I read vegan blogs pretty much every day and I often come across a blog written by someone struggling with staying vegan or someone who gave up. For me going vegan has not been a difficult journey. Yes, I have had my share of insensitive remarks directed at me and in the beginning I admit that shopping for food took more time because I read every label. I worried I would never be able to eat out and when I did, I would never find anything to eat but the salad. I worried about what other people would think of me and how they would react. However, for me most of my fears never materialized and living a vegan life is far easier than I imagined it would be. I’m not sure why going vegan is a struggle for one person and for another it is a life affirming journey. But below are a few of the things I believe have helped me along the way.
- I read everything I can on being vegan and animal right. Listening to Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s pod casts are a great source of information. I am continuing to learn and my views are evolving. I think that helps keep this journey a priority in my life.
- A big part of what I read early on, and still do, is information on vegan diet and health. I am healthier now than I have been in years and it feels great. If I had not put effort into making sure I was eating healthy I’m sure it would have been easy to blame veganism in general and give up while claiming it is too difficult to be vegan.
- While I mainly eat at home and eat mostly a whole foods diet, I do like to go out occasionally. I made a point early on of identifying all the places I could easily go to for lunch and dinner. Today I was out doing errands and when lunch time came around the question of where to go for lunch wasn’t because I had no idea where I could eat, it was making a decision where I wanted to eat. Several web sites are available that list some excellent choices and browsing the online menu of my favorite restaurants held some great surprises for me. With the exception of steak houses, eating out doesn’t need to be a challenge.
- Grocery shopping wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. I don’t know about anyone else but vegan or not, my weekly shopping list doesn’t change all that much from week to week. Yes the first few weeks took some time to identify what I liked and what was vegan. However, today shopping is as easy as it was pre-vegan. I know what I want and I know where everything is. If I want to try something new I know I may need to do some label reading. Not really a big imposition considering I’m avoiding putting dead animals into my body.
- The challenge of going vegan isn’t just about the food. When I went vegan my only support was a couple of people I met online. To connect with other vegans I joined NorthwestVeg and I started this blog. I am very blessed that my family and friends have been pretty supportive of my going vegan. If I had to do this completely alone I’m sure I wouldn’t be writing about how easy going vegan has been for me.
- However, beyond learning how to eat and finding support, the absolute most important thing I do that has made going vegan easy is that I keep in the front of my mind why I went vegan. A quick drive through lunch isn’t worth knowing I would be participating in the slaughter of innocent life. The taste of dairy cheese seems to me to be a very insignificant argument for contributing to the factory farming of billions of suffering animals.
What matters to me is to live true to my values. Nothing tastes good enough or is convenient enough to make me give that up.