Well, it happened. I took the vegan plunge!
Since I watched Forks Over Knives at the end of August, I cut out all meat and fish, right away. I stopped drinking milk right away, and cut out yogurt and most cheese. I still ate eggs though because I love eggs and enjoy eating them. I cut everything else out a few weeks into October. It felt good to make a decision, being in limbo was sort of weird. "Are you still eating cheese?" Ehhh, I don't know. Sometimes?
I decided to let the rest of it go since it was an inevitable decision for me anyway. I can't be a vegetarian but still give money to the other pieces of the meat industry puzzle. It just won't work for me.
So now I'm vegan! It was weird to make the decision and proclaim, "I'm vegan!" I'm lucky since my family has totally embraced my decision and helped me make vegan delicacies for Thanksgiving. They know who I am and though going straight to vegan within a few short months was quick, they weren't surprised with my ethical stance.
Thanksgiving was difficult for two reasons. First, I spent a fair amount of time explaining my new way of eating and living to loved ones. Even if they were jesting, there were a lot of jokes and a lot of "I could never do that's."
What have I learned since going vegan?! A few things.
1. So much stuff has animal products in it.
I had never thought about ALL the things I own that have animal products in them. Down comforters, makeup, down vests, belts, shoes, hair products, gym shoes (!) and so much more. Luckily, I don't feel bad using most of these things until they wear out and need to be replaced. We don't have the dough to replace most of it now, anyway. I did buy a new wallet from Big Skinny because they had the exact kind of "card case" I was using but in synthetic materials instead of leather. Otherwise, I haven't replaced most things. I'm deciding on a new Moop messenger bag that was a Chanukah gift to replace my awesome but leather one. Not all of their products are vegan but there is a handful and they're beautiful and handcrafted in the US.
2. It is really easy to be a cargo-vegan.
I did pretty well at first with eating a healthy whole grains plant based diet. But then I stopped being as vigilant and ate whatever kind of vegan friendly stuff I wanted. We went out a lot, we had a lot of pasta, I gobbled up bread. Pretty much whatever carbs were around, I would eat 'em! But we're changing that now and we're going to switch back to our other ways of whole grains and plant-based goodness.
3. I feel better eating vegan and knowing all the information I know.
I don't think I could eat meat right now because of everything I have read. I feel much better knowing that my eating and buying practices are in line with one another.
4. Some vegans are INTENSE.
There are "types" of vegans out there. There are people who mostly go vegan for health and then the people who are vegan for ethical reasons. There are vegans along a whole spectrum who would eat eggs hens hatch in their backyard to vegans who CANNOT IMAGINE EVER EATING OR USING SOMETHING WITH ANIMAL PRODUCT OR BYPRODUCT EVER AGAIN, YOU STINKING VEGETARIAN OR OMNIVORE! People are intense and I have had to stop reading comments on articles because of some peoples' intensity.
5. Eating vegan and thinking about what is inside products has made me more conscious about everything I do, in general.
Being compassionate towards everyone, all the time, is tough. I have road rage, get annoyed with my husband sometimes (he SAID he'd do the dishes!) and even become frustrated with our cute and cuddly pooches. But I think more about all my actions now that I eat vegan. Being a not perfect person, I still don't make the best decisions ALL the time but I have noticed that my compassion spills over into other parts of my life.
Well...that's all for now. If you're reading this...are you newly vegan? What have you learned?!