Vegan Like Me aims to profile fellow vegans, from all walks of life from everywhere in the world! We’ve all been beginners and I think its important for folks to hear people’s stories in order to motivate themselves to keep going. This feature is intended to do just that. If you are vegan and would like to participate, get in touch with me and I’ll be sure to send our questionnaire along to you.
Where do you live? Piscataway, NJ
How long have you been vegan? 3 Months
What inspired you to take on a plant-based (vegan/vegetarian) diet? In May of 2008 I decided that I wanted to be vegan for health reasons, but starting from being omni to vegan was very quick and hard for me! I eventually just became entirely vegetarian. Soon, I began to learn not only about the health benefits of being vegetarian, but environmental and ethical factors. The ethical issues that come with eating meat became my biggest reason, as I learned and read and saw more. After visiting a farm sanctuary, and getting wise advice from a long-term vegan, this year I decided I could no longer justify eating any animal products and became vegan! I think part of me knew I always would, but I am glad I did.
What do you love most about being vegan? Being vegan means learning all the time – about animals, about new healthful things to eat, about the planet, and about yourself. I feel a very personal spirituality from my own learning, as I find out about things and grow. Also, you get to share your new findings with people you love!
What three items do you always have in your pantry? This is a hard question! In my kitchen I always have avocado, chickpeas to make hummus, and potatoes!
What is your favorite vegan comfort food? I have two – the vegan bean chili I make with my boyfriend every week, and roasted potatoes.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about taking on a plant-based (vegan) diet? The first thing is to go at your own pace – do not pressure yourself to get it 100% right! The second is to be caring, even to people who disagree with you, because they’re still someone in your life and you can’t make them think the way you do right away. The final and most important (to me) is to keep learning, especially about animals – all kinds, even the ones you think are weird or gross or scary. You should find time to volunteer at a shelter or visit a sanctuary, and read, and read, and read some more!
Do you find anything difficult about being vegan? The hardest part (as most people will say) is going out, because everyone but you eats meat or cheese, so you can’t really ask everyone to go somewhere vegan just for you. I find that as you compromise with people they will do the same for you when you really need it! The only other hard thing is the location of certain items. You’d be surprised where you will find vegan friendly items (Target especially) but some things can only be found at Whole Foods, and they’re not very close to where I live, sadly!
Any other comments or words of wisdom you would like to share? My three favorite animals are fireflies, dogs (especially Pekes and Pugs!) and black bears, and my favorite Pokemon (because this is so important) is Flareon!
Allyson, thank you so much and congratulations on your new journey into veganism. I hope that someone who is thinking about taking on a vegan lifestyle will see this and take some inspiration from you! Stay tuned… we may be hearing more from Allyson!