I officially became a vegetarian during my senior year of high school after effectively being one for some time before that. As a child I’d always felt guilty when eating meat, and it came to a point where I just couldn’t do it in good conscience. As I looked into vegetarianism and learned why a veg lifestyle is good for animals of all types (humans included!) and the planet, I realized that to truly feel happy, whole, and conscionable, I had to live a cruelty-free, vegan lifestyle.
My journey to veganism took a similar route: I effectively ate vegan for a year before making the official switch. I found that vegan eating—and the vegan blog community especially—opened up so many new vistas of culinary fun. But since I’m the type of person who is really uncomfortable when I feel like I’m inconveniencing someone, during that year I would occasionally eat non-vegan foods. If a friend made dinner with dairy products, for example, I would feel way too guilty to turn her down and I’d eat it anyway. But then I’d feel even more guilty for going against my beliefs. It was no good.
Those days are long since over. I can’t live my life worrying about pleasing others; ultimately, I am accountable to myself, and I never felt 100% pleased with myself when I knew that I’d compromised my moral beliefs just to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. After all, feeling selfish because I’m doing what I can to end animal suffering doesn’t even make sense. Nearly eight years after my official switch, I still feel just as strongly that I made the right decision for my ethics and my health, and I haven’t looked back.
Going vegan can seem daunting if you don’t know any other vegans or you’re not sure you even understand which foods are and aren’t cruelty-free. If you have any questions or just want to learn more, please email me. I’m happy to talk, and I understand that not everyone’s journey is the same. No judgment here. :)