Being Vegan: A 6 month review

6 months ago I made the decision to trial a life of not eating animals or animal-related products for a few weeks. No more meat, cheese, milk, honey and so on. After a few weeks, I realised the likelihood of reverting back was slim. And so it proved, the trial turned into a permanent change. So, how am I doing 6 months on?

The short answer: Absolutely fantastic

3277f2ed9dcdcb7ee8dbb1a84340bd5fHave there been hiccups along the way? Of course. But with anything worth doing in life, there exists the occasional roadblock to test your mental fortitude as if to ask, ‘do you really mean what you’re saying and doing?’

As the weeks rolled by, I learnt that one by one, I was crossing more food off the list of what I could eat. Sometimes it was hugely disappointing, especially if I had my heart set on something specific. Other times, it wasn’t so bad.

  • Jelly lollies? Nope, they’re made with gelatin. Where does gelatin come from? Google it….
  • A pastry from the bakery? Full of butter.
  • Veggie patty on a burger? Sorry, made with eggs..
  • A packet of salt and vinegar chips (crisps)? Nah-uh, it has milk solids.

In fact a lot of things are made using milk solids. Nevermind. As a vegan, you learn to find some cheeky loopholes – food that at first glance you wouldn’t think you could eat, but a quick scan of the ingredients leaves you wide-eyed and drooling… i.e. most variations of Oreos!rs_560x415-131016111620-1024_oreo_cm_101613What you may have noticed is that most of that food above is generally unhealthy anyway. Animal aside, it’s food I’m better off avoiding. By mostly eating healthy, I’ve found I view junk food differently than I used to. When I used to spot someone eating a Big Mac, more often than not it made me crave one myself. Now, I look at the person, not the burger, and what I see is quite often a horribly unhealthy looking person jamming part of an animal down their throat. I don’t miss it at all.

I’ve learnt that some people view veganism as a diet. The more apt word is lifestyle, and while that sounds clichéd, it’s true for me. The word diet conjures up images of going without and cutting back certain foods. Veganism doesn’t involve either of these things. I don’t go without meat, it’s just simply no longer an option. Just as some people would never consider eating say, haggis, I no longer consider eating meat. I also don’t cut back. I either eat a food or I don’t. It generally either has animal or it doesn’t.

The problem with a diet is that it’s too easy to succumb to bad food and tell yourself that you’ll run an extra lap or two around the park later that day (which let’s face it, won’t happen). If you’re vegan for the animals, you can’t eat animal and then make up for it later. It simply doesn’t work that way.

meat-ad-3Food aside, the moral benefit of eating vegan has already proven to be fulfilling and frustrating in equal measures. Although I feel vastly better mentally and physically about my choice, it’s also opened my eyes to how mindless and contradictory society is when it comes to animals. Dog rescue/animal shelter on one corner, a BBQ steakhouse on the next. People crying out about animal abuse because a puppy was tortured and killed, but the same people will bury their head in the sand when it comes to discussing how that sizzling bacon ends up on their plate. Vegans have developed a well-known reputation for being ‘preachy’, yet for decades, the meat and dairy industry has never held back on flooding us with messages telling us what to eat and drink. Food for thought hey…

All in all, going vegan is one of the best things I’ve done. Mentally and spiritually I feel so much better, and physically I feel great, not to mention I’m leaner than I have been in years.

9 thoughts on “Being Vegan: A 6 month review

  1. I say “Good for you!” You have more willpower than I do. Or maybe change just comes more easily for you than it does for me. But after nearly 64 years on Earth – and being married to a man who’s been here more than 67 years – changing my diet (not “going on” one as you so astutely pointed out) is just not a priority for me. There are certain things I can’t eat just because the sight of them makes me ill – like fast-food anything. But I admit it, I enjoy a good steak now and then, and a good omelet. But I have no problem with people who choose to be vegans as long as they don’t criticize my food choices, especially while I’m eating it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I admit it was easy for me because Sel had already been vegan 6 months prior so I was getting used to eating less and less meat & dairy – I still ordered meat, eggs etc. when we went out, but I didn’t miss it during the week. I can imagine it would be difficult for two people who had different ideas about it though.

      I think willpower only played a part for the first month or two – if I was getting really hungry and smelt someone cooking a BBQ, that was a massive test mentally lol but I’m mostly past that stage and find it comes naturally. And this blog aside, I tend not to talk about being vegan to anyone unless they bring it up first and start asking questions. Thanks for the comment :))

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 6 months vs 6 years….and I never regretted my choice! Just like you I don’t talk about it to anyone unless they bring it up and every time I go out (friends, restaurants…) I wear my best smile and say: tonight I’ll be your worst nightmare, I don’t eat meat/cheese/fish/dairy/eggs….and 99% of the times everything goes smooth….👍😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’re very lucky to have understanding friends & a few who are vegetarian so it’s been a smooth ride so far. We also like to have people over for dinner a lot so everyone can bring a dish and everyone’s satisfied that way too 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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