After being vegetarian on and off for years, a couple of months ago I decided to try out veganism. This is something that many people don’t understand, my mother included, so I will try my best to explain my reasons.
It all started when I was aimlessly browsing through Netflix and stumbled upon a documentary called Food Matters. I avoid watching endless scenes of animal cruelty because it just upsets me and leaves me questioning life. I know it happens and just knowing it is bad enough. I don’t feel any desire to repeatedly be sad and angry. Anyway, this documentary looked different. It’s main focus is on the health benefits of cutting out animal products from your diet. Having read some reviews, I’m not sure if every part of the film is medically proven and accurate, but it’s definitely true that eating a plant based diet reduces the risk of getting heart disease and cancer. I was on a Netflix binge at this point, and decided to also watch Vegucated where some Americans try out veganism. I’ve been told I should watch Earthlings, but I hear it is very horrific so I think I will avoid it for now.
After watching these films, I did a lot of my own research into vegan nutrition to see if I felt it was something I could actually do. I became obsessed with this for weeks and decided that once I’d eaten all the animal based food I already had, I would not buy any more. The first month was really exciting and interesting. Who knew that a few seeds could replace an egg? And who knew you could milk almonds? It was all very new and fun. You can make almost any meal vegan. The greatest moment was when I made vegan brownies that tasted better than any brownie I had ever had. I made a lot of pesto and hummous to fight my cheese cravings, and these turned out to be great replacements. I put them on pizza and everything. I also discovered nutritional yeast flakes which are a great cheesy tasting topping for pasta.
I soon realised that being vegan is easy. You just have to be keen to cook which I am. The only time it is difficult is when i’m eating out or go over to a friend’s house or even to my parents’. It just involves a bit more planning. If I know i’m going to a certain restaurant, I’ll scan the menu in advance and email the place asking if any of their dishes are vegan. Usually there are one or two things I can eat. If I go to someone’s house, I will usually bring along some food to share, and offer to help with cooking. I recommend reading How To Be Vegan by Elizabeth Castoria if you’re interested in the vegan lifestyle. She explains everything in a very accessible and entertaining way.
Vegan pros: better for your health, better for the environment, better for the animals, tasty food
Vegan cons: having to constantly answer foolish questions “but where do you get your protein?!” “if we didn’t eat them, wouldn’t the world be overpopulated by cows?!” “where would all the milk go?!”
All in all there are many reasons to try a vegan diet. I genuinely feel much healthier and happier than I ever have in my life, and I feel like I owe that to my diet. Thank you veganism! And as for the silly questions, they’re pretty easy to laugh off.