Newly Vegan

I DO… promise to never eat an animal or products derived from them ever again.

I took an Ethics class in the summer and ended up writing an essay on why humans should be obliged to have a plant-based diet. Before I go any further, I’d like to just say that I do not actually hold this view which is why I picked that thesis, thinking it might be a great challenge for me. This topic required us to disregard any arguments that questioned the morality of killing animals, and simply asked us to focus on the environmental dilemma of the animal industry. The research I did for this paper, gave me an entirely new perspective on how we need to be treating our planet. 

Now, I think it’s important to mention that I had been a vegetarian for about six years, so when I decided to give veganism a try a couple months ago, I had already prepared myself for half of the journey. I had decided to become a vegetarian because my desire to eat meat was overridden by the love and respect I had for animals at a young age. Thus, a vegan diet was something I had been considering for a really long time, but had always found excuses to delay further. Other than the common “I love cheese way too much” and “if I give up eggs, what will I eat for breakfast?”, I also considered the extra costs when grocery shopping. Yet, a couple of months after writing that essay, through learning about all the ways I could be reducing my carbon footprint on the planet, while also protecting innocent animals, I decided to finally give it a try.

cooked food dishes on table Photo by Victoria Shes from Unsplash

Naturally, following this diet has taught me a new kind of discipline. And these restrictions are not only dietary of course. Using products without animal cruelty, and wearing clothes that contain no animal skin are all things vegans have to look out for. I’ve found, however, that instead of becoming a burden, being more cautious of what we wear or put on our body, has made me happier overall and less of an irresponsible consumer. I will admit of course, that at times it might be harder to shop for things. 

Most importantly, however, I’ve found myself becoming more patient and enthusiastic about cooking. This is because despite what some might think, a vegetarian diet is not very challenging. But now I find myself having to dedicate some time to making novel meals that are vegan and nutritious most days. The time I spend cooking has now become my own time where I get to learn more about nutrients, ingredients, and what my body needs. I do spend more time cooking at home now because I find that there are times my options are limited when going to the same restaurants as my friends, but I don’t really see that as a downside. It just means putting healthier food in my body and spending less money on outside food.

pig in mud Photo by Pascal Debrunner from Unsplash

What’s even better is that since becoming a vegan, I’ve found myself changing in personality. I’ve become more conscious and aware of the environment around me, which has made me think and behave slightly differently as well. I find this deep urge in myself to inspire a more eco-friendly way of life in myself as well as those around me.

assorted variety of vegetables on table Photo by Nadine Primeau from Unsplash

Overall, during the past couple of months, where the world is continuing to undergo so much change and pain because of the pandemic, I’ve found something meaningful that has managed to inspire change in me, and for that, I am thankful. It feels empowering to be able to help in microscopic ways, at home, during a pandemic.