My Vegan Journey/Why This Blog Exists
Grab a coffee, this is a lengthy first post 🙂
I made the decision to go vegan 6 months ago, after 2 years of being vegetarian. Since going vegan my entire life has changed. That may sound dramatic to those of you reading this who have not yet made the switch, but anyone who is currently vegan, I can guarantee will agree with me. Once you go vegan you almost revert back to a childlike state. To the person you were before the world hardened you, before the world told you what to think and right and wrong. You begin to trust your intuition again. You begin to see the things you have in common with people instead of only seeing their differences. You begin to empathize with strangers, with all living beings. You begin to feel more deeply, and not be afraid of those emotions. You begin to respect yourself as well as the world around you. You don’t take yourself, your body or others for granted. Going through this major life change has been the most important thing I’ve done thus far. I feel incredibly grateful for this journey that, at the beginning was bit of an emotional rollercoaster. I am starting this blog to share what I’ve learned as I feel like its my duty to pass these things along. When I first went vegan I admit, I was worried I would be living a very minimalist life, as well as a very bland and simple diet, girl was I ever WRONG. This blog is dedicated to navigating the world of veganism. I hope you enjoy.
Going vegetarian was a walk in the park for me. My life really didn’t change that much, and I felt, naively that not eating meat alone was me doing my part, and was “enough”. I believed dairy wasn’t that bad because no one was killed, and going vegan was just for health freaks and extremists who were unnecessarily depriving themselves ( I know, I’m rolling my eyes at my former self too) . At that time I hadn’t researched anything about veganism, and health was the last thing on my mind. I made a conscious effort to avoid any information online that went into detail about the dairy industry & torture involved. I didn’t want to learn that what I was doing was contributing to massive amounts of pain and suffering, because that would mean I would be forced to make changes in my life. For whatever reason I was just not ready to do that, so I dug my heels into the sand as a lot of other people do.
One day I came across a vegan meme page on Instagram. The meme said something along the lines of ” don’t put vegans and vegetarians in the same category, vegetarians are almost worse than meat eaters because they know the suffering involved in the dairy industry but won’t do anything about it, as opposed to meat eaters who just don’t know any better”. Listen, I am not easily manipulated person. The things other people say rarely get under my skin, but in this case, it got in, realllly deep. In the past I have scrolled past articles, turned off documentaries to avoid hearing and seeing things that would disrupt my happy thoughts on the topic, then this stupid meme comes along and that was that, I was vegan. Everyone’s journey starts a different way, I wish mine was more inspirational but this is the truth. I was meme shamed. It hit a nerve, and from that point on I stopped lying to myself . Obviously there is something wrong with the dairy industry and I instinctively knew that, that is why I went to such great length to avoid that truth. So that was that, I didn’t touch another animal product from that day on. It wasn’t until after I made the decision that I began researching. Then the overwhelming reality of my decision sank in.
I woke up the next morning and did a big vegan food haul (vegetables and almond milk lol). I cooked the bland veggies with no seasoning and sulked. I began to research for evidence of why going vegan was beneficial because at this point I needed some motivation to get me through eating this tasteless food. Then the flood gates of information opened. While hunting for facts and being horrified, I also discovered that a lot of the foods I believed were vegan, weren’t. Why was I not warned about this? So many foods had unnecessary animal products added to them. Was this all a huge government conspiracy to keep us all sick? My mind ran wild. The more I researched the more obsessed I became. I finally mastered some great vegan recipes, and I was no longer eating salads, it was all coming together for me. With all I had learned, I felt beyond validated in my new lifestyle choices . Being vegan is good for the planet, my body, AND the animals, and it tasted great! My mind was blown. I have to share this with the world. I am going to volunteer at rescue farms, I want to buy every vegan slogan t-shirt I can find. I’m changing my Instagram bio to state I am “VEGAN” . I screamed veganism from my balcony.
Down the rabbit hole
I have now come to the realization that the companies I buy my clothing and beauty products from are destroying the environment, testing on animals, not paying fair wages. Why are there animal products in my eyeshadow? Throw that out. Ok so now the limited products I was using have been cut in half. Then I discover that you have to look at parent companies, and that sometimes a company wont test on animals but their parent company does so they are able to sell in China where it is mandatory. Products I can use are now down to a quarter of what I previously owned. Can it get worse? The answer was, yes. The companies I’m buying my clothing from are not ethical. By consuming “fast fashion” I am also contributing to slave labour, environmental decline. In a counter productive move I decide to throw out all my clothing that was bought from those companies. At this point I am not sleeping. I am spending my nights staring at the roof, picturing dying animals and children with bleeding hands making my 20 dollar forever 21 t-shirt. I’m posting Facebook articles every day passive aggressively attacking everyone who continues to use the same brands that I only learned were terrible 24 hours previously. After about 3 months of this whirlwind of information and complete obsession, I thought it best to do some soul-searching. I couldn’t get in another online argument with any more over weight men from small towns commenting “BACON” on my posts. I realized I was making such great improvements to my heath, the environment, the animals, but I was becoming a very angry person. Everyday I would have to take a break from social media, it was to emotionally draining to be on the defence 24-7. Don’t get me wrong my emotions were valid, and I don’t want to ever stop feeling this outrage at world because that emotion pushes me to make better choices, but I needed to find a constructive way to channel my emotions. I am making good choices, I want to feel good about that.
The ah-ha moment
Over the course of the next few months I began noticing something, between my social media meltdowns, I would be asked by my friends or strangers, ” I love your makeup, what is it?”. I would respond with, it’s this or that, and best of all ITS VEGAN! This happened for clothing, skin care, makeup, and food. Every time I got a compliment I would take the time to tell them “yea, this is a vegan product, and it is just as good, if not better than what I was using before”. Some of those people would come back to me excited and say, “I went to Sephora and didn’t buy this brand because you told me they still test on animals”. Or “so glad you told me about how Canada Goose jackets are made, I almost bought a coat from them but decided not to”. ” I tried out that vegan restaurant you posted and it was amazing, I always thought vegan food would taste like grass”. I was, without noticing, making a change in the world around me. Instead of telling people they are trash for buying bad brands I would say, “Where we spend our money is sending a message about what we stand for and what we want the world to be”. I realized not all people are ready to be vegan at this moment, just like I wasn’t ready until that meme attacked my soul. But people, when given information to make better choices, usually will do so. I began to open my eyes to my own behaviour, the people I had shamed and attacked on social media for their choices seemed to have gone deeper into their ignorance, whereas the people I had conversations with and showed them that you can be a vegan and not be a starved hippy. You can eat at fancy restaurants, wear cool clothes and live an even more fulfilling life that ever imagined. Those people were intrigued and more inclined to make better choices in the future. Ultimately you have to respect people where they are on their journey. All you can do is provide them with information and hope that some of it sinks in, if it doesn’t, you don’t have to have a full mental breakdown and lash out. It doesn’t help you, them, and least of all the animals.
The pendulum has to swing far in both directions before meeting in the middle
Over the past 6 months I have completely changed my lifestyle, my view of the world, and how I am interacting with others. I feel it’s my duty to pass the information and experiences I’ve learned along, it may help someone else, and at the very least it may help me channel my emotions on the topic. I have found some extremely motivational people and brands and recipes over the past few months and I cant wait to share them with you. My goal is to show the world that being vegan is not difficult, it is something that can be done on any budget. For every animal product there is, there is usually an equally great vegan version. Although I am not an experienced writer, and my spelling and grammar is usually quite bad. My heart is in the right place I hope that you will follow me along this journey. I would love to hear any comments, critiques you may have. If there are products you would like me to review, message me. If I ever post something that is not accurate, please do not hesitate to tell me. I will strive to always post the most up to date information I can to the best of my knowledge.
Being vegan is not about being perfect, it’s about making better choices, choices that are, lets say, ethically peachy 🙂