If you know me, you may or may not know that I’m vegan. I don’t like to be ~that~ vegan who constantly talks about veganism and why the whole world should go vegan [even if I do think that inside], so a lot of people don’t know how long I’ve been vegan, why I first considered veganism and why I’ve stayed vegan all these years.
During my freshman year English class in high school, we had an assignment to make a change for four weeks. My change of choice was to go vegetarian. Much to my mother’s chagrin, I ate no meat for 28 days. It wasn’t as hard as I imagined and I remember how my stomach felt the first time I ate meat after [let’s just say, not well]. I immediately thought that meat couldn’t be great for me if my stomach was feeling that bad when I reincorporated it into my diet again. I had thought about going vegetarian again right after but didn’t want to face the wrath of my family [they thought four weeks of cooking for a vegetarian was a lot how could they handle a lifetime?].
Prior to LVNG Limitless, I had a summer bucket-list blog in high school with my best friend at the time. One of our bucket list items was to go vegan for a week; because we were 14 years old and what else were we supposed to do to keep ourselves entertained? During the first week in August of 2012, my friend and I went vegan and boy was it was a rough week, I won’t lie. I had no idea what I was doing and was eating salad and fake meat that tasted like dog food [that my dog wouldn’t even eat] and the occasional veggie burger.
Flash forward to my freshman year of college. My roommate freshman year was vegan and very vocal about it. She would show me videos of slaughterhouses and give me facts about the truth behind the dairy industry. From the moment [October 20th, 2015 – yes! Four years ago yesterday!] she showed me a video of a slaughterhouse in Sweden [a very graphic video I might add], I knew I had to change my lifestyle. I tweeted that day that I was going to start my transition to veganism and that was that. I stopped eating meat cold turkey [pun acknowledged, not intended] and slowly started removing dairy and eggs out of my diet. It was rough at first. I ate a lot of protein bars, fruits and veggies, expensive foods that I got cheaper because of my meal plan and TONS of Chipotle. Over these past few years, I learned how to eat a balanced diet with simple and complex proteins, healthy fats and good carbohydrates. It took a while and a lot of trial and error with cooking but I finally found a diet and “menu” that I love and my body loves as well. Four years later, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Going vegan has absolutely changed my life for the better and I don’t think I could ever go back.
Okay, now that you know my story, I want to try to encourage someone else to go vegan [or at least vegetarian] too! I’m not going to be showing any scarring slaughterhouse videos [watch those at your own risk]. Since going vegan, I’ve gotten so much healthier, physically and mentally, met new people, lost weight, learned to cook, reduced my carbon footprint and have eaten so much better consistently. It’s become something I’m very passionate about and I have incorporated it into almost every aspect of my life.
In my opinion, anyone [without major medical dietary restrictions] can go vegan. Whether you go vegan for the animals, the health reasons, the environment or any other reason, you are saving the planet, saving the animals and saving yourself.
Go vegan, and someday soon you’ll also be celebrating your fourth rotation around the sun living cruelty-free.