It's hard to believe it's been a year today since I made the decision to become vegan. On December 18th 2012 my friend Jessie wrote a blog post about a film called Vegucated. This was not like every other veggie orientated film I'd seen. A documentary where a group of people live as vegans for 6 weeks and learn about how food is made and what is involved.
As I watched the film at 5am before work it all became very clear. How could I live my life saving animals lives as a veterinary nurse only to cause pain to others through my life choices. The idea had always seemed too difficult to accomplish. I new then and there that a lot of things in my life were about to change. I was going to have to educate myself, use a lot of my spare time cooking and put more effort into my everyday routines then I ever believed possible. So on this day a year ago this vegetarian of 17years turned vegan.
I have found out so much about myself and the world we live in over this epic journey and so I thought I'd share with you
5 rad things I've learned being vegan
5. Just because it says soy doesn't means it's vegan.
I had been drinking soy flat whites from Starbucks for months when a lovely barista asked "Are you lactose intolerant or vegan?" I replied vegan. She then informed me the soy milk they use had added vitamin D which was made from Lanolin (yellow waxy substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool bearing animals). I now order mine with light soy milk (Lanolin free).
4. Eating at any restaurant is easy if you accept you'll be a dooche
At first I was embarrassed when I went out with friends and had to ask a million questions to the staff. They always gave me that "Your that tattooed, pink haired vegan try hard" look. All of a sudden one night when out with the husband at a little cafe I realized I am that tattooed, pink haired, vegan girl. So now I ask all my questions with relish. I know what to ask, how to ask and what to order if they can't answer my questions. This tattooed pink haired vegan loves every minute of their torture. Hehehe
3. Not eating animal products is the easy part.
After a few months it was time to start changing other things like my makeup and footwear. Being a cheap nerd finding makeup that was made for drag queens and smells like candy without hurting animals was a huge challenge. Most companies think all vegans fit into the same box of wanting to smell like sandalwood and wear brown. Luckily I found the most yummy lip gloss made by The Gnarly Whale (My fave is the pumpkin cheesecake) as well as the amazing glittery pink eyeshadow of Concrete Minerals. I finally feel like my sparkly self again.
2. People have no idea what a vegan is and generally don't care
From day one the questions start. "How do you get your protein?" "How do you go without cheese?" "You eat fish don't you?". It becomes second nature to have prepared answers. I've noticed they 9/10 times they aren't asking because they actually want the answer, they are asking because you've made them uncomfortable about their life choices. So even though I'd love to tell them the truth about what their eating I tell them what they want to hear and eat my food quietly.They will learn about what their eating one day, and it will make them feel sick.
1. Being a vegan is not that hard.
I'm not going to lie. At first It was a pain in the bum. Just before christmas I had to tell my family that I would not be able to eat any of our traditional foods. To my surprise there were no questions, only love and support and it has been this was since. My enthusiasm for food has caught on with my meat eating friends; sharing recipes and trying new stuff. Rad friends have gone out of their way to make me beautiful birthday cakes and help me find products I need. Becoming vegan has changed my life for the better. I love cooking and trying new recipes and reading the back of packets is just second nature to me. I feel healthier, I have strengthened my friendships and have found new foods I never even new existed. A year ago I never thought being a vegan would be as natural as it is to me now.
Have any of you thought of becoming vegan or are vegan? What are some rad things you've discovered?
If any of you are needing support or guidance in regards to veganism please E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to help you in any way I can to make the process easier and I have the best recipe for ginger baked tofu you will ever eat. The rad vegan patch at the top of this post is made by Retirement Fund.