Doing the Unthinkable: I’m Going Vegan
I never thought I’d utter the words: I’m going vegan. But utter them, I did.
If you had asked me a few months ago if I could become a vegan, I would have laughed (and said no).
And if you had known me a few years back, I would have sworn to you that I was planning to be a Carnivore For Life.
A few things have changed since then.
Truth be told, I don’t know how long I’ll last in this vegan challenge. I’m not sure if I’ll continuously relapse during this foray into a whole new world of food.
But what I do know is that it’s come time to at least attempt a change in the way I eat.
So, what ever moved me to come to this once unfathomable decision?
I guess I could say that the most immediate trigger was watching What the Health, a documentary on Netflix.
In What the Health, filmmaker Kip Anderson investigates the link between diet and disease — a connection that top health organizations are keeping mum about due to the big money they receive from the food industry.
It wasn’t the first time I had watched a film about what our modern-day agricultural industry is doing to our food and, in turn, to our bodies (see Cowspiracy, also directed by Kip).
It also wasn’t the first time I had felt the nudge to try a vegan — or at least a vegetarian — diet (see Vegucated).
But I always seemed to come up against a block to actually taking the leap.
I mean, I can’t lie — I’ve always loved meat. To cut it out — abandon it — altogether felt like I’d be denying myself an infinite number of exquisite culinary experiences FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.
(Cover your ears, my vegan friends …) For instance, I thought about that tender pork belly and juicy Muscovy duck I had enjoyed while dining out recently in the city. It was like tasting a burst of joy inside my mouth.
To add to the challenge, I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to navigate those social occasions where others had no intention of catering to a vegan.
Would I simply sit there and starve? Oh, my friends, you have not seen me hangry. Starving was not an option.
The idea of going vegan just always seemed to be accompanied by an overwhelming feeling that it was too … damn … hard.
But over the past few months, several things have made me reconsider the enormity of living a vegan life.
Vegan Life is Possible … Even For a Meat Lover
One of my motivations for going vegan is ethical.
Having learned so much more about the harmful — even fatal — impacts of our meat-crazed food industry, it’s become harder and harder for me to ignore my own part in contributing to that system.
Living on a farm for the past few months was the real start to this change in thinking.
To see how animals, like our lambs, ducks and chickens, could be raised well made it more painful to think about how factory farm animals were suffering before slaughter.
Of course, going vegan means not eating meat or animal products at all, no matter how humanely raised those animals are.
So, I do realize that there is an issue I have to come to terms with. We have animals at the farm. We raise some of them for consumption. We’re gonna have to save this discussion for another post.
For now though, I’m listening to what my gut is telling me — that, when it comes to what I eat, I need to walk the talk.
My second motivation for going vegan is health reasons.
Aside from wanting to be more immersed in nature, I also decided to leave my career and life in the city so I could make my health a greater priority.
I deplored how my Monday-to-Friday, 9-to-5 work lifestyle had led to me cramming in food wherever it happened to fit within that schedule.
While I’d try to cook meals at home, there were many occasions where I’d just be too tired from the work week. The quick fix? Grabbing takeout that would be eaten hastily while back at my desk, staring at a computer screen.
I wanted to turn it around and, instead, fit whatever I did for work around a healthier eating practice.
Since being at the farm, I feel so much stronger and healthier. Part of it is probably due to better eating habits. And, of course, living in a natural space, instead of being confined to a poorly-ventilated office every day, is a huge help.
But I know I can still do better.
Taking care of my crappy immune system and never-ending allergies requires continuous — and I think, greater — effort.
I believe it’s worth exploring whether a plant-based diet will help me become the healthiest version of myself!
Help! How Do I Go Vegan?!
So, here we go! Here’s some of the resources I’m starting with to help me in my journey going vegan:
• 30-Day Vegan Challenge with Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (from the What the Health website).
• “50+ High Quality Vegan Blogs Worth Following” by The Minimalist Vegan.
And, hey, maybe you can also help me out if you have any tips or advice! (General encouragement and support are also fully appreciated).
Relapses, flaws, and all, I’ll be writing about my Going Vegan journey here, on Nature Immersed. I hope you’ll read along on my new food adventures!