May 28, 2014

Why I Live A Vegan Lifestyle, Part 2

Is being a Vegan hard?
Yes and no.

Mostly no.

It's inconvenient sometimes. We can't go over to grandma's house on Christmas and eat what the rest of the family is eating. But we make do: we bring our own food or we eat immediately before.

Some people find it easier to gradually make the change from whatever-diet (and when I say diet, I mean "way you eat",) to Vegan. But as far as I'm concerned, those blurry lines just mess with my head. The "well, I'll just eat what I've got in the kitchen and then make the change" when it's something I feel so strongly about just did not even kind of work for me.

I remember sitting at home, feeling like we needed to take our Vegetarianism to the next level. For a while, I would get grossed out by what I was eating but cognitive dissonance just let me continue... Not fully understanding why I was feeling grossed out (because I didn't know how it was made.) For the record, when I became a Vegetarian, the transition was difficult. I had a hard time adjusting to the lifestyle and eventually, what really helped was being grossed out. "What?" you ask. I'm serious. Once I realized that what I was eating (meat) actually pooped, vomited, had sex and then ended up rotting in my stomach... I just couldn't do meat any more. The same goes for everything else animal-derived. Once I realized how cheese was made and what eggs really are, it was so simple for me. (I never liked milk in the first place. I had a childhood friend that drank absolutely nothing but milk and it definitely burnt me out on it; I've always been a water drinker.)

The day I decided to dive in and research those things was our last day of being Vegetarian. I threw out whatever we had that wasn't Vegan (or gave it to my parents) and we were done. We were Vegan! And we haven't looked back.

See, with us, we don't eat animal products because it grosses us out. It's not just for our health or for the animals. (Though those are fantastic reasons.) It just means that while Vegans with those beliefs can basically waver in their dedication, we cannot. In absolutely no situation will I use animal products (to my knowledge; if I happen to consume them, I will learn and change accordingly.) It is a moral thing for us; not just our diet. Have restaurants put cheese in my salad? Yep. Do I eat it? No. Absolutely not. "Just this once" is not something we do with animal products. Will it hurt us? Maybe we'll have a bad reaction to it after not having eaten it in years (or in our son's case, ever,) but probably not too badly. But that isn't the point.

I would like to discuss Veganism and health, though.

I had our son at 265 pounds. I was checked for this and that via many tests. (Both of us were just fine.) It was hard. I had a cesarean and was more-or-less bed ridden for weeks after I gave birth. I lost bout 30 pounds almost instantly of just water weight. I stayed about 235 for a few years. I often hated how my stomach looked and that I would never be able to have a flat stomach. I hated that every part of me was now different... it was really, really hard. But with the help of my husband, I got over it. And I became powerful in my larger body. I gained self love and body positivity. And with that self love, I finally wanted to treat my body better, not just wish it smaller. Without surgery, I'm not likely to have a flat stomach. I'm actually completely okay with that now. (Honestly!) Do I get frustrated sometimes at my body? Sure, who doesn't? But never in comparison to a different version of myself, and sure as hell not in comparison to other people.

Changing is hard. But it isn't impossible.

Answers to questions I'm sure will be asked:
Do you have cats or dogs? Do you have them eat a Vegan diet as well?
We do have cats. No we do not make them eat a Vegan diet. It isn't healthy for cats (I don't know about dogs as I've never been a dog mama,) and they need meat.

Do you have kids? Are they Vegan?
Yes. We have a four year old son. He has never eaten meat. I was a Vegetarian when I was pregnant with him and he was a Vegetarian until last year when our entire family became Vegan. We are fine if he wants to eat meat / animal products as an adult. But while he lives with us, he will be educated on the subject and is not allowed to bring meat into the house.

What about protein?
I'm just going to leave this and this here so you can do your own educated research.

Are you raw Vegans?
No. Perhaps eventually, though. Currently, we just try to incorporate lots of whole Vegan foods. (With a strong emphasis on raw, whole Vegan foods during the appropriate seasons!)

If you have questions that you would like answered, please leave them below. (Unkind comments will be removed, thanks for understanding!)

Photo used in post was taken by me. Fonts used were Georgia and Shipped Goods 2. This post is non-commercial.

Note: I need to re-write this series. We still are mostly Vegan, but we do now use local honey, beeswax and humanely gathered wool.

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