Why Being Vegan is Easy
It always blows my mind when I am confronted with how little people actually know about veganism. Although all the information is out there, dated stereotypes are alive and well, rearing their ugly head every time someone you know utters a sentence like 'it's just so HARD to go vegan', or 'I would love to be a vegan but it's just so difficult to eat out.' Since there is clearly a lot of preconceptions circulating that don't appear to be coming from the right sources, as a vegan, I'm here to clarify one thing: being vegan is easy.
That's right - finding vegan food is simple, eating out is a piece of cake and getting enough protein? Never easier. If you're wondering how I can possibly be saying this when the world as we know it is jam-packed with animal products, here it is: once you realise what animal products are made of and where they really come from, the difficult thing is continuing to consume them. Eliminating them from your life feels liberating and shockingly simple.
Once you've had what my fellow vegan blogger Hannah refers to as the 'light bulb moment', your perception of the world switches. What's hard is ignoring the pain and death that everything you eat, wear and put on your face seems to be steeped in. I kept feeling that something was fundamentally wrong with the way I was living, even if I was already a vegetarian. When I made the decision to try veganism, everything slowly but surely clicked into place.
I didn't go cold turkey, but even taking the small steps felt like I was doing something important and valuable. Experimenting with scrambled tofu instead of fried eggs and tossing my L'Oréal mascara in favour of e.l.f, I felt like I was a part of something bigger than just me and my choices - I was part of a movement that aimed to make the world a better place, and nothing seemed easier to agree to than that. In a few months, when I started seeing the health benefits of veganism, the only problem I had with my new lifestyle was: why didn't I do this sooner?
I'm not saying that everyone is wrong and every supermarket and restaurant you enter is actually rife with vegan goodies. Yes, you still have to look for a place that sells coconut cream (hint: Chinese supermarkets!). Yes, you still have to read labels. Yes, you still have to contact every restaurant you go to to find out if they cater to vegans. But guess what: you won't find it hard. You will know that you are doing these things because they are a part of what makes this world a better place, and therefore they will be easy.
I once had a colleague who said, 'you should have one day every year when you eat whatever you want.' And my reply was that actually I eat whatever I want every day. It's a common misconception that vegans 'deprive' themselves for the cause. I repeat: when you learn the truth about animal products, you just don't want them anymore. I CAN eat that piece of cheese - I'm not allergic and I won't die. But knowing its journey means that it doesn't appeal to me at all.
On that note, I fail to understand why restricting foods to fit into your bikini is accepted (and even encouraged) by society, while saying no to certain foods out of compassion makes you 'extreme'. The truth about vegans is that we don't diet. That's right. No calorie-counting at our table. But somehow, when my colleague doesn't eat the cake in the office because she's 'being good', she's praised, and when I say no because I'm vegan, I'm met with 'oh, poor you!'. The reality of the matter is that I'm not tempted by the cake if it has animal ingredients. I sit there wishing the cake was vegan - not wishing that I wasn't.
Yes, going vegan is an adjustment. But it's one that you'll make willingly. And none of it will feel difficult. Except maybe this.
Filed Under: thoughts