Did you know that 16 million people in the United States are vegan? That’s such awesome news, but I’m sure that you’ve heard stories of people who start a vegan lifestyle and then leave it behind. You might even worry if the same thing could happen to you.
- Study Reveals What Makes a Committed Vegan
A study has found that vegan success depends on you starting the diet or lifestyle for moral or ethical reasons. The study, which analysed over 200 vegans, found that while vegans who embarked on the diet for health reasons (such as, perhaps, wanting to lose weight) lasted approximately five or so years, ethical vegans who made the choice for bigger reasons (such as wanting to stop the merciless murder of animals, for instance), lasted for eight years.
Of course, everyone is going to be different and sometimes starting veganism with health or weight-loss in mind can be just the motivation you need to make it a lasting commitment. But the study definitely sheds some light on an important part of being committed to a vegan lifestyle: it has to mean something to you that strikes on a deeper level.
- How the Dolphins Made Me Make a Change
I gave up eating meat in 2010, thanks to an Oprah Winfrey episode. They were featuring the shocking dolphin slaughters that occur at Taiji Cove in Japan and I remember crying for hours after seeing the highly disturbing footage of the killings I decided to sign the petition against the slaughter, but that didn’t feel like it was enough. Granted, I couldn’t exactly leave my life and go try to save the dolphins (even though I wished I could), but I could make more positive changes in my life. I started to think: what is the difference between a dolphin and a cow? They are both living, feeling beings. How can I be against dolphin killings across the world but be eating cows? It didn’t make sense so I stopped eating meat from that day. It struck such a chord with me that I knew I had crossed a line over which I could never backtrack. The decision has not failed me because it is tied to a value.
- How to Make Your Decisions Last
Any life decision will be more potent and long-lasting if it is tied to a value deep within us. Losing weight is an example. You might be able to stick to gym and healthy eating if you want to drop the pounds, but such lifestyle changes will probably be more permanent if you focus on being healthier, warding off illness, being happier, releasing stress, etc.
Changing your life for the better might also come down to making decisions based on gaining as much information as you can about it and thinking them through to find your real motivation. You might be against the killing of animals for meat or leather because it’s horrible, but dig deeper. You might discover that you don’t want any part in the industry, however small, or that you know cutting meat out of your diet is one of the best things you can do for the environment.
When deciding to become vegan, no one can really tell you what to think or feel. The reason why you choose to become vegan has to be because of an internal shift within you. If you think of how difficult it can feel to try to get through to a meat-eater about how much animals suffer, you’ll know that unless someone is ready to grasp the message on an emotional level, you won't have much success. It’s a similar thing with ourselves: we need to make choices based on something deeper than our egos or surface goals if they are going to last. The great new is that once it sticks, you can’t unglue it!
*Image courtesy Syda Productions / Dollar Photo Club