How to Become a Vegan
If you asked me four years ago if I would ever be vegan I probably would have laughed in your face. I was always asked by friends because my mom was vegan, but I honestly never thought I could be one. I thought it would be too hard to transition to this lifestyle, that it would be such a big change that I would be making. Yeah it is a change you’re making to your life, but the way you approach it and transition yourself to this life is fairly easy. As long as you take the right steps it will be quite the smooth transition.
One thing you will notice throughout my writing in this post is that I’m using the terms “lifestyle” and saying how I am a vegan. If you approach this lifestyle by calling it a diet, then I’m sorry honey but this is not for you. I saw this post the other day that really caught my eye; the text read: “Veganism is not a diet. It is a rejection of violence, not a rejection of calories.” The post spoke volumes to me because of how true the statement is. Being vegan was not a diet choice, I didn’t transition my life to this to lose weight, I did it to save the animals as well as make my body healthy from the inside and out. The meat and dairy industries like to wave a cloak over our eyes to make us not see what actually happens in slaughterhouses. You ever take a step back and think about the word slaughterhouse. Slaughter. House. Just let that sink in for a bit.
I know there’s a lot of back lash about being vegan, how man was put on this earth to consume meat. That you will never get the right nutrients for eating a plant based diet. Well friends I’ve been vegan for almost a year now and I haven’t dropped dead yet! Just kidding, that was a little morbid but you get the picture. I have only seen the good out of this lifestyle. The way I feel is something I wouldn’t change, at the age of 24 I can confidently say that I'm in the best shape of my life. My endurance levels are higher; I can actually run for a decent amount of time and not feel like I’m going to pass out. To paint a picture, I should have been in the best shape of my life at the ages of 18-20. I was dancing on two different dance teams but because I decided to party and eat fast food for almost every meal, I wasn’t. During that time I always felt sluggish, I was tired nonstop, and my energy levels we’re extremely low. The way I ate also showed on the outside, I had acne flare ups and my skin never glowed, it always seemed like I looked dull. I just felt heavy all the time, as if I was wearing the food I ate on my back.
The biggest reason as to why I went vegan was because of the animals. Truthfully you can’t say you love animals, and eat them too. Their living conditions and how they are treated are too awful for me to turn away from. Their life span is a short one, finding themselves only seeing the bars from their metal cages or if they’re lucky an open field. I don’t trust when companies claim their product is free-range or that they will live a happy life before they walk death row. I just don’t buy it, I would rather know exactly where my veggies are coming from and know that there was no harm to any creature along the way. Taking back to social media again, I saw this post on Facebook where a woman was arrested for having ten dead dogs in her fridge. Well if she had ten dead pigs in her fridge, it wouldn’t be a problem to our society. I’ll just leave that there for you to think about for a bit.
So now that I’ve given you a little background to why I’m vegan and how much I enjoy this positive change I have made, I thought I would share some tips.
1) Adjust your body
This lifestyle isn’t something you can just switch to the next day, you need to let you body adjust. What I did was slowly take animal products out of my diet. I first gave up red meat after I had a bad experience after eating an In n Out burger. This fast food chain used to be my favorite, there was a point where I would find myself eating a double double at least three times a week. I ate a cheeseburger from here and within an hour my stomach was in knots . It felt as if my body was finally rejecting cow meat from being inside my body. Shortly after gave up pork mostly because of how their living situation is, living in their own filth was something I just couldn’t get passed. And finally I gave up chicken after I bit into a gross piece of chicken from Chipotle.
2) Go Vegetarian or Pescatarian first
This is what I did. I was pescatarian/mostly vegetarian for almost a year. I actually was mostly eating vegan on the daily, but if I went out to eat I would order fish or vegetarian dishes. Dairy was the last thing that I actually gave up, once you eliminate this from your body you will actually start to see the most change. I stopped feeling so heavy all the time, and my skin actually stopped breaking out so frequently.
3) Do your research.
Rather you read a couple blog posts or watch a documentary, find out what happens in the meat/dairy industries and people’s experiences on how this lifestyle has changed them. I watched “What the Health” around this time last year and it really shocked me. So many associations were promoting eating animal products that are terrible for us. The American Heart Association was saying in their diet plans that you should be eating a steak three-four times a week…Hello cholesterol?! They were also saying that people with breast cancer should be eating yogurt every day, when dairy is one of the leading causes of breast cancer. Also take the time to educate yourself about how living this lifestyle is actually helping the planet. The amount of energy and pollution that is put out into our atmosphere because of these industries is ridiculous. If we all went plant based, I think it will be one of the ways that we can save this already dying planet.
4) Ignore the haters.
Trust me when I say this, depending on the people in your life, you will not get the support from people around you. People will criticize you, even your family and friends. You’ll have people giving you their opinions on how you need meat in your diet to survive. When you try to explain to people how great this lifestyle change is they will argue back how it isn’t. I have honestly learned to ignore it and just be happy with myself and how much this diet has helped me in my day to day living.
5) Change over to cruelty-free products
Take a look at all the makeup, shampoos, conditioners, body wash, all of that. Read labels and do research on what brands actually are 100% cruelty-free. I mean it still baffles me that companies are still testing on animals, last time I checked animals weren’t wearing mascara or highlighting their cheek bones. One makeup brand that I use is Tarte, I make sure to purchase all their vegan products. I also use some stuff from Urban Decay making sure to only purchase the products with the paw print next to the display indicting that no animals were harmed. Same goes with body care, as well as the clothes you wear. Buy vegan leather products, as well as ditching the fur coats.
This lifestyle is not hard once you take the right steps. For some reason we’re taught that it’s this huge transition when really it isn’t. When you eliminate things from your diet slowly, you will begin to realize that you don’t need these products from your diet. Once you feel the positive change it will make in your daily life, I promise you that you will never want to go back.
I get questioned all the time if I miss meat. My question through and through is a big fat NO. I don’t miss the fatty party you bite into in a steak or chicken. I don’t miss seeing the blood running off a steak, or ribbing a chicken wing off the bone. The only thing I can tell you that I miss are the sauces. I am a huge sauce gal so anything I make has to have a delicious, healthy and nutritious sauce to go with it. If you think vegan cooking is bland, try my cooking and I’m sure it’ll change your mind. And I can say that with the outmost confidence because a lot of my family and friends who are not vegan have loved every vegan dish I have made them.
If you’ve been debating on going vegan, I say do it. What is stopping you? Fear. Eliminate the fear you have building up and just do it! The world isn’t getting any easier around us, so why not change your body and life for the better?
To clear some things up, I am not saying you have to be vegan to live in this life. I am giving my own personal opinions on how this lifestyle change has bettered my life. I have many friends and family members who still consume meat and I don’t ridicule them on the daily for doing so. Yeah I don’t agree with their eating choices, but I don’t live my life constantly shoving my opinions done their throats. If they want to eat a steak in front of me, sure go ahead. I’ll gladly eat my salad with baked tofu and be happy as a clam. One thing I’ve taken from being vegan is being accepting of all creatures around me. I never judge, nor go out of my way to make someone else for bad for their choices. As a vegan you will get criticized daily and have other people shove their opinions down your throat, but you know what? So what! As long as your happy at the end of the day, that is all that should really matter.
I hope you all enjoyed reading this as well as finding it useful if you are debating on rather to go vegan or not.
I wish you all the best day or night wherever your beautiful soul may be.