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What It’s Like to be Vegan

I’ve been vegan for about 6 years now, and I can honestly say that it’s one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made. My parents were very skeptical of it at first, but I was lucky enough to have a sister who became vegan 4 years before I did. This allowed me to learn how to thrive as an individual who doesn’t consume anything that comes from a living thing.


It all started when I watched Food Inc. at 3 am on a Thursday night. The rest was history. That night I decided that I was going to become vegan, so I went cold turkey and cut out all animal products from my diet. This was surprisingly easy as it was something that I wanted to do, not something that I was told to do. It’s easier to be successful with something when you genuinely want to do it. I was now living in a world where I had to google “ vegan food at____” on a daily basis, and I had to double check the ingredients to everything I eat.


I often have to explain how being vegan and being vegetarian is in fact different. I also have to deal with the “ how do you live without cheese?!” remarks on the daily. As a vegan, I often have to explain how many of the foods that most non-vegans enjoy on a daily basis are accidentally vegan, like Oreos for example. Many people assume that all I eat is tofu and kale, but in reality, I can’t stand tofu or kale. That statement really confuses people. The media portrays vegans as a bunch of hippies when in reality I’m just a girl who doesn’t want to support factory farming.

Jenna Van Holten

Bryn Mawr '21

Bryn Mawr College 2021
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