” Reasons for changing my diet were simple. I have killed an animal with my own hands to feed myself. That may seems too gruesome to say, but it’s no different from buying ground beef from your grocery store for taco tuesday.”
That’s right! I am coming out as a vegan. And here’s the thing, everyone else seems to have a problem with it, except me!
Me eating a total of 4 dishes at Nourish in Banff. If you are vegan, I highly recommend you go there if you have the chance!
Unless someone asks to go hunting on the weekend or wants to try a new burger joint I keep my food choices to myself. And in my experience with other vegans, they don’t go shouting it from the rooftops either. But when people find out, the reaction is almost never good.
Sitting at a lunch with my friends, one of them notices that there is no meat on my plate. Curious she asks why I chose the vegan meal. And as I tell her that I have become vegan, it’s probably the most controversial conversation we have ever had! The explosion in her voice, slanted looks while she criticizes my plate all tip me off from wanting to tell her I have been vegan for 5 months and she just hasn’t noticed!
Things eventually calm down when my other friend pipes up and says her and her fiance do Meatless Monday’s. Exactly the opposite response I thought I would recieve from my friends but none the less, now it’s in the open and I can relax right?
Not so much. Not only am I on my 6th shared meal with this friend since becoming vegan, but not once have I passed judgement or tried to convince her to leave meat off her plate. So why the judgement when I choose to forgo animal products and food?
In the 21st century, there seems to be two definitive types of eaters in our society’s minds. Non vegans and pushy environmental judgmental shaming vegans. Aside from unrightfully parking in disabled spots, littering, and stealing from the elderly, veganism is almost the most offensive crime you can commit. Every vegan is suddenly associated with those pushy vegan videos that go viral. And although those appeal to me, I am in no way a walking representation of that approach to my veganism choice.
To be clear, I do not think any progress is made when being hateful, negative or mean to those who do not like the same lifestyle as you do. I respect their choices, just as I hope they respect mine. Not everything needs a protest and a hashtag trending on instagram. And as much as I love being vegan. I’m sure everyone can get to a place where they are happy with the source of their food all in their own curious time.
BLACK BEANS OVER BURGERS
Reasons for changing my diet were simple. I have killed an animal with my own hands to feed myself. That may seems too gruesome to say, but it’s no different from buying ground beef from your grocery store for taco tuesday. I am not proud of this fact, but it’s a part of my journey to where I am now. If you are eating meat but have never done this, you may want to take the time to understand the moral and ethical choices someone else has to go through for you to eat meat from your supermarket. But for me, it’s not something I can do. I have all the respect for humane fishermen and hunters who understand that meat doesn’t just grow from the bottom of your supermarket freezer. Growing up, and still my family members source their meat from a local farmer and use every part of the animal. But it still never felt good to eat it.
Other than burgers, which I had the utmost love for, I really didn’t gravitate to meaty foods. The only time other than burgers where I enjoy meat was on a pizza. And even then, without cheese and sauce, that meat means nothing to my taste buds. Since becoming vegan, I have had burgers much more. I used to shy away from having that “cheat meal” since I knew that it was high in cholesterol, calories, sodium and was not deemed a good meal when prepping for a competition. I can now make a burger patty out of any bean, some spices and have the same enjoyment without the heaviness and regret. That is a win for me! I feel like I’m having a cheat meal 3 times a week. (I don’t eat a burger 3 times a week, or do I?) Give me all the veggie burgers!!
“Cooking takes literally no time anymore. I can eat so much more, and more often.”
DAILY GLOW AND GO
My skin, has been thanking me so much! Recently I went over to a friends house to shoot a beauty tutorial. She thought I had already put makeup on when I came in the door! I didn’t even have a moisturizer on! Never in my life have I had such good skin. It’s like the one time in life where I could just wake up and not worry about a spot on my face. There is probably some science behind why this is, extra vitamins from vegetables and such but I’m just going to leave that googling to you.
Cooking takes literally no time anymore. I can eat so much more, and more often. It’s really my ideal way of eating! (Isn’t it everyones?) The fact that there are so many options on what I can eat and the calorie difference in the foods I currently eat, make such a huge change on how I feel and enjoy my meals. Even “cheat meals” like pizza don’t weigh me down and give me that gross feeling afterwards like they used too. And the amount of vegan cheeses available in this time are astonishing! It’s literally never been easier to eat vegan versions of the foods you already enjoy! What’s better is that is available everywhere. Every menu has a vegan option, every restaurant will change a recipe so that you are happy with the meal. You can go anywhere these days other than maybe a steakhouse and still have vegan options!
IT’S NOT ONLY ABOUT THE PUPPIES AND KITTENS
“Obviously I am not perfect and I am never aiming for perfection, but I am aiming for something that matches my life goals and lifestyle.”
I am an animal lover! I have had numerous pets over the years who have been near and dear to my heart! Heck, my family in India had a pet Buffalo. But the more pets my family included in our hearts, the more I felt ridiculous for eating certain ones over others. This may not be the case for everyone. But for me it just didn’t make sense anymore.
There are an immense amount of studies that show how meat consumption relates to ailments in the body and a huge environmental impact. I really deeply care about my footprint, how I live, the examples I am setting and how I conduct myself. Obviously I am not perfect and I am never aiming for perfection, but I am aiming for something that matches my life goals and lifestyle. I am an avid recycler and repurpose fanatic, so this change works well in line with my overall longterm goals for myself.
VEGAN VANESSA’S TIPS ON TRANSITIONING
These are some tips I have gathered in my time as a vegan and I thought that there may be some curious folks out there that these could help!
-If a restaurant makes a bomb vegan option, share that! Write a review for them! Let other people know the awesomeness that is available so that everyone can enjoy dinner with their vegan and non vegan friends! It also lets the restaurant know that there is potential gap in their menu that they can fill!
-When starting out, find recipes that you like and keep them as your staples so you always know that you have go to food you enjoy.
-Be easy on yourself, if you slip up or accidentally forget that cheese comes with that, remember you are human and you have to find a balance that works for you. I can easily say that I am vegan 95% of the time. But that 5% is there simply because there might have been egg in the bun I eat, or a restaraunt doesn’t realize that honey isn’t a vegan product that shouldn’t be in a “vegan cake”
-Remind yourself that your choice is not everyone’s choice. Regardless if you want everyone to be a animal loving environmentalist, that is not everyone’s choice. We live in a society that has eaten and raised animals for that purpose and that purpose alone for centuries. Although health studies and environmentalist movements are creating a growing vegan population, people do not appreciate it being pushed on them. So respect your omnivore friends and those family dairy farmers down the road. Respect breeds an open conversation, open conversation allows people to ask questions and feel more comfortable around other vegans in the future. And hey, maybe they too will have a meatless monday like my friend!
-Lastly, find a good coffee creamer replacement! (Mine is So Nice Soy Coffee Creamer,https://sonice.ca/coffee-creamer/original-2/ )
Anyone worried about your aminos and not sure that you can keep your muscle mass up, be sure to check out Liam Hemsworth’s diet while on the set of Avengers. The Hammer of Thor compels you! Seriously though, the link is below. Enjoy!