Going vegan, in a sense, was my version of “coming to Jesus.” It completely changed my actions, my mindset and my world - for the better. Here are the best/most helpful things I have learned over the years.
1. It’s okay to be different
Growing up, I was always very concerned with what other people thought of me. I just wanted to be part of the bigger group. However, through veganism, I have learned to accept (and embrace) my ideological differences. Not only is it okay to be different, but it is a vital part of society to have individualistic beliefs. It is okay to be you.
2. Every vegan is different
Just because we all share the same general principle: to abstain from animal products, does not mean we all have the same reasons or beliefs for veganism. There are ethical, environmental, health and (for lack of a better term) religious vegans. There are plenty of valid reasons for each category.
3. Being vegan does not have to be difficult or expensive
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Veganism can be as fancy as going out to five star vegan restaurants in Beverley Hills or as simple as eating a well balanced meal of beans, rice, and vegetables. Nonetheless, both approaches are legitimate forms of veganism.
4. The importance of positivity in our lives
My introduction to veganism was a very negative experience. It was full of vivid documentaries and harsh images. It was difficult to remain optimistic for the future. I remember always thinking about how it was possible for humans to be so malicious to other sentient creatures. As a response to that negativity, I was able to realize the importance of being optimistic and hopeful for the future. I like to think about things as opportunities to improve rather than fatal flaws in our society. After all, what is life without hope? Photo Credit
5. Veganism does not necessarily equate being healthy
When we picture veganism, typically images of vegetables, fruits and nuts appear in our minds. This is not always the case for vegans. There are plenty of unhealthy vegan diets that consist of solely vegan donuts, (Oreo) cookies, pizza, pasta, etc.. This goes into my previous point that every vegan is different and capable of determining whichever diet works best for them. Photo Credit
6. It is important to value life
Life comes in different forms - whether it be in plants, animals, bacteria, etc. I believe that if a living creature has the ability to feel pain or happiness, it is immoral to exploit them for our pleasure. All living creatures deserve equal treatment and the potential to live a full life. In today’s world, farm animals have become a distant reality. They are creatures that we don’t come into contact with on a daily basis which leads to a cognitive detachment between the actual living animal and a steak we eat for dinner. It is important to make the connection between the two. It’s also important to be aware of where our food comes from.
Overall, I have been fortunate enough to be a part of the vegan movement. Through veganism, I was able to strengthen who I am as a person and strengthen my beliefs. Through veganism, I gained a voice that I will forever be grateful for.
*Photos Courtesy of Flickr.com and Pixabay.com