My venture into Veganism started around 3 weeks ago. This made the timing of today’s Sydney Vegan Festival, absolutely perfect!
Before you award my enthusiasm, let me be honest about something…
The timing was ideal because the novelty of my new lifestyle was starting to wear off (not that staring at plates of salad every night is exciting). I was having all sorts of doubts: how much of an impact can I make? Can I keep buying fresh food when it expires so quickly? Will my social life be ruined? Newly forbidden desires were also becoming harder to control. I even had a dream about eating a ham sandwich!
The good news is that today certainly helped. I’m going to keep at this.
I realised that vegan meals can be very enticing and delicious; it’s just my culinary skills that are lacking. But there’s no shortage of tips and recipes out there.
I also got to hear from YouTubers such as Bad Ass Vegan and Bonny Rebecaa who are several years into the lifestyle and experienced in helping people make the transition. They addressed my concerns about protein intake and athletic performance, and answered many questions from the crowd.
What I found most helpful was the concept of the vegan triangle. It’s made up of the three primary reasons of why people often decide to be vegan:
- The environment
- One’s health
- The ethics around how animals are treated
We’re free to rotate it as we wish, putting whichever reason at the top. This makes the decision to be vegan much easier to make – and in my case, stick to.
Maybe it’s selfish, but I put my health at the top. Given that I used to be obsessed with weightlifting and my physical appearance, I used to see eating as purely functional. Taste didn’t matter. I knew I was eating too much meat, but I was more concerned with my protein intake.
But with all that behind me, I’m looking at veganism as part of my adjusted focus on how I feel, rather than look; and as a way to rediscover the taste of food in its most natural form. Regarding the ethics, I always knew it was wrong. But now, I’m realising how wrong it is that I don’t care that it’s wrong. I believe this will make me a better person on many levels. A person who really thinks about the consequences of their actions. Spiritually speaking, I also believe veganism is great way to become more compassionate and connected with our planet and every living thing we share it with.
So that’s me. I learned a lot today, but I’ve still got some research to do on making the lifestyle sustainable. Just as with conventional diets, there is no single approach for everyone. This was mentioned by today’s speakers on many occasions.
I’ll end with something I heard, not today, but during dinner with a vegetarian friend:
“It’s not black and white. It’s not that either you’re in or you’re out. It’s about recognising that every little bit has an impact. If everyone just replaced a few meat based meals a week, that would still make a massive difference overall.”
If you’ve had your own experience with going vegetarian or vegan, I’d love to hear from you below!