Vegan. A pretty trendy concept throughout the media nowadays, isn’t it? But, what does it mean to be a vegan?
- a person who does not eat or use animal products.
But why would you go vegan? (I mean, a life without pizza? No thanks!) Well, it was that same question a couple of months ago, that led me to submerge myself into the worldwide web to find some pretty convincing ‘Phoebes’ out there, who inspired me to get to the hardcore research. And so, after thoroughly reading some nutritional-rich articles, and skimming through some others, I found myself watching the speech that would change my life forever. They had me at “The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear”, but to prevent being fooled by clickbait, I kept watching. I was a vegan the next day.
I knew what the word vegan meant and stocked up on plants. I began my day with a berry-blossom-summer-smoothie bowl or something of that sort of Hawaiian-looking deliciousness. Then came the quinoa burgers, some waffles and pasta for dinner. I felt pretty full, but not in a bad way, rather in a happy-about-my-food-baby kind of way. I ate whatever I wanted (made of plants, that is), whenever I felt like it. I was light and detoxed, and the best part: I didn’t feel guilty of eating my heart out. I admit it, I used to feel kind of guilty whenever I ate ‘too much’, as my 17 year old brain was ingrained with Instagram perfection and impossible body goals, you know? My relationship with food changed for the best, and nowadays I cannot go a day without eating my favourite food.
I woke up with a rush of energy that forced me to jump out of bed, get my sneakers on and go for a 3 km run. You should know that I didn’t often run, and when I did, it was about half that length. I was bursting with this liveliness that kept me wide awake and moving the entire day, you would think I was on a whole lot of energy drinks. I loved this feeling, I love it. I never knew my body could manage being this alert, I thought being a teenager included being half awake the whole time. Turns out it didn’t, and veganism showed me that we are meant to be alive. I mean alive, alive. (Was that too cheesy? Dairy-free cheese I hope that is!)
So, you say veganism ≠ restriction?
The first obstacle that comes to mind when you decide to go vegan is feeling that you will be restricting yourself. From foods, from restaurants, even from social events. But that isn’t true. On Tuesday, I went out to eat with my friends at a sushi place. I was surprised by how many options I had, which I never knew existed before I asked. You have to learn to be prepared, but restriction isn’t true for veganism at all, I would soon learn. Veganism = Liberation. You focus on nutrients rather than restricting calories; you are liberated from a constant feeling of fatigue that I hadn’t identified until I felt light; you are liberated from contributing to cruelty and pain.
I realized that I could contribute to the World solely through what I didn’t consume. I cut off the food that contained a hint of death in it. The milk that was meant for baby cows, the flesh that belonged to someone else, the wings that were cut long before they were, encaged inhumanely in 1 by 1 cells. I ceased to harm the increasingly damaged home we call Earth, simply by not contributing to the animal agriculture responsible for 18% of our greenhouse emissions. I stopped contributing to cruelty full industries such as those of makeup or clothing. I wake up and help to change the world a little bit. It just made sense to live this way.
On Monday I thought I knew the definition of a vegan. By Friday I realized I never really would. Veganism is an ever-deepening lifestyle, and it starts acquiring different meanings as you go along. To me, it is no longer a matter of food, it is a matter of the heart.
I feel more compassionate with all kinds of living beings, less judgemental of others, and more sensitive to the environment. Now, I’m not saying being vegan makes you superior, because the whole point of vegans is that no one is superior (not even humans to cows). What I am saying is that Life As a Vegan is an experience I encourage all of you to explore, and it isn’t as hard as you think at all.
I am no holder of truth, but one truth I know is that we are what we eat. So, who do you want to be?
If you are interested in exploring veganism, I encourage you to check these out!
◦ WHAT THE HEALTH – WATCH ON NETFLIX
◦ COWSPIRACY ∼ WATCH ON NETFLIX
◦ 101 REASON’S TO GO VEGAN∼
◦ THE BEST SPEECH YOU’LL EVER HEAR∼ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es6U0…
◦ AMAZING EXPLANATION ∼