01 Jun 2015
A year ago I made the transition from vegetarian to vegan. To put that into perspective, I had been vegetarian for a little over a year when the evidence got the best of me and I surrendered to the calling of veganism. When I first entered the void of vegetarianism I did so with the intention of being vegan. I clearly remember the first day I went to Uni on my new vegan mission. I said to my girlfriends before class, “I am going vegan”. Now what they said I wasn’t prepared for: “Ha! You can’t do that. You will never succeed! You can’t eat any animal products – what about chocolate? And you know you can’t wear wool or leather – good luck this winter!” The things they said stung – and those friends weren’t the only people with a problem with it (for reasons I am yet to understand). My initial attempt at veganism failed. I decided to commit to vegetarianism. For just over a year I lived a comfortable vegetarian life. Despite still eating vegetarian cheese and a good deal too much chocolate, I was still harassed for my decisions, but at the same time, I influenced several of my close personal friends to join me on my vegetarian pathway. Now, vegetarians and vegans surround me, and I am never short of a dinner date or someone to share vegan cookies with. I suppose the learning here is that people will judge you when you make a big change – whether it’s a new diet or marvellous lifestyle upgrade, quitting a job, or evolving your spiritual beliefs. The people around you will have something to say, but you will have something to say back. Not only will you encounter people who will oppose you, when you venture down a plant-based path, you will also meet people who will support your views and lifestyle. Transitioning to veganism was a process. As a vegetarian, I battled with the ethics of eating dairy - on several occasions I poured out my dairy milk coffee, too guilty to drink it. I felt pulled in both directions – a non-vegan life seemed easier and a bit more delicious. At the same time I knew veganism was the only way to embody the animal activist that I am. After a year of internal battle and philosophical arguments, I proposed a challenge to my partner and myself. A 30-day vegan challenge – at the end of the month, I said, we can re-evaluate, make an informed choice about how we will eat of the rest of our days. The month passed, and I felt twice as good about my food choices, I felt healthier, more honest, and most importantly, confident I could be vegan and still eat like a queen. It was all I needed to embark on a vegan path for good. That was August 2014. Here I am, a year later, vegan, healthy, confident, informed and an ethical warrior.
Would you be interested in a 30-day vegan challenge? Stay tuned to my blog to read new entries every month about veganism, life-style change, recipes, vegan guides and more, and comment below to share your stories and questions about transitioning to veganism.