(Picture and recipe can be found here: http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Veggie-Sandwich-Recipe-35415233).
According to Dictionary.com a vegan is “a vegetarian who omits all animal products from the diet” and “a person who does not use any animal products, as leather or wool.” Personally I wouldn’t use the word vegetarian, simply because it may confuse some people who want to know the difference between the many veggie diets.
One question I always found a bit frustrating and difficult to answer is “why did you become vegan?” There is more than one reason to become vegan. Most people aren’t really expecting me to dive into a huge explanation, but veganism can be a deep subject and I need more than a sentence to explain my choices. So, this is the perfect place to share my thoughts with anyone who is interested.
When I first made the change to being vegetarian and then to vegan, many people told me how it was unhealthy or how I would be missing key nutrients. There were even others who thought I was crazy! However, contrary to popular belief, there are many health benefits to being vegan. Many health conditions and issues can be managed or even cured through eliminating animal proteins from the diet. Furthermore, in my high school food & nutrition class we were shown the documentary Forks Over Knives; this was my first introduction to plant-based living.
Another side of veganism focuses on the treatment of animals and the environment. I think most people would say they care about animals. I certainly have always loved them, but that was never my main reason for going vegan. I’m sure I was shown in class something on food and the treatment of animals. I don’t know what it was… maybe it just had never sunk in. However, recently I needed to remind myself of the reasons I chose to become vegan in the first place, and I was recommended the documentary Earthlings (WARNING: graphic content). It’s definitely not for the faint-hearted! Without a doubt Earthling was the hardest thing I’ve ever watched, but I did it because I needed to see the truth and bring myself back to the start. After that, there was no question where I stood. This is the documentary that truly made me understand that veganism is much more than a diet – it’s a LIFESTYLE.
I feel like the first impression from some people is to think that vegans don’t like food… or that we only eat salads. This is simply not true. My family knows very well that I enjoy eating and I can assure you I eat more than just lettuce!
One food I’ve wanted to try more of is avocados. My parents don’t really like avocados, so we don’t ever use them in our meals. I remember having them in a salad once at a friend’s house, but I don’t remember what I thought of them. So, I’m looking forward to being able to experiment with different recipes to see what I think.
This is living now! There are so many different foods & recipes I want to try. Grains, fruits like mangoes, veggies, and more.
All in all, I feel the best being vegan. It’s not my intention to judge or make anyone else feel guilty, but I am confident knowing that I’m living a healthy lifestyle and staying true to my morals and beliefs. Of course, I’m not perfect. I know that life is journey and this is a part of it. So I try not to beat myself up if I slip now and then. Everyone does, I’m sure.
Did you know that these celebrities and athletes are vegan?
- Ellen Degeneres (actress/ comedian)
- Natalie Portman (actress)
- Carrie Underwood (singer/songwriter)
- Alicia Silverstone (actress)
- Ellie Goulding (singer/songwriter)
- Patrik Baboumian (strongman)
- Mac Danzig (mixed martial arts fighter)
- Cam Awesome (boxer)