I’ve gone vegan since February last year. I started initially for my health, but I stayed for animals and nature. One year mark is coming up very soon and I am looking back to review how it has been and how I’m going to do going forward.
Many have asked me how hard it is and if I ever miss meat. In terms of “craving”, I have never had any urges for meat or dairy.
When I started lifting in February 2015, I was a total Paleo: I consumed minimum 120g of protein every single day. Every meal and snack contained over 20g of protein and it was all from meat and dairy. I thought at the beginning that my vegan journey could be challenging especially because I am going straight to vegan without stopping at the vegetarian stage. But it has been a breeze. Painless and no cravings whatsoever.
I had already stopped drinking milk since 2012, so all I needed to cut was cheese, yogurt and eggs along with meat. I found vegan cheese as tasty as conventional and as far as cheese cakes go, the vegan version is actually more delicious. Eggs and yogurt were easy to quit for me. Ice cream though, it was something I hoped to see animal-free, but blended frozen tropical fruits are actually pretty amazing enough to allow me move on from the convectional ice cream quite effortlessly.
I believe that it has been an easy sailing, because it’s not like “I want to have it, but I can’t have it.” but it’s more like “I could have it, but I don’t want it.” Language is so powerful.I am not restricting myself from my desire. There is no desire. My perception itself has changed, so I am not fighting against anything.What do I find really challenging in my vegan journey? It’s not really with food. It’s more with other animal products and social situations. For food, animal ingredients could be very sneaky and can slip in so easily in food. Labeling isn’t always helpful or clear and especially while traveling a different country, the challenge gets more complex. I was thinking that going vegan is so easy, because I simply thought that not eating any animals makes me a vegan. But I was still wearing leather jackets, gloves, shoes and purses. I own several even after I have gone minimalist, because I actually wear them frequently and they were not cheap which makes me reluctant to simply get rid of them. There have been situations where I got invited to someone’s home and I was greeted with nice home cooked meal that was clearly prepped and cooked all day long just for me and also where I met with a friend and her children and she was treating all of them with ice cream. How do I stay vegan without causing any damages in those situations? I failed to remain vegan in these situations.I can’t call myself vegan. Am I a vegetarian then? What am I? My mind is perplexed.
One thing I know for sure now however is that I am grateful that I have all these options to explore and experiment which help rich and deepen my experience.Even though I am not doing it correctly, I am still grateful and happy that I have tried what I thought and felt was right for me and for other living beings.
Being kind is always the key.