To many the word vegan sounds and IS weird! When someone tells you that they are vegan, some non-vegans may feel like they are being judged. Non-vegans may be thinking in their head…”oh great this person is a vegan,
that’s weird. I bet they are judging me since I eat meat and dairy.” How do I know non-vegans are thinking this? Because I used the think this!! Before I was vegan I used to stereotype the word and think that only hippies were vegans, and that a vegan was so far out there. I used to think who in their right mind would ever want to be vegan? I used to think, what would I eat all day long if I am not eating meat or dairy products. My view on veganism has dramatically changed over the course of this year, and I am happy to say I am a more open minded person because of my conversion! In this blog I will talk about my transition to veganism over the course of this past year. This is coming from a girl who would never have imagined being vegan in a million years!
In Feb 2011 I decided that I would eliminate all meat except for fish out of my diet. I am really not sure why or how I came to this conclusion. I think mainly because I didn’t consume much meat in the first place, so I would just take it out completely. Eliminating meat from my diet was also easier and cheaper for me to plan and make recipes. In February I attended a vegan cooking class at Mrs. Julie’s kitchen in Akron, Ohio. I had these perceptions that vegan cooking was impossible, bland and boring. I also had the perception that there would not be much to work with in vegan cooking. Boy, was I wrong! Mrs. Julie is a great teacher and proved me wrong! Check out that blog here: CLICK HERE. I also started watching shows like “Kill it, Cook it, Eat it.” I couldn’t see myself killing an animal and eating it myself. I thought to myself, what gives me the right to eat this prepackaged animal at the grocery store? If I was starving in the forest and needed food, I would then kill an animal to eat it! But right now I am not starving the forest, so I don’t need to pick up prepackaged hotdogs just because they taste good. I really started contemplating, and thinking about why I was consuming meat, and if it was really necessary to consume at the expense of the animal. To be honest it really was not that hard to stop eating meat with this mentality.
In May 2011 I cut out fish completely from my diet. It was the last thing I needed to cut out to be completely vegetarian. At this point I still consumed dairy products and eggs. I really enjoyed this time experimenting with vegetarian recipes. I found them easy and very tasty! I found myself consuming more fruits and vegetables as a vegetarian. I felt happier and healthier for my decision! Check out these fantastic Vegetarian Recipes! CLICK HERE!
In June I experimented with a raw vegan meal for a week. That was quite the experience! I also started experimenting with more vegan recipes. Check out this great Vegan meal I made for my dad. CLICK HERE! In June I watched the movie called Forks Over Knives. Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the so-called “diseases of affluence” that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. At this point I eliminated drinking cow’s milk. It was just the cheese and eggs that got me! I tried to eliminate the cheese and eggs all at once, and realized that was not realistic. So I slowly started cutting it out of my diet.
By september I watched the documentary called Earthlings. You can watch it free here online. CLICK HERE! Earthlings is an award-winning documentary film about the suffering of animals for food, fashion, pets, entertainment and medical research. Considered the most persuasive documentary ever made, EARTHLINGS is nicknamed “the Vegan maker” for its sensitive footage shot at animal shelters, pet stores, puppy mills, factory farms, slaughterhouses, the leather and fur trades, sporting events, circuses and research labs. After watching this movie, it helped me make the final decision to eliminate all animal products from my diet.
Currently I am working on eliminating all other animal products from my lifestyle. I try to
“veganize” my wardrobe and all the
products that I use on my body. I have really found myself in this whole process. I now feel more control over what goes into/on my body. I feel more energetic, happier and healthier by eliminating consuming animal products. As far as my athletic performance, it has been easier to get in shape. I have more energy for workouts. I have a quicker recovery time. I do take a raw vegan protein powder supplement called Sun Warrier to make sure I am getting enough protein. It really isn’t hard at all to get enough protein from a vegan diet; I just need a little more to build muscle right now. I definiely do not judge people who do eat meat or animal products, but I do challenge them to consider why they consume these things. As American’s we are raised to think that we need meat! My Grandma always nags me and always asks me, “well what are you eating then??” I tell her I have been trying new fruits and vegetables that I have never heard of before. My diet consists of more vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals then ever before! I love experimenting with new recipes and sharing them with my friends and family. I am showing them that being vegan isn’t weird, bland, boring or difficult in the least.
If you are thinking about going vegan, then I recommend transitioning slowly like I did. If you cut everything out right away, you may be more likely to throw out the whole idea!
What questions do you have about veganism? I am here to answer!!