Food Fridays

The Story of My Switch to Veganism

Hello, friends and fellow bloggers!

Let me start by saying, my eventual plan is to have my Friday posts be Food Fridays. I know, edgy and innovative. Never done before.

Alas, this Friday, I’m tragically unprepared as I haven’t even been to the grocery store yet this week. So this isn’t so much a proper “Food Friday” with a recipe and the works as it is a “(Let’s Talk About) Food Friday”.

Now, on with it!

I decided to make the switch final on January 1st, 2016. I know the old adage is that New Years Resolutions are silly and no one ever sticks to them, but I just celebrated my 1 year, 4 month Veganniversary at the beginning of this month, so obviously not all NYR’s are made of the same cloth.

Most other vegans that I know (though if we’re being honest, I only know 4 others IRL) had gone their entire lives eating animals and their by-products. That was not the case for me. For as long as I’ve been able to make the choice of what I will and won’t eat, I’ve avoided eating meat, with the occasional chicken meal. And by occasional, I mean maybe three times a year. I guess you could call it flexitarian.  I was six years old when I first expressed to my mother that I didn’t want to eat meat because it didn’t make any sense to me for other things to die so that I could eat them. So no, I’ve never had a hamburger, or a steak, or a roast beef sandwich in my entire life. All of this in a family of meat fanatics and a butcher for a grandfather, no less.

Veganism was always magical and mystifying to me. I was fascinated by the dedication and devotion needed to stick to such a rigid diet. I thought it impossible to give up the cheese that I loved so dearly. (Confession- sometimes I still find myself making eyes at a block of sharp cheddar. I’m sorry, I’m only human.) 

Eventually the time came where dairy products began to make me feel uncomfortable whenever I ate them. TMI, maybe, but it’s one of those things that happens to some people when they start to get older. And at 26, I was very much starting to feel the negative effects of dairy on my body.  At around this same time, a friend of mine made her switch to veganism.  I’ve always been a semi-adventurous person when it comes to food, so I was 100% down to try her exciting new food creations. The more she fed me, the more I realized, this is not at all the flavor-and-variety deprived lifestyle that I thought it was. I discovered the magic of kale, and the amazing diversity of use in things like squash. And as we talked more, I realized, a lot of the dishes I was the most fond of making, were already vegan by default. So I thought, why have I not just made the jump? If I really care as much about the health and well-being of animals and the environment as I say I do, why in the world am I just sitting here, not going forward with the change?

I thought about it for quite a while. Any lifestyle change is not to be taken lightly, and this was a hefty one. This required beyond just not making grilled cheese anymore, this was different shampoos and different makeup and scouring labels for those sneaky little ingredients hiding in there that weren’t yelling “Hey! We’re from animals!” I downloaded the apps, read the blog posts, watched the food documentaries, and made my hard decision to switch on January 1st, 2016.

My housemates, the fiancee in particular, were pretty skeptical about the switch. “Won’t it be expensive?” “Won’t it be boring?” “I couldn’t limit myself like that.” “Are you doing this for the right reasons?” “But you love cheese!” Obviously, they support me in my decisions, but they had questions and concerns. I really didn’t have answers for them except that my mind was made up and it will be what it will be.

Now, one year on, in a house with 3 others who love to eat the full spectrum of food regardless of source, 5 of the favorite go-to meals are vegan. They’ve opened up to the concept and actually actively help me search for new places to go out to eat, and when we plan trips, they’re already thinking ahead and making sure that there’s plenty for me to enjoy alongside them.

The truth of it is that going vegan was a very easy choice for me. It feels like it’s where I was always meant to be, it was a natural progression for me and it’s honestly a great fit. I’m still pleased with the decision and I feel great knowing that not only am I not consuming animals or their products, but I’m helping the environment, trying new places, cooking more and getting takeaway less, making new friends, and overall feeling better health-wise.

So in the future, expect stories of my food trials and tribulations, rants and raves about new restaurants, and maybe even vegan product reviews.

Thank you for reading! And remember, every day is a new day and you’re going to go out there and kill it. ❤