Updated: Mar 15
People think that it’s extreme, people make jokes, a lot of jokes, some people are mean and may not like you once you’ve told them that you’re vegan. That’s more about them than you, don’t worry about it, just ignore them, they get bored quickly.
Going vegan can be a real mental challenge, at first it seems like a physical challenge, don’t eat cows (beef), don’t eat pigs (pork), don’t eat chickens (chicken), don't eat cake, resist, resist, resist; but the change actually happens in your head. In society eating animals products is considered normal, tasty and even healthy, to give that up can be tough. You have to know that what you're doing is the right thing, don't think of it as a sacrifice, you're not denying yourself anything, you're doing something positive that is good for the animals, your health and the planet. The easiest way to transition to a vegan diet is to swap things, you could use almond milk instead to cow’s milk, that type of thing, that way you’re still getting milk, it’s just a different variety, no resisting required.
You may miss the foods that you used to eat, maybe you can’t eat at the places that you used to enjoy or you could find that going out with your friends becomes difficult. These problems are all mental ones not physical and these are the kind of things that people are thinking when you tell them that you’re vegan and invite them to join you. They don’t want to give up fried chicken, sausage sandwiches and roast beef. They also want the freedom and choice to eat whatever they want when and where they want. It’s funny actually because no one thinks of it as just being choice, say a meat eater goes to a new restaurant and there is nothing on the menu that they want to eat. You give the menu back to the staff, say thank you and leave; no one thinks anything of it. Now add a vegan to the mix. The vegan sits down, looks at the menu and sees that the only thing that they can eat is a salad, but they don’t want a salad. They give the menu back, say thank you and leave. The conversation immediately changes to vegans are too picky, too fussy, moan too much, want everything to fit them. There should be animal free options on every menu, it’s not an issue to being vegan, it’s about giving people choice.
Anyway, so people think that you’re constantly missing out, you can’t eat cheese, you can’t eat a burger, but we’re not thinking about what we’re not eating because we’re busy eating everything that we want. Yes there are vegan versions of just about everything, but even without those you can eat really well and feel completely satisfied, you know healthy food stops you craving junk food, your body and taste buds change so that eating junk doesn’t taste or feel good so you won’t want it.
In studies vegans are happier, they have more energy, better digestion and feel more comfortable. I've also found that when people make changes to their diet they will want to tell you about how little meat and dairy they are eating and how great they feel because of it. Now, if they were to get rid of the meat and dairy completely they'd feel amazing, but that's for another day. The worst part of being vegan is that you become more aware of pain and suffering, of people and animals, walking through the supermarket can be horrible when you feel surrounded by the sadness and torture that the animals went through to stock the shelves with yogurt and sausages. Watching the news and seeing people living in war torn countries makes you angry in a way that it didn't before.
There are times that you will eat animal products, usually unknowingly, sometimes you can have a weak moment and indulge, if someone is giving out haribo it can be hard to say no. When you do say no to an offer, though, it does feel good, you know that you’ve done the right thing. It is no reflection on those that do eat animal products, it’s about you doing what you know to be the best thing for you, the planet and the animals. For me being vegan is great, I love it, I know that I'm doing a good thing and my body is so strong and full of energy and I want everyone to feel this way and not hurting animals is a special reward as well.
How does being vegan make you feel? What is the best part for you? Let me know in the comments.