasons why I am vegan, this peta video sums it up perfectly (with statistics).

 “It’s about doing the right thing where apathy and injustice is the norm” – The Vegan Activist

Overall going vegan has changed my life for the better. The hardest days were in the first few months when I craved meat and cheese, but since then my cravings are gone and no part of me wants to go back to eating meat. I am in no way trying to force veganism on anyone, and I don’t hate people who eat meat. I’m just putting my thoughts on the subject out here for those willing to listen. I am open to all kinds of questions regarding my diet, my struggles, tips or advice! (Note: I get my protein from beans, soy, seeds and certain green veggies)

If you made it this far through my very vegan post, here are my favourite recipes:

The Best Easy Vegan Lasagna by Hummusapien

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Teriyaki Cauliflower Rice Bowls by Yup, it’s Vegan

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Vegan Pumpkin Sugar Cookies by Minimalist Baker

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7 Replies to “veganism”

  1. This is a really great post! It is definitely a lifestyle that a lot of people do not understand, and are quick to judge. Eating a vegan diet is a lot healthier for you because most meat is injected with hormones, and require a lot of resources to produce. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie Forks Over Knives, as well as What the Health, and Fed Up. I find the food industry interesting, and I like watching movies that explain how the foods you ingest effect your body.

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    1. I’ve watched What the Health and was blown away with the information. I haven’t yet watched Forks over Knives or Fed Up but I’ll have to add them to my list! It’s crazy how the food industry has been tricking consumers for years, but it’s nice to see that the truth is coming out.

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  2. Although I don’t always agree with veganism ideas, I found it very interesting to know little by little how and why you chose to become vegan.
    I did watch Cowspiracy, a reference you mentioned, and changed my diet afterward. The documentary is well done. Even though I only did little change in my diet, it became more difficult to eat outside with some friends and to have dinner at a friend’s place.
    The struggle here is that changing my diet had effects on them as they had to adapt everything just for me.
    I would be interested to hear how you deal with the social side of changing from a “traditional” diet to veganism or another changed diets and even get some tips§

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    1. When I first became vegan it was definitely a difficult adjustment at first. However, my friends were very understanding and supportive of my choices. I have always made an effort to try to make it easier on them, by either packing my own food or picking places that they enjoy eating that has vegan options for me. It was interesting for me to see that, even though my friends aren’t vegan themselves, they are now looking at labels to see if what they are eating is vegan just so they can share with me.

      There are times where I do feel uncomfortable from people who aren’t my friends, like waiters at restaurants. When I ask if there is a vegan option on the menu some waiters get flustered and don’t know how to react, which is surprising because there is a fairly large vegan community in North Bay. If restaurants aren’t accommodating or don’t give me a sure answer (like “yeah I think the tomato sauce is vegan” without actually checking) I just won’t go back.

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  3. Nice post! I’ve been vegan for certain period of time but I didn’t want to go too strict, therefore I eat meat almost on a weekly basis but not as often before experimenting vegan diet. It is nice you shared your experience to inspire others. Keep up the good work!

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