Going Vegan Cold Turkey

            Throughout our lives people have plans and ideas about who they’re going to be and what they’re going to do. Especially as kids, being so influenced by our parents, it’s crazy to imagine changing in a way you never thought you would. Growing up eating meat every day and loving it with my parents always telling me why I should eat meat, I never thought I’d become a vegan. I’m not going to tell you that you should go vegan, but I am going to explain why I did.

            My freshman year of high school my mom forced me to join the cross country team, and pretty soon after, running became one of my favorite things to do. Skip forward a couple years, the summer before my junior year began, I wanted to get healthier so that I would be a better runner. I had no idea how to do this, but somehow I came across a video by an infamous vegan youtuber of the time. After watching a myriad of her videos, it seemed like going vegan would be the best thing for my body, and therefore improve my running times. I then decided that on the first day of school, September 4, 2014, I would go vegan. And I did.

                        Initially I went vegan for health reasons because I wanted to be a better runner. However, soon after I was also researching other aspects of veganism. I do believe that veganism can be the healthiest diet, but the reason why I stayed vegan is because of the ethical and environmental reasons I learned through research. Going vegan is probably the best decision I’ve made in my life and it’s pushed me in such a positive direction.

            When I first went vegan I was hesitant to tell anyone. During family dinners I would tell my parents that I had already eaten, wasn’t hungry, or would cook my own food later as a way to avoid meat without conflict. A month later I announced that I had become a vegetarian, which shocked my parents but wasn’t a huge adjustment for them because I began to cook my own dinners. They noticed that I would avoid eating dairy and eggs also, and eventually it was obvious that I wasn’t consuming any animal products. My parents were concerned that I wasn’t getting enough nutrients and forced me to see a nutritionist, but once it became clear that veganism was a lifestyle for me and not only a diet, they began to educate themselves more on the topic. I’m extremely grateful to have parents that let me make my own decisions even if they disagreed with them. This past summer we started incorporating Purple Carrot, a vegan dinner service that delivers food to your house, twice a week, and have even continued to use that while I’ve been back at school!