This year, I am celebrating my 5 year veganniversary! That’s right, I’ve been embracing a vegan lifestyle in all its glory since 2012!
5 years ago, my decision of choosing to live a lifestyle that avoids the consumption of all animal products has been the single best decision I’ve ever made and has quite possibly changed my life, for the better.
I know, that’s even weird for me to say out loud.
Going and being vegan has taught me to be kinder to one another and to be more consciously aware of what we consume because it plays a bigger part in the world, whether we see it with our eyes or not, so it’s important to always be asking how can I do better with the every day choices I make?
I have so much to be thankful for in my decision to go vegan but this post isn’t about that. In honor of my 5 years of being fully vegan, I wanted to share 5 things that helped me go vegan to hopefully inspire some of you to make the transition. In the past, I’ve been preaching to consider using a vegan pre-workout supplement when hitting the gym, and now I’m going to give you more reasons to go vegan!
I don’t even remember how I found this video on Youtube. I think I typed “Vegan” in the search bar and wanted someone to ELI5 (explain like I’m 5) what it meant to be a vegan in simple terms. And this presentation did just that!
Warning: it is low quality at 360p, this was 2012 we’re talking about mmmkay? =)
There’s absolutely nothing graphic in this video but from what I remembered, it was a very straight-forward, non-judgemental presentation on the reasons why we should turn to a vegan diet for the animals and if we want to live healthier. It’s not just about food though when it comes to being healthier. You want to make sure you get the proper exercise and have a good sleep routine to help you stay healthy. If you struggle to go to sleep then one thing that you might want to consider getting a new mattress to help you sleep better. You could check out something like this memory foam mattress here if you’re interested.
2. My Boyfriend at the Time
I dated someone for a couple months and he decided (on his own!) to be a pescetarian like me and I remember thinking, finally someone who gets me! so shortly after, I told him I was thinking of becoming a vegan and he responded like most people would and said “that’s a bit extreme.” But at that point, I wasn’t seeking for his permission and told him I was going to make some changes and would appreciate his support.
Turns out, he was incredibly supportive because shortly after, he went fully vegan with me! It definitely helped to have someone in my social circle that understood and “gets me” especially when the rest of the world, including my family and close friends, were saying I was ‘wrong’ to deprive myself of animal products.
Surround yourself with supportive and positive people, now you can find like-minded people online without having to leave your house! I especially love the awesome Vegan Facebook Group in my city!
On a side note: we broke up and he went back to eating meat shortly thereafter.
3. Earthlings, The Documentary
Yes, this documentary is graphic and I had to watch it through my fingers but if I hadn’t watched it, I probably wouldn’t have taken the leap to go fully vegan. I was dabbling in and out of a vegan diet for about a month but after watching Earthlings (which you can totally watch for free on Youtube), it made my decision to go fully vegan crystal clear!
The documentary also opened my eyes to a world of veganism that goes beyond our diets and one that extends to other consumer products we choose to buy such as our leather shoes, personal care products that was tested on animals, and even our choice of entertainment where animals are exploited like zoos, aquariums, and the circus!
Since then, I have gone on to watch a wide range of documentaries about veganism. I have cable TV so there is always something to watch about veganism on one of the premium channels. Of course, there are also some amazing documentaries about veganism on Netflix too so if you prefer on-demand television or streaming platforms, I would strongly recommend watching as many documentaries as possible. As these cable tv statistics in 2020 show, an increasing number of cable providers also offer on-demand services so it is well worth researching whether you could gain access to even more documentaries and TV shows about living a vegan lifestyle.
4. These Books!
Of course, I had to turn to books for some guidance on how to go vegan! These 3 were the first books I read introducing me to the inhumane practices of factory farms and all the health benefits of eating a plant-based diet!
These books are super easy to read without an overwhelming amount of information, which was especially nice when I was just starting out!
- Vegan for Life by Jack Norris
- The Food Revolution by John Robbins
- Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows by Melanie Joy PhD
5. Yves Veggie Cuisine is LIFE.
Back in the day (geez, I just made myself sound so old!), there wasn’t as much commercial meat replacements available but Yves Veggie Cuisine was EVERYTHING. I was the only vegan in my group of friends so when it came to Summer BBQs and I wanted to feel included, I would always rely on Yves vegan hot dogs and burger patties!
When you go vegan, you get to try out a bunch of food that you wouldn’t have typically tried before and that was probably the most enjoyable experience of going and being vegan! One of the things I learnt going vegan was that as exciting as trying out the foods was, I still had to maintain my fitness and although diet plays a big role in that, I was looking into what clubs or activities I could join. My friend actually plays tennis and has just turned into a coach, so I could get in touch with a tennis coach near me boston and start up some lessons, but I’ll have to give it some thought! Anyway, back to the fantastic vegan food on offer!
We now have way more options in terms of vegan meat, eggs, and dairy products but it’s always interesting to look back and see how far the vegan movement has progressed!
Do What’s Right For You
I’m not the type to push a vegan lifestyle down other people’s throats, I know that a vegan diet isn’t for everyone but I’m always encouraging others to stay informed and always be striving to do a little better each day.
I hope by sharing some of the things that motivated and inspired me to go vegan 5 years ago, has opened your eyes to the world of opportunity and resources available to living the best version of yourself!
I’d love to hear your story and what inspired you to go vegan?
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