Being vegan - six months on

Monday, 3 October 2016

['How would you feel, if the day that you were born, somebody else had already planned your execution?'] 

I've been fully vegan for six months now and I'm just sat thinking, really, is that all? Well, it's probably closer to seven months but still, it feels like much, much longer than that. I feel like I've always eaten this way, it's become who I am and it just feels so natural.

All vegans must sound like broken records when it comes to this because I think every single one of us does say the same thing, but it really is the best decision I have ever made. I have never felt as happy and at peace with myself and my lifestyle as I do now.

According to the vegan calculator, in six months I have saved 198,000 gallons of water, 5,400 square feet of forest and 180 animals. Being vegan does make a difference. Even if, in the grand scheme of things, these numbers are tiny, they still matter. To know that I have saved the lives of around 180 animals is just incredible.

Being vegan is about so much more than the food you eat, it's a whole lifestyle change and that change takes time. Six months on and I am still using up old products that aren't vegan. My diet has been completely vegan for the whole time, but I still have makeup products, toiletries and shoes that aren't vegan. I'm slowly using these up because I wouldn't want to waste them and when they need to be replaced I always buy vegan instead. I've given some things away to friends too so I'm almost there. Changing your lifestyle isn't something that happens overnight but it's so exciting to discover new brands and products. There really is a vegan alternative to everything. It's so much more than a diet, it's a lifestyle and one I don't think I could ever turn my back on.

Vegan - it is a word that can spark negativity and hateful comments. It can create debate and cause disagreements. It's also a word that can instantly unite people and bring them together through an underlying compassion and understanding. Since being vegan, never before have I felt more accepted and like I am a part of something huge. The community is filled with so many wonderfully inspiring people and I feel so lucky to be a part of that.

I've learned that as a vegan you won't always fit in, that sometimes you will be judged for your views, but that's okay because you know yourself that you are doing what is best, even if others can't see it. 

I've also learned that it's okay to make mistakes. A few months into being vegan I ate some coconut peanut butter than contained honey. I was so excited to try it that I completely forgot to look at the ingredients, generally peanut butter doesn't contain honey so it really didn't even cross my mind to check. I was a little annoyed at myself at first but then I thought about it: it was a mistake and if I'd known I would never have eaten it. Everyone slips up every now and again and that's okay. Being vegan is about causing the least harm possible and you really can't do any more than try your best.

A year ago I was one of those people saying 'oh, I could never go vegan', 'I could never give up cheese'. I was someone who thought veganism was excessive and a little mad. I just didn't understand why anyone would do it. A year ago I was nieve and still hidden behind the wall the dairy and meat industry have created for us to shield us from the truth. I was clueless to the harm being caused, the unnecessary cruelty and that fact that I could make a difference and stand up against it.

Now, here I am six months into the best lifestyle change I have ever made.

If you are thinking about going vegan I only have one thing to say: do it. The only regret I have is not having done it sooner (says ever vegan ever).

Ps. If you want to find out more about why I went vegan, have a peek at this post. 

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