It’s funny how the word “vegan” can send shivers down our spines.
Going vegan, I did worry about what I’d actually eat. I mean, what would I actually put on my sandwiches? What about all the cakes, the biscuits, and desserts I loved? Or the cheese, the butter, and the numerous cups of tea I usually devoured?
For many, going vegan isn’t a problem. It could be they’ve had to do it for health reasons. Perhaps they were forced into making a substantial change to their diet after a significant warning from their doctor. Or perhaps they finally made themselves watch one of those horrifying videos posted on Facebook, showing the horrendous treatment of animals in farms that we always thought were “kind” to their livestock or claimed to “humanely” kill their animals.
For me, it was a mixture of those reasons. When I decided to go vegetarian, I had no real reason behind it — I was 15, so it was probably part of my rebellious streak. Now, at age 40, I can no longer deny the treatment of animals all over the world. Not just farm animals, but all living things. I knew that the only way I could actually do something was to no longer contribute to the harm and suffering any longer.
Being vegan is more than doing the “right” thing. There are so many other benefits, the obvious is our physical and mental health, but also it’s an unbelievably powerful way to actually change your life for the better. Here are 3 ways going vegan will change your life.
It’ll be the biggest change you’ll ever make, which means you can do anything after this.
Like many things in life, going vegan is about changing a habit. What we eat is so important, and when you choose what goes into your body rather than letting it choose you because “it’s what you are used to,” it can give you a big confidence boost. Deciding to do something good for yourself can be the best medicine, both physically and mentally. Think about it. You love cheese, right? So did I. Yet, choosing to stop eating it because you want to or need to is powerful. Knowing that you made the decision, especially if you’ve made it because you no longer want to harm others, is not only kind but it’s essentially compassionate — not only for others but also for yourself.
Once you’ve made this change, just imagine what you can choose for your life next!
You are doing something important that could change the world.
You might have heard of the quote by Mahatma Gandhi “Be the change you want to see in the world.” This is an overriding theme in any vegan’s book (well, it is in mine). You see, for anything to change in the world, it has to start somewhere. That somewhere is normally from within. Say you want to have a better, more loving relationship with someone in your life. For anything to change, you have to be more loving towards that person, because without that, how can you expect anything to be different?
If you keep doing the same thing, you’ll always get the same results. It’s the same with going vegan. Yes, you hate the treatment of animals, in fact it makes you feel guilty that what you consume is contributing to that, yet you still do nothing.
People will tell you “going vegan won’t change that,” and perhaps that could be right, yet how will you know unless you do something? We can all sit back on that excuse and feel guilty — that’s easy. But if you do something, actually go for it, then you are going to start a ripple effect. It may be small, but it’s better than nothing at all.
You’ll see food differently, enjoy it more, and become a better cook!
This was the biggest change in my life. I’ve never been a good cook, in fact my only real signature dish was shepherd’s pie and that wasn’t always a success! However, when deciding not to eat animal products, there’s a whole new repertoire to learn when cooking. In fact, it can be a real challenge. Personally, this challenge has provided with a passion for food and cooking. I no longer stick to what I know and I actively research good, nutritious, and delicious recipes to cook and share. There’s also the feeling that whatever you eat is actually going to be good for you — especially when you realize that quinoa, kale, and other such goodies would probably never be part of your diet if you’d never turned vegan. There’s a real sense of challenge and a new appreciation for what goes into your body — it’s actually pretty addictive!
Whatever reason you have for thinking of going vegan, it’s yours alone. Going vegan is purely personal, but if you can do it, I promise you’ll never look back!
So, what are you cooking tonight?
Featured photo credit: www.phlebotomytech.org via flickr.com