Today I want to talk to you about something close to my heart, but I want to do so in a way that won’t come across as condescending.
On April 13, 2016 I made a decision that radically changed my life in so many ways: the decision to stop consuming animal products. Going vegan was something I had wrestled with and considered for a very long time, and on that sunny April morning I remember taking a step back from thoughts of “what will other people think” and “how can I live without cheese” and taking the plunge to purge animal products from my life cold turkey (pun intended).
Going vegan was definitely the right decision for my life at the time and I am still going strong after over a year. Switching to a plant-based diet has improved my skin, increased my energy levels, sparked my interest in sustainable living, broadened my palette, and enabled me to enjoy eating without causing unnecessary harm. Eating vegan can also save you money if you do it right.
What originally drew me to plant-based living was the desire to improve my wellbeing. I have always been active with sports and outdoor activities, but I never felt like I was as strong or healthy as I could be. My best friend at the time had gone vegan almost a year before me, yet whenever she talked to me about it I was unresponsive to the idea. I’ve been picky about meats ever since I was a kid, but I simply couldn’t bear to give up cheese and ice cream (which I now know are available in delicious vegan options) and I thought the entire thing was just some fad that would blow over with time. Every time she talked to me about it though I felt like the idea was burrowing deeper and deeper into my mind. So one day instead of shutting her out I decided to look into how plant-based diets can improve your health, and I slowly fell down the rabbit hole.
After investigating the health benefits I stumbled upon environmental reasons to go vegan. Animal agriculture is destroying our environment, and that is a fact I will stand by for the rest of my life. The environmental reasons led me to the ethical reasons, and from there I was hooked. I couldn’t bring myself to continue to endorse a cruel system that was slowly destroying my body as well as the planet itself.
The transition to veganism was hard at times because I gave up animal products without looking back, but I am so so so glad I did it. I’ve never felt stronger, happier, or more in tune with nature.
I want to reiterate that going vegan was the right decision for MY life. I understand that diet is very personal and I definitely don’t expect anyone to change their ways because I told them to. I try not to be aggressive about veganism because I know that it doesn’t work for everyone and I believe that I have no right to shove my beliefs onto other people. So consider this post my one push for you to switch to a plant-based diet, and if that isn’t something you’re interested in then that is totally fine.
Check out these resources if you want to learn more about veganism or are interested in trying it yourself:
- This article focuses on the environmental reasons to go vegan.
- Check out Cowspiricy on Netflix to learn why animal agriculture is terrible in every way.
- Forks Over Knives is a great movie on Netflix outlining the health benefits of a plant-based diet.
- An all-around amazing presentation going over each aspect of veganism and it’s impact on humans as well as the environment.
I am also always available to talk to you about my vegan journey and am more than willing to help you get started if you want. My inbox is always open!
I’m excited to start sharing plant-based recipes with you on Forest Tourist, whether you’re a die-hard vegan or you just want to try something new.