My transition to veganism happened in three stages. Eleven year old me copied her big sister and stopped eating red meat. Fifteen year old me looked at her turkey burger dinner one night and thought, ‘Nope. Not for me any more,’ and went full on vegetarian.
Nineteen year old me started reading the book Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer one night, and the next morning woke up a vegan. Honestly, that was it! I had been moving towards and wanting to become vegan for quite some time. I always knew factory farming and animal abuse existed, but I had never thoroughly educated myself about the matters. Once I had the knowledge, there was no going back. So that was it, I became a vegan overnight.
Since this fateful night in early October 2011, I have been joyously, energetically, and playfully vegan for three years. Here are my keys to being vegan; do it when you’re ready, and chill out. Once you’re ready, the transition and ‘being vegan’ is easy. I say ‘being vegan’ because veganism is whatever you make it. For me, it’s all about the animals. I love them and want to keep them safe and happy. Eating plants, using products that aren’t tested on animals, and not wearing any clothes made from animals (who likes itchy wool anyway?!) are my ways of doing this.
‘Chill out’ is what I told myself in the beginning, still tell myself now, and encourage all other vegans to tell themselves. This simply means, be relaxed about being vegan. “Kind bars have honey?!” “There’s less that 1% of non-fat milk in this bread?!” “Meat lovers pizza isn’t vegan?!” All vegans have said one of these, or at least something like it at some point. (Okay, maybe not that last one, but you get my drift.) I’m doing my best and helping a little every day and that is what veganism is to me. Not to mention having a wildly fun and delicious time and life while doing it.
Over the last three years my love for food and cooking has increased every day. I’ve tried so many new foods I never even knew existed before going vegan. Tempeh, hemp seeds, jicama, who knew?! You must know that going vegan, whether for a week or a year or life, is an adventure. I feel new, excited and (most importantly) peaceful about it every day, and who doesn’t want that?