My name is Emily, and I’m vegan.
“Becoming vegan is the greatest thing I’ve ever done.”
This is how I often will start any conversation that begins after someone finds out that I’m vegan. Its a loaded statement, right? How can changing what you eat be the greatest thing you’ve ever done? Well, lets start at the beginning…
Veganism isn’t only about what you eat. Its a lifestyle. Not only am I graced with “regularity” that’s more on time than the A train, but I lost 15 pounds. FIFTEEN POUNDS! Just by changing the way I eat. Its like a built-in diet… a diet plan, but without the “plan”. Cupcakes at the office? Out. You want that candy bar? Out. Big box of donuts? Out. Its a blessing in disguise!
I gave up eating animal flesh in early 2008, inspired by the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, this bad-ass farmed animal rescue located in Willow, NY. Once I met my meat, I had several major revelations about the animals I only knew as food:
- They develop relationships that rival those of the Golden Girls
- They are smart. Hella smart. Just look at what Anne the Goat did:
- They have varied personalities, just like folks on your favorite reality show. There’s the pig that gets grumpy if he’s not the first one to the feeding trough, the chicken that likes to sit on your lap and be petted, the goat that will escort you around their pen to show you the ropes, the inseparable pair of ducks… I could go on and on. I did not see any Snooki poofs, thank goodness.
Justifying eating animal flesh and secretions became as difficult as justifying my Jersey Shore addiction (I know, I know, two Jersey Shore references within a sentence of each other, shhhhh). From that point on, tofu and I became BFFs, Silk replaced Milk and kale and I became intimate. I will not comment on the status of my Jersey Shore addiction… thanks for understanding.
My veganism began with just the food, but I soon realized that I couldn’t just stop there… I needed to “veganise” all aspects of my life, to the best of my ability. As products got used up and articles of clothing wore out, they were replaced with vegan ones. Vegan bath & body products, vegan clothes, vegan shoes, vegan cleaning supplies… vegan vegan vegan! Does this seem overwhelming? Obsessive? The overwhelming part, sure at first, any kind of major lifestyle change can seem daunting. But its really not, I promise. After all, in my lifetime I have at one point uttered the words, “I could never give up cheese” and “I’m a total carnivore!”. As far as the obsessive part goes, well yes. It does become obsessive. But its an awesome thing to be obsessed about — living a kind and compassionate life!
Its been over seven months since I took the vegan plunge. I predict that veganism is going to be the next big thing. Like Atkins, but with no bacon and more stay power. And definitely better variety. I’m here for you, to show you the ropes and encourage you! We’re all on this journey together. Got your glass of vegan chardonnay ready? To the animals! *clink*