My journey into Veganism continues and has been an interesting journey thus far. The thing that has made it so easy for me is the knowledge I have gained through my own research with regard to the health issues created from a traditional diet. The “reflex” to eat steak and chicken has since subsided and even when I did picture something in my head, I wanted to just devour, it quickly subsided when I remembered the facts I have discovered. There are a lot of reasons people go vegan but for me, the only one that relates to me is “for the planet”. I don’t think it’s right that we grow animals to eat but I didn’t mind much when they landed on my plate, and I’m not a hypocrite.
The one thing I have been very aware of is my influence. I was worried about my families response to my change of lifestyle, since all are beer, bacon and barbecuing Americans, as I was for 50 years. I have never liked people pushing their own beliefs on myself, or others for that matter, and I refuse to be that person. That’s why for the last two months I haven’t written about my journey, I am still figuring it out myself. I didn’t want to talk about it until I understood what was happening myself.
My family has been remarkably supportive of my decision, but honestly, not around enough for me to bother them with why it’s a good idea to go vegan. Really, this is a life choice for me, to add some longevity and not feel like a victim of our culture. I also spent 35 years drinking and partying and wanted to experience a cleaner life before I go. The combination of this and a personal tragedy solidified the change to a healthy body and state of mind.
Now, the reality of it. I’m glad I have never been a big eater because on occasion I am still struggling with finding things to eat. We have been lucky enough to live in an area that caters to a healthy lifestyle and environmental consciousness and Vegan options are growing rapidly. At the same time, in my own head, I’m criticizing myself for not eating like a “real man”. Another cultural lie, like religion, in my opinion. I have found that I still have, and fight through, the same biases I grew up with. If you care about the “Jones’ ” or fold to peer pressure easily, it may be a rough transition.
The one thing I can suggest is to remember, just because you went vegan, it doesn’t mean everyone else should too. Lead by example, live the life and thrive, and others will see the benefits and if not, well, plenty of people live long lives eating what they want, smoking and not taking care of themselves, leave them alone. It’s a choice, not a policy. I have friends who have already told me that they are doubling their meat and dairy intake to cover my lack of consumption. lol I laugh. Just like when I quit drinking, I still put beer in the fridge for my friends. Just because I quit doesn’t mean everyone else did.
My journey is in it’s infancy but stronger than I could have imagined. My palette is adjusting and taste buds, that were dulled for years, have come alive. Honestly, not necessarily always good, as I taste every flavor involved now. We have been discovering new spots with vegan options and I have been impressed and amazed at the adaptions people are creating to provide comfort foods to those who choose this life. I recently found the most amazing plant-based burger for my gluttony. No, it doesn’t come from a fast food operation, and I wouldn’t trust them anyway.
In closing, what I have learned thus far is, when you have the facts, going vegan is easy, it just requires home cooked food to be feasible. Best of luck if your making the change and don’t beat yourself up if you “relapse”, your healthier than when you weren’t trying at all.
DAP 1/7/20 Written with love