“I personally chose to go vegan because I educated myself on factory farming and cruelty to animals, and I suddenly realized that what was on my plate were living things, with feelings. And I just couldn’t disconnect myself from it any longer.” -Ellen DeGeneres
Being a vegan seems like it has become a very hot topic amongst many people nowadays, what with the countless documentaries, novels, and articles on the subject, and thousands of people making the switch each and every day, it is no longer a notion just for the hippies. Becoming a vegan, vegetarian, or simply choosing to eat less animal product, in my opinion, is one of the most rewarding experiences of your life! Choosing to eat a plant-based diet is in my honest opinion, one of the greatest things you can do for mother earth and for our environment, and finally but not least, for yourself. We can all start choosing a healthier menu than the one we have been told to eat our whole lives. Simple education on the subject alone has made a tremendous impact on my life, and it truly was an eye-opening journey, that I believe each needs to take on their own.
I, unfortunately, am not here to try to convince you to become vegan or eat more plant stuff. It is simply my personal journey and if you learn or realize even one thing by reading this then I am happy. It is inevitably up to you and only you to decide whether eating a more plant-based diet is a good idea for you.
You, after all, have free will to choose how you live your life.
Anyways, enough gabbing here is my story about going vegan as well as some of my thoughts on the subject!
Back in 2014 in an attempt to start educating myself on topics of interest, I found myself starting to watch documentaries on Netflix about the subject of food and the treatment of the animals, and I remember crying in my bed one night during the movie called “earthlings” at the clear and undeniable cruelty and torture of the animals and the disgusting conditions in which they are kept. It made me so sick to my stomach that I decided to go Vegetarian the following day, which lasted for two months before I ate meat again.
That was almost 3 years ago now… I realized that I had been eating a good amount of meat and dairy especially during my time living in Revelstoke, and I guess I tried to suppress what I had seen in those documentaries. I had my head in the sand for the most part and pretended to not know what I knew. I enjoyed those days because I knew they were limited. The days where I freely ate whatever I wanted, chicken, beef, pork, bacon (needs its own category)… I enjoyed it all and didn’t think too much at all about what I happened to be consuming.
But I knew those days were numbered because deep down I couldn’t forget what I knew. I knew one day the day would come when I would quit eating meat or dairy or using any animal byproducts whatsoever. I felt it in my soul that I was that person. I just hadn’t become it yet.
I had been contemplating a plant-based lifestyle for quite some time before I made the switch, I’ve known for a long time I would one day go through with it, I knew I would eventually have to pull my head out of my ass and act the part, there were many things preventing me from it. Like what about all those delicious meat-based dishes like spaghetti and meatballs I love so much? I will miss all my favorite foods, and heavens what about cheese! I couldn’t ever cut out cheese completely, I absolutely love cheese! I really don’t think I can do a vegan diet all the time… Especially during travels, and for special occasions. I would simply hate being limited in my diet whilst traveling, or camping with friends for example.
And I also worked out, so what about protein, how on earth would I get enough protein now without eating meat? I did wonder this until I was enlightened to the fact that a ton of vegetables and whole grains have protein, and it is very healthy for you too. Some of the strongest and fittest people happen to be vegan so I couldn’t use that excuse anymore…
I actually came up with every excuse in the book as to why I didn’t want to make the change, and this lasted over 2 years-long… Before I finally realized at the very end of July 2017 that it was now or never, I would take the plunge. I just needed one last push…
So I did what had always motivated me to make a change, and head right on over to watch videos of people that were currently vegan and happy on youtube which made me want to do it for the health and life benefits, and then when I saw how happy I could be as a vegan I realized that maybe vegan was actually more beneficial than going vegetarian, then after that (all in the same night) I went and watched a documentary that would speak to my heart about the animal cruelty once again, and also opened my eyes more to the dairy industry prompting me to become Vegan the next day.
I decided, however, that I would give myself some breathing room, and right from day number 1, I had decided that if ever I really really wanted to eat something that wasn’t “plant-based” I could, and it was as simple as that. Now I know that if I am offered my favorite spaghetti and meatballs, I can have some, I just will limit the meatballs to 1 or 2 or maybe 3, instead of the 7, 8 or 9 that I would normally have.
I now see meat and dairy as more of a luxury food that I can still enjoy on special occasions if I really want, because after all, food is a big part of having a social part of life, and I still wanted to go out with my friends to dinner once in a blue moon, and not be restricted to a salad. I could if I really wanted to eat a burger, I would just not very often. It’s the part of me that still wants to “Live” and enjoy the incredible foods of this planet. But all in moderation of course. I will just try my best and take it one meal at a time.
It is hard to make the decision to go vegan or eat a more plant-based diet. It is not something you should take on all willy-nilly, and if you do that then honestly good for you, you have great determination.
I went back and forth several times before I fully committed to the lifestyle. It did get easier after a few weeks, and instead of craving hamburgers and chicken wings, I started to crave veggie stir-frys and whole grains, I know weird right? …
Immediately after making the switch to a plant-based diet, my energy levels plummeted, and I mean that in the best way because it doesn’t sound like a good thing because I was tired most of the time. I remember one afternoon I came home from work at about 2 pm, and went to take a “short 1-hour nap” and slept until 7.30 pm. I couldn’t believe it. But it made me realize that I simply wasn’t eating enough, and so I had to change that. I also had some pretty cool dreams during those naps, that I remembered vividly, so it wasn’t all bad! I also wasn’t working too much at the time, so it didn’t really affect me in that respect, they were just lovely afternoon naps that I all of a sudden needed…
You see, on a plant-based diet, you can and should eat a heck of a lot more than you normally would when eating your typical diet. It shocked me on how full I would feel just by eating whole grains and vegetables… Like who would have known!? But once I started eating more food, I got my energy levels back, and I started to feel great! I also was losing weight without really trying, like I used to bust my ass at the gym to see even a pound gone, but now I was barely going to the gym at all and I was losing weight… Was this going to be finally the answer to my prayers when it came to the excess body weight I had struggled with my holy life?
I had heard of some incredible transformations thanks to a plant-based diet. Maybe this was the last piece to my puzzle when it came to weight loss. I’ve been struggling with my weight since I was 7 years old. It has always been a concern for me, and I’ve tried many times to lose weight. But I feel like this is the big one for me, I won’t stop till I succeed this time.
I am not a plant-eating saint, I still cheat occasionally, usually when it comes to a hidden milk product in some foods like chocolate, but I do my very best not to eat it because to be honest most of the time it really isn’t worth it… But there is that occasional time when I just have to have that piece of cheesy pizza, and I do, and I enjoy it 1000 times more than if I had I always eaten that sort of stuff… It’s really weird to explain, but the food just tastes better now, like I have awakened to this whole new world of fantastic foods, that have been there the entire time, I just could never appreciate them fully. But now I can. My taste buds are phenomenal!
Now that I have my energy levels back too, I feel much better inside and out. I have lots of energy and find that I am happier as well. Maybe it has to do with not feeling guilty anymore when I eat dinner, knowing that I am not eating animals anymore. I believe in the saying, “you are what you eat” because the foods you choose to ingest does become part of you. I am no scientific expert on this subject though, so if you want to learn more about the scientific health benefits of being a vegan, or simply eating more plant-based foods and less meat and dairy, there is a ton of information out there waiting for you to discover.
Once you start to look into this area more and more, you will slowly begin to realize how much there is that you don’t know, and how you have been told lies your whole life. What the industries are doing is simply not right, it is morally and ethically wrong, and we don’t even realize what is going on out there. Once you start going down the rabbit hole, it’s hard to get out unchanged.
Unfortunately, right now, most of us don’t see animals as beings, that feel pain just like we do, they feel love as well, just look at your pets. We wouldn’t wish the treatment animals receive in the slaughterhouse onto our worst enemy in the world, and yet we turn a blind eye when it comes to that bacon you enjoyed at breakfast, the chicken breast you had on your salad at lunch, or that steak you BBQ’d for dinner…
I think if you educated yourself to the point where you actually knew where your food comes from, and the process it undertakes before getting to your plate you would definitely think twice about eating meat and dairy, but that’s just my personal experience with the whole concept. Once I knew what I was really eating, I decided that I really couldn’t justify it no longer, and I decided from then on that I would stick to a plant-based diet as best I could. Some people don’t get that decision I have made, and that is expected, not everyone will see things the way that I do. But I am happy I finally made the decision to start eating plant-based, as I have wanted to now for a few years.
These two quotes sum it up:
“The problem is that humans have victimized animals to such a degree that they are not even considered victims. They are not even considered at all. They are nothing; they don’t count; they don’t matter. They are commodities like TV sets and cell phones. We have actually turned animals into inanimate objects – sandwiches and shoes.” Gary Yourofsky
“I don’t see why someone should lose their life just so you can have a snack.” -Russell Brand
-The health benefits of eating a plant-based diet are quite phenomenal. Seriously I could sit here and ramble on and on all day, but I won’t. I trust that if you are curious you can look into it yourself and make your own wise decision because you know what problems you are dealing with better than I do, and I know you will see for yourself that eating a plant-based diet has some serious benefits that you could potentially enjoy and benefit from…
-The problem I see with being a vegan nowadays is it’s not very accepted, especially by people that aren’t vegan themselves. I haven’t been vegan for very long at all now, actually, to be honest, I don’t even like saying I am, I prefer just saying I eat a plant-based diet, I prefer not to eat meat or dairy, for reasons that speak truth to who I am. But what I have noticed is people almost feel uncomfortable around others who are vegan, and almost feel judged in a way by people who happen to be vegan. Being a vegan has gotten a bad rep throughout the years, and I find that even saying you are a vegan can rub some people the wrong way.
-We vegans, vegetarians or plant-based eaters should never feel superior to people in any way, shape or form. We are all equals, no matter what we choose to put in our mouths, or how we choose to live our lives. We are simply acting as the change we wish to see in the world.
-We should never feel judged, or looked down upon because of the food we choose to eat. It is our free will to decide what we eat individually, and you should never feel pressured to do anything you don’t feel is best for you. Stick to what you feel is true to you, whether that’s with eating meat, or eating vegetables.
-It is not our place to look down or judge another for what they eat. Instead, inspire others to willingly make the change on their own without feeling forced. They will feel like it was their decision to go vegan and not some outside influence, and are more likely to stick with it for the long-haul, and not just a few days.
-I remember experiencing this feeling before I went vegan, and I was eating meat and dairy without really even thinking about it, but the second I was around others that were vegetarians, or vegans, I immediately felt uncomfortable eating meat all of a sudden, but at the same point I became inspired by them to give vegan a fair trial to the idea of becoming a vegan myself, as the vegans that were around me were all extremely happy and peaceful with their lives… And I wanted that pretty bad.
-I personally hate the label “vegan” and while I called myself one for a little more than a week (lol), and probably pissed off a few people by stating all loud and proud I was a vegan, I never wanted to do that. Since before I even decided to become a vegan, I thought, I sure hope I don’t become one of those annoying vegans that tell everyone how they are vegan and how they state they don’t eat meat or dairy or use any animal products. I remember thinking I would be much more modest about it, but I soon realized that I had indeed started doing exactly the thing that I hated….I started to become that annoying vegan person…
-I dunno what happened, but for some reason the minute I decided to ‘GO VEGAN’ I felt inclined to tell as many people as I could, I would somehow try to include this information in almost all conversations, even when we weren’t even talking at all about food. I would casually just throw in “oh I am a vegan, I don’t eat meat or dairy” even when the conversation was nothing regarding food or health. What was happening, why had I started doing this???
-I decided after just a week of calling myself a vegan, that I was over it, and I really didn’t like being that anymore, and so I decided to figure something else out. Now, I don’t call myself a “vegan” at all, but I simply keep it to myself, and if someone asks, I just say I eat a plant-based diet, similar to what a vegan might eat, but I can’t go as far as to say, “I am a vegan…”
-Simply saying I prefer to eat a plant-based diet seems to work for me, and it takes away the awkwardness of it all. People don’t feel as uncomfortable with that statement as they do upon hearing “oh yeah, I AM A VEGAN!” However, I can still inspire them to rethink their own lives and what they consume, just by showing them compassion and love.
“It’s not a diet. It’s not a phase. It’s a permanent lifestyle.” -Anonymous
To wrap things up,
These things do require an open mind, because eating a plant based diet isn’t for everyone, and you have to be willing to learn about it and see if it is right for you. The people that I watch on youtube (I’ll list a couple of my favorite ones below) they are all just radiant with happiness and love and they all have one thing in common, they happen to be vegan, which is one of the biggest reasons for me to make the switch. I was already happy before but I thought “if going vegan made me even 10% happier, it would be worth it.” And guess what??? It worked! I am indeed happier than before when I ate whatever I wanted, and ate meat without even thinking about what I was eating.
What helped though I realized, was to just take it one meal at a time. Don’t do what I did and start worrying about what you’ll eat at Christmas dinner, when you are currently in August, cause that is just crazy. Just worry about eating plant-based for your next meal, and then the meal after that, and so on. It really did help me not feel overwhelmed at the beginning of the whole lifestyle change.
“Every time sitting at a dining table, we make a choice. Please choose vegetarianism. Do it for the animals. Do it for the environment and for the sake of your own health.” -Alec Baldwin.
Finally, being a vegan or eating a plant-based diet is not for everyone, but we can all easily start eating less meat and dairy and try viewing it as a luxury food instead of the way we see it now. The health benefits alone you will start to notice by eating more plants will be very rewarding and worth it to you. Even just try it for 7 days, and you’ll start to see a difference! You’ll also feel much better emotionally knowing that you are doing something good for mother earth by no longer contributing to the meat and dairy industry, which is absolutely sickening if you looked more into it. I feel like if you really knew what went on, you’d never touch another hamburger or chicken wing in your life. But that’s just my opinion.
“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” -Albert Einstein
With Love and Light
The main two Vegan YouTubers I enjoy watching are:
Infinite waters– This guy is seriously so full of happiness and has been vegan for 13 years, but you wouldn’t think that by looking at him!
Tons of great videos on his channel to check out, but here are a few about his Vegan journey: