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5 Things To Think About Before Going Vegan

5 Things About Going Vegan According to Sophie Ashton

For this article I decided to do a profile on one of my closest friends, Sophie Ashton. She has been a vegan for over a year and I feel like I have learned a lot from her as she has told me about her journey. I know being vegan isn’t particularly common in certain areas, however, it’s overly accepted here in Eugene and very doable as a college student. I wanted to get some helpful tips from Sophie about what she did in the process of becoming a vegan and here are her top five things to know!

Fast facts about Sophie Ashton:

Grade: Junior
Major: Graphic Design
From: Lake Oswego Oregon
How long she’s been vegan: 1.5 years

5 Things About Going Vegan According to Sophie Ashton

1. Do your research

“I started my research because I had to write a paper about animals (specifically lobsters and how they are boiled alive) feeling pain when being killed. It was actually for a research paper in my college Writing 121 course. This had me think about all the animals I eat, how they are treated, where they come from and what not. I felt very oblivious to where any of my food came from. I ate everything without questioning it and had no dietary restrictions. This lead me to watching documentaries on Netflix (Cowspiracy and What the Health)  and hundreds of YouTube videos as well as staying up late doing research on eggs and dairy. After a couple weeks of online research I started reading books about how animals were being treated and why being vegan is good for you and the environment. I also began to see all of the many vegan substitutes that made going vegan look very doable (which it so is).”

 

2. You can make the switch overnight

“One day after some research, I started to look at all my food differently. I started to notice what was in the food I consumed and it physically grossed me out after everything I learned. I didn’t want to eat any of my regular foods like yogurt, chicken, cheese or even coffee creamer—which was especially difficult for me because I love coffee and drink it every day. I know some people like to ~phase~ themselves into going vegan by restricting toward no meat, then no dairy, then no eggs or hidden dairy (like butter). I didn’t want to do this because I wanted to challenge myself by jumping in. I felt guilty eating the food in phases, and I wanted to get my eating act together. I knew I needed to become more healthy and that my current diet was awful, so being healthy as quick as possible was my overall goal. It really wasn’t that hard, it was actually exciting. I found that I didn’t hate everything I was eating. All you have to do is pay attention to what you’re eating and don’t be afraid to ask questions at restaurants.”

 

3. Don’t be afraid to create a vegan girl-gang network

“To help me with this lifestyle change, I talked to two of my closest friends who were vegan. They helped me with any questions and concerns I had with the process. It’s good to have a support system because they can motivate you and back up your decisions. My friends also validated my concerns about food that no one else seemed to question. It’s nice to know you’re not alone because even living in Oregon—where being vegan is fairly common—it can still be a struggle to fit in with some people who aren’t vegan.”

 

4. Understand why you’re passionate

“The three biggest reasons to go vegan are for your health, for the planet and for the animals. At the beginning I started for the animals but through more research I learned I was doing this for the planet and myself as well. It’s important to know why you’re doing what you’re doing and be passionate about it Because there will be times when you really want to cheat and give up for a day but you need to remember why you started this journey. After a couple of months of going vegan I began to see some physical changes like a better immune system, my skin cleared up, better digestion, I don’t feel drowsy throughout the day (despite my coffee addiction whoops), and even a little weight loss (bonus!). As for the planet by eating less animal byproducts it reduces carbon emissions and the animal agricultural industry is a major contributor to global warming. And for the animals, they don’t deserve to be raised for a life of suffering just be brutally murdered and packaged up. I feel like people deserve to hear the truth about where their food comes from and what industry they are buying into every time they go grocery shopping.”

 

5. You still don’t miss out on food

“Luckily, today there are endless vegan options and vegan substitutes for your favorite foods. There are so many places to go out and eat that are strictly all vegan, and my non-vegan friends love eating at these places, too. My favorite vegan restaurant in Eugene is called Cornbread Cafe. Their entire menu is vegan—which is awesome—so I feel free to eat anything and not worry about what could be in the food. I don’t have to miss out on any of the foods I used to eat, either. The food is so good you can’t even tell it’s vegan! My favorite is the vegan cinnamon roll cake and the fried buffalo tofu.”

Hi there! I'm glad you made it to my page! My name is Gillian George, and I am a junior/incoming senior at the University of Oregon. I am currently getting into the Advertising program of the Journalism Major and have a minor of business. Writing and photography are my two biggest passions in life, I have been taking portriats for  a few years now and I am trying to create a small business out of it! I love talking to people and helping people with any sort of situation. I grew up surrounded by my family who all work in the medical field, and I enjoy educating people on womens health so if you have any questions feel free to ask away! I also love food, traveling, and a good mystery television show or movie!
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