“THERE IS NO WAY I’M GIVING UP CHEESE!”
This was my response whenever I was confronted with the decision to go vegan. I’m sure you may have said the same thing to yourself. I was not opposed to the idea of no meat, but I could not fathom how I could possibly give up dairy. To me, dairy equaled happiness! Maybe it’s the same for you. So, why the HELL would anyone give up happiness?
I WAS NOT GIVING UP MY HAPPINESS, I WAS FINDING IT.
I APPRECIATE FOOD MORE.
Giving up meat was no big deal for me at all. I was a pescatarian (nothing but fish) for about 5 years before so that part didn’t scare me. Granted, I was not the healthiest version of pescatarian because I made the decision to change my diet in my teens, but I was still pescatarian. My downfall was that I got into the pescatarian thing for all the wrong reasons. At the time, it seemed like I was doing the right thing, but I didn’t have a deeper purpose. I was not educated enough on the whole matter. Basically, I saw a documentary that involved slaughter houses and made up my mind- then and there- that I wanted no part of that abuse. I hate to say this, but I feel like at the time a big part of me got onboard with the “no meat thing” because it was trendy, it was the thing to do.
So what makes my decision to go vegan so different now?
Well, it’s not THAT different- I’m different.
I realize now more than ever that veganism has been lumped into another millennial trend that can’t possibly withstand the test of time. It’s fine if you believe that, but I don’t. Since I made the decision to go vegan, I appreciate food more. That might sound strange because arguably, I have less food to enjoy, but it’s true. I can actually TASTE things now and enjoy all the flavor that food has naturally. I have a better understanding of the nutrition I get with certain foods and I can tell the difference from when my body is hungry or if I’m just bored. I cook more because I have to, which can be time consuming, but it is ultimately worth it because I know EXACTLY what is going in my body. I never thought I would care that much about these things, but it makes a huge difference. I feel like I am in control of my peace of
mind and my health. Being vegan gives me a sense of control and pride. I feel control with the way my body functions and control with what I allow into my life. I have pride in the body that I was given which I never had before. I realize that my body is for hire not for keeps, so I must look after it and take care of it so I get the best use out of it as possible! In other words, being vegan is like using premium fuel over regular fuel for your car. The car is your body and the fuel is , obviously, your food. Sure, regular fuel gets the job done (meat, dairy, animal products, etc) but premium has a more significant impact on your car and takes a bit more effort. This was the difference with the food when I became vegan. One type of food was easy and thoughtless and the other was more challenging, yet rewarding.
I CAN’T IGNORE FACTS OR MY BODY
Like I mentioned before, I watched some documentaries involving slaughter houses when I was a teen that managed to change my relationship to food. Now as an adult, I’m not much different. Some of the absolutely stellar documentaries I watched that made me go vegan IMMEDIATELY were…
Fork Over Knives
…and the list goes on and on.
The message I received from all of these documentaries was that convenience is killing us. The urge to have things handed to us without working is hurting the human race.
Look, if you eat meat and dairy, I get it. I don’t hate you or think I am some self-righteous gift from god.
I was merely presented with some facts that I cannot un-know. I was already concerned about how much control the government and big business had over our lives so watching these docs made the truth
even more clear. I’m not going to go into ALL the specifics that these documentaries shared, but feel free to check them out yourself if you haven’t already. Many people have gone vegan after gaining the knowledge these pieces present so, watch if you dare!
I’M NOT A MACHINE.
Even though I sometimes wish I was, I am not. When I became educated on food and the food industry it was almost inevitable that I would gain more information about myself. I realized that my body tells me what I need all the time, but my body will whisperit to me. My body is not loud or abrasive, it does not yell or shout, which is exactly why it’s always easy to ignore. This was no longer acceptable. I felt as though I treated my body like the best guy friend that I had for years that secretly loved me, but for some reason I kept dating jerks instead of giving the guy friend a chance. I was finally going to give him a chance, so to speak. I was doing myself a disservice carrying on like my body and my mind were two separate things. They are braided together so tightly that if you change one, the other is bound to follow suit.
I’M GETTING OLD.
Unfortunately, this is true. It’s not just true for me, but for you reading too. It doesn’t matter if you are 7 or 70 we are all getting older with each day, hour, minute, second, etc. It’s the way of life. It is what happens. Although I am still relatively young in the conventional sense, my body is aging and will continue to age. I would love to sit here and tell you that it doesn’t bother me, and that beauty is on the inside not the outside, and that you shouldn’t care what you look like, and blah, blah, blah.
But I’m HUMAN.
I do care how I look. Not for other people’s approval, but for my OWN approval which, trust me, is WAY harder to get. I want to feel good about what I see in the mirror and take pleasure in the benefits of caring for myself. Veganism is proven to add years to your life and clear your skin, along with a host of other positive things. Who wouldn’t want to jump on that bandwagon?
I heard once that it is not about how old you look, but how old you feel. I totally agree with this, but wouldn’t it be better if you felt young and looked young when you were technically older? To me, it’s a no brainer. I don’t want to be one of those awful housewives that get so much surgery they don’t resemble themselves anymore. I don’t want to have to “upkeep” my looks so strenuously with working out like a maniac, or getting chemical peels, or face lifts. I want to age gracefully. When I am 70 I want to look like a beautiful and healthy 70 not an emaciated, dehydrated 30. That is unnatural and sad. I want to embrace all of me all the time instead of parts of me at certain times. Being vegan allows me not to think about trying to maintain my looks because my lifestyle is doing it for me.
Check out my MELONS!
WELL, THERE YOU HAVE IT FOLKS!
I know that I did not mention my resolution for not having cheese anymore, but believe me I have several. You can eat the foods you want when you are vegan, you just have to tweak the recipe. I can have cheese whenever I want, it’s just made from nuts over milk. I found this LOVELY blog post about cheese that is non-dairy that I’m sure will help out anyone who may still be on the fence of veganism. Also, I did do a video of where to get a tasty vegan burger here in Budapest, so check that out if you are in the area!
Whoever said that vegans only eat salad is so so wrong!