I was a sophomore in high school, and the show I was in at the time had three vegans in the cast and one vegan-curious, me. On social media, I constantly found myself bombarded with vegan influencers, vibrant vegan fruit and vegetable dishes, and unending reasons to go vegan. At the time, I had already adopted a paleo way of eating. If you don’t know, the paleo diet relies heavily on meat and vegetables. So, as someone who’s loved animals more than most things on the planet since the day I was BORN, part of me knew something wasn’t right.
I started by getting to know the show vegans a bit better. I asked all my questions, they busted all the myths, they shared delicious vegan food with the us, and I found myself constantly seeking more information as to why I should make the switch.
So, I did! With strategy, though.
I started gradually, one-by-one excluding red meat, chicken, eggs, yogurt, fish, etc. Unlike the paleo diet, I let myself indulge in more carb-heavy vegetables, like potatoes, to make myself feel a little more emotionally sustained, since I wasn’t eating any meat. My parents were kind enough to buy whatever groceries I would add to the grocery list, and I was in charge of cooking for myself. I immediately got on Pinterest to find inspiring vegan recipes, and I scoured Youtube for even more internet-famous recipe bloggers.
Four years later, here I am, vegan as ever. I’ve experimented with raw vegan eating, low carb vegan eating, and junk food vegan eating. Here’s what I’ve concluded:
- I feel better not eating meat
- I feel energized by raw fruits and vegetables
- I get plenty of protein
- the more I exercise, the more protein I need
- I need to drink more water than I actually do
- I love ice cream and have absolutely no shortage of it, despite not eating dairy (I guarantee I eat wayyy more ice cream than the average person)
- sometimes vegan junk food hits the spot
- I need to supplement my iron intake (a mineral many vegans, vegetarians, and non-vegans are deficient in)
Do I miss meat, dairy, eggs, etc? Not really. I haven’t found anything that I was craving that I couldn’t make vegan. And if I do ever miss something in particular, it’s the values (i.e. no animal cruelty, decreased carbon emissions, no animal pus in my milk…) that keep me honest and committed to the lifestyle.
Go vegan. Eat less meat. Questions? Please ask. This is my short story of how I was influenced by the plant-based lifestyle. I encourage you to find yours.
With love and vegan ice cream,