Choosing to Become Vegan
What makes us choose veganism? I am sure for ever individual it is a very personal choice that begins in a myriad of ways.
My personal decision to choose to become a vegan was an overnight decision. A decision that started when I read the book "Diet for a New American: How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness and the Future of Life on Earth, "by John Robbins.
Five years ago, I was unemployed and very unhappy. Deep down I knew that I was not where I wanted to be in my life, that I was not following my dreams or living out true my passions. I had become very conscious of the world around me, the problems and issues we were facing as a society and at my peak of wanting to make a difference. I had also become very environmentally conscious in the way I was living on a daily basis and how I was affecting the plant. After reading John Robbins book I stopped eating animal products immediately and began reading all the books and watching all the video's I could about being a vegan. The choice to become vegan seemed like a no brainer.
Since I had always had a passion for cooking, I was mesmerized and excited by all the amazing vegan cookbooks on the market and began learning how to cook vegan meals. With the exception of learning how to use substitution techniques for not using animal products such as eggs, milk or butter in recipes, the meals themselves didn't take any more time to prepare than if I was cooking a meal with animal products. What I was eating also looked colorful; it was more flavorful and healthier. Soon, I found myself becoming interested in and implementing a raw food diet into my life as well.
With my vegan diet at a steady pace I began looking at the other aspects of life of being a vegan. I studied what materials for shoes and clothing, toiletries, cosmetics and household goods I could begin using so that I was a living a complete vegan lifestyle. Slowly and piece by piece I began replacing these non-vegan items in my life for vegan ones. I was determined that doing my part even if it was a small part, was better than living the lifestyle I previously has as a non-vegan. I
The toughest part of my journey as a vegan, has been trying to be a vegan mom and wife. I did not originally raise my seven year old daughter as a vegan; I am slowly trying to incorporate her into a vegan lifestyle as well. I learned a great lesson that, had I started feeding my daughter products that were not animal based from the time she was a baby, that the transition for her might not be as difficult now, because she would know no different. I feel she is still young enough to empower and make her understand how our decisions affect the plant. Little by little, I see her making choices that let me know that even though there is opposition at times, she is getting my message. My husband is not a vegan 100%. At home he eats mainly vegan meals, but he chooses to still eat animal products and purchase some as well.
I do not believe in forcing veganism on anyone. I do believe that people need to be educated on what a vegan lifestyle can mean for the future of our plant. Then they can make an informed decision for themselves. I think that introducing a vegan lifestyle to people, by letting them see how you live one can be effective. If we as vegans try and push our ideals on people, as it is with anything, we push people away.
Deciding to live a vegan lifestyle for me is a choice I am glad I made. It has changed me as a person to be more aware and compassionate in the world. I do not see myself ever going back to a non-vegan lifestyle. I just hope that more and more people will wake up to see the benefits and make a change as well.
I would love to know what made you choose to become vegan and how you encorporate it in your daily life, so please leave comments below.