Becoming vegan had been a goal of mine years before I actually took the leap. I did not realize how much of an impact it would have on my life. It was a major eye opener to the world of food and how much I was missing out on.
In the beginning, I took my time. I figured it was like weight loss. I thought is was best to transition into veganism as to not put too much pressure on myself. First, I stopped eating and buying meat. I loved meat, but over the years I had an increasingly difficult time justifying my continuance. I felt hypocritical, cruel, and wrong in so many ways. People often say vegans have this superiority complex, but I think it is misinterpreted. Veganism is a way of life. A mentality. When you adopt these ideals of no longer being part of the problem, a whole new perspective takes hold. This perspective can only be felt once a person realizes what their true actions affect. Calling someone out on the fact they still consume meat after seeing a factory farm is not superiority. It’s the truth. We want everyone to see it.
After I stopped consuming meat, I started the transition of eliminating dairy from my diet. It began with no longer purchasing any dairy products. Then I stopped buying any other animal derived foods. Years ago I thought this would not be possible. Ice cream and cheese were my favorites. After researching and continuously crying when I watched the horrendous videos of animal cruelty, it was not worth it anymore.
During this transition time I started to read labels. This was time consuming and frustrating at first. Why do so many things have animal product in them! It amazed me. I continued to research vegan foods, recipes, and tips. I was nervous about eating out with friends and family because they were not vegan. What would I order? What do I do when there is not anything for me to eat? Just because I am vegan does not mean I want to eat salad all the time, every time.
Vegetables are not the only foods I eat. There are wines, pastries, breads, pastas, sauces and dips that are vegan and taste amazing. Now, I just know what is in my food and that is a comforting feeling. I have become accustomed to the questions and confident in my answers at this point. I have been vegan since June 2014. I am proud of this even if it has only been a 8 months. I found a support system of other vegans through a meetup group and they all have been amazing. I have built many friendships through our group as well as learned a lot about advocacy. I have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of advocacy I do without even trying. People are curious. People want to do the right thing. I am happy to share my experiences, knowledge, and my cooking. I am proud to be vegan.