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How Veganism Has Changed My Life (The Good & The Bad)

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

Topics in this article may be heavy for some readers. Please be advised that topics like eating, weight, and self-image are talked about briefly in this article which may be sensitive subject matter for some.

It’s no secret that a plant-based diet can be a good option if someone’s goals are to lose weight, have clearer skin, feel more energized, help save the planet, or reduce their likelihood of later developing life-threatening illnesses. As a vegan who has lived that lifestyle since she was thirteen years old, I can say that I’ve come to know those good things as well as the many bad things that being vegan has brought to me and my life. So, without further ado, below are a few surprising goods and bads that came with the adjustment to veganism.

The Good

I feel better.

I feel better physically, emotionally, and mentally. Let me explain.


This could just be because I’m at the age where my metabolism hasn’t slowed yet, but I’ve realized that because I’m fuelling my body with richer whole foods, It’s harder for me to get in a state of feeling lazy, unmotivated, and not wanting to move my body. With that said, I would say that becoming vegan has helped me to maintain my healthy weight.


Emotionally, I’d say that I feel confident in my decision of being vegan because of my love for animals. Animals experiencing cruelty at this very moment may not know that there are people like me that aren’t supporting the things being done to them, but I know! It’s the feeling that you’re changing the world one step, or one bite, at a time by choosing not to support animal cruelty, and in that way helping to stop it. Moreover, being vegan means helping to save the planet. Being vegan may also lead to reductions in greenhouse gasses and climate change! Just to give some context, greenhouse gases that are being placed in the air lead to significant pollution in the air which is endangering our planet and, in that way, all who live on it. Greenhouse gases involved in obtaining 100g of protein from meat versus from plant-based alternatives like tofu, beans, and nuts is over half!


Mentally, I can say that since becoming a vegan I haven’t had to worry as much about getting illnesses that run in my family at least as young as they did. There’s almost a relief in knowing that the foods I’m putting into my body are helping me in the long run, which helps to put my mind at ease on those topics.

My skin is clearer

When I was a preteen, my acne started flaring up as my hormones started changing; my skin got uncontrollably oilier, and I wasn’t willing to try different skin products as my skin was very sensitive. Switching up my diet made my skin less oily and more hydrated, and I experienced very few breakouts. Of course, I still had breakouts, and so I’m more than 100% positive that having completely clear skin one’s whole life if they’re on the vegan diet is a complete myth. It’s normal to have a breakout every now and then, so I’m by no means trying to say that going vegan has made me have no breakouts whatsoever! What I am trying to say, however, is that going vegan has made my skin concerns more controllable which was a big bonus for me, especially in high school.

Mood Swings Weren’t too bad

Along with the clear skin that I was so looking forward to when I started my vegan journey, I got controlled mood swings. I know that everyone’s different when it comes to mood and mental health, but I will just say that for me at least, my mood swings were not as prominent as some of my peers in high school; I would say I had a pretty smooth-sailing experience with my moods where they never got too out-of-hand. Of course, I’m slightly biased in saying that, but with the very-little mood swings I was experiencing during the starting few years of being vegan (my teenage years), my mood swings could have been a lot worse and a lot more uncontrollable and debilitating had I not been on a vegan diet.

The Bad

Gut health isn’t the best

So the rumours are true that gut health is in right now, which is why I decided to include it in this article. I would say that my gut health has declined since being vegan. With a fibre and oil-rich diet like a plant-based diet where its protein and dairy alternatives are often processed, my gut health has never been worse. I will say, though, that I’ve only really noticed my gut health is a slight issue for me in the past two years on the vegan diet.

veganism isn’t a fix for everything

If you’re thinking about going vegan for the sole reason of losing weight or having a better self-image, don’t. Going vegan will not fix your difficulties with thinking you are skinny or beautiful enough compared to celebrities or models you see on your phone or on TV. Not saying that it was something I became victim to and that led me to be vegan, but it was a thought that was pretty prominent in my mind when I was first starting out. Thoughts like “I’m going to be so skinny after this!” or “I’m going to be just like her after a year or so of eating like this!” Don’t restrict yourself if you so choose to become vegan and, like already mentioned, don’t go into it thinking poorly of yourself. At the end of the day, you are beautiful and perfect just the way you are whether you are vegan or not… don’t compare and don’t stress about stuff like that if you can help it! It took some getting used to for me when my weight was just maintaining itself when I first started out as vegan. Why was that? Because it turns out that, according to my family doctor, I was actually at a healthy body mass index that didn’t need changing and that my own body was comfortable and happy being in. So I guess sometimes we’re our own worst critics, huh?

restaurants are a hassle

Last but most definitely not least are the restaurants. Let me just say that being vegan has led to me not wanting to go out to eat… like ever! Don’t get me wrong, vegan restaurants are, for the most part, delicious; restaurants like The Green Door, Mad Radish, Copper Branch, and Pure Kitchen that we have here in Ottawa are great examples of this! But, they come with a pretty hefty price of over 30 dollars for one person no matter what meal you get. On the flip side, if you’re agreeing to go and eat out with your friends and you’re vegan, unless you’re going to a restaurant that has vegan options, you’ll likely be ordering a plain fruit or veggie salad with a price that’s more than if you just stayed in and made it yourself. So, eating out can be a struggle.

Christin Urso / Spoon

All in all

Consider the above positives and negatives that I’ve personally experienced from living the vegan lifestyle since 2015. Or better yet, just let this be your guide to knowing that vegans don’t always have it perfect just because we’re vegan!

Emily Crandall

U Ottawa '24

4th-year Communications and Sociology student at the University of Ottawa.