A few months ago I made the decision to start eating a vegan diet. I was going through a very abrupt and upsetting event and felt like I needed to re-orient myself by making a change in my daily life.
I was heading off on a three week trip and knew I would be eating every meal at restaurants. I woke up the morning of my departure day and decided being vegan would be an interesting challenge while on the road and an added reason to eat healthily. I literally put no more forethought into “Becoming vegan” than this. Mere days before I went cold turkey off animal products, I shopped at Costco for sausage breakfast sandwiches and feta cheese. I then had to give away the majority of my fridge to a family friend when I returned home (ugh,
Now that I’m back to my somewhat-normal daily routine - and have more time on my hands than before - I am enjoying the challenge of vegan cooking. I recently told a friend that I’m vegan and they found it amusing because they knew I’d never tried the majority of what vegans live off of; I didn’t eat vegetables until my early 20s and never actually made a salad until my mid-20s. Now I’m all “Tofu this, kale that.”
Being a vegan is actually kind of fun. Plus my food is more colorful to look at. To be honest, though, I haven’t noticed a life-altering new state of personal awareness. Maybe I’m supposed to be exercising more too (meh…) but changing my diet doesn’t seemed to have changed my energy/state of mind/body. I’ve lost a few lbs but can’t specifically trace that to my diet.
One thing I can say is being vegan is definitely not cheap. All of the monies go to food. The only reason I bring this up is to highlight what I’ve decided is the subconscious reason why I’m vegan: to buy local and support my community.
When I tell someone I’m vegan, they want to know why. At first I stumbled to answer this question because, well, I literally had no reason. But, I thought and thought and thought, not wanting to seem uninformed, and realized my diet is simply a new extension of my passion for American-made/craft goods. I am definitely not an animal-rights activist. (We’re at the top of the food chain, deal with it). And I don’t monitor vitamin and water intake well. However, I do like having a lower carbon-footprint and supporting farmers directly. I prefer to buy locally made clothing so why not locally made food too?
SO. If you’re like me and love the idea of surrounding yourself with things that tell a story and represent integrity, I suggest you think about making diet changes too. Whether you go organic, locavore, or vegan, I ask that you think about how what you eat impacts the world around you.
(I instagram my vegan meals/cooking and people seem to like it. I won’t be posting a lot of food related stuff here. Frankly, I think being vegan is a very First World attitude and I’m not trying to make privilege a primary aspect of my identity).