In the 4 months of being vegan, I have learned and felt A LOT. I can’t say that it came to me as a surprise because I knew change was a-brewin’! I came into this lifestyle with some expectations and so far, it’s been a refreshening experience and here’s why:
- Consciousness: I already explained this in my “Why I Became a Vegan” post so check that out for full details. I will add that yes, I do feel more conscious. Going to to grocery store takes almost TWICE the amount of time because I’m always careful of the ingredients I’m adding into my meals. Not only do I want to stay away from unnecessary additives and highly processed foods (which I do not all the time, let’s be real) when I can, but I want what’s best for me. It also takes longer because specialized vegan foods also cost more, so I weigh the costs and benefits for an unhealthy amount of time. And as I’m learning more about veganistic (coined it, called it) ideals, the more conscious and knowledgeable I become in regards to living creatures, Earth, and life.
- Knowledge: I have been reading and watching tons of information on different topics that are popular in the vegan realm. The facts and research behind these articles and documentaries are so riveting it’s hard not to listen or make a change. They present facts that aren’t biased, it is what it is.
- POOPING: I wasn’t very frank at first in my video but yes, POOPING. You will go on the daily, which is the healthy amount of waste to leave your body! When you go once a day, you feel great because your body is cycling at a consistent rate. You’re taking in so much natural fiber that your body is digesting at a very healthy rate and you will do the poo more often. As a meat eater, I wasn’t going regularly unless I had eaten too much or ate something upsetting. Can you imagine holding a log in for 3 days? How GROSS is that?! So with all the veggies and fruits, my friend you will poop.
All goods have some evils and these are things you may want to consider if you’re considering veganism.
- Travel: When I was planning a birthday trip, I wanted to go to New Orleans. It is THE PLACE to be during Halloween time! As I was discussing it with a coworker who knew I was a vegan, he BEGGED me as a former chef to cheat for my trip. Most signature Creole dishes are heavy with butter and seafood, something he really hoped I would not miss out on. He informed me that there weren’t going to be many vegan options and most restaurants cannot accommodate for it. Having that in mind, I figured traveling to certain destinations would be a challenge. It’s not the issue of missing out on “the culture” as it is the ease of finding vegan options. Being on vacation, you will either have to find restaurants that have vegan options, which can be an obstacle, prep your own food, or eat bread and tomatoes from the grocery stores you can find. It can be a real issue. But like I said in my video, if you’re dedicated, you will make it work. Me personally, I will have to work something out to make traveling easier. I contemplated on being vegetarian on trips so I don’t have to worry about eating. Some of you may frown upon it, but to each their own. I want to try my best to advocate this lifestyle; but I have to do what I have to do sometimes!
- Weight: One of the reasons why I became a vegan was to lose weight after gaining a significant amount. Watching vegan Youtuber’s, I thought the process would be as easy for me as it was for them. It. Was. Not. I did not lose any weight for the first month. I actually gained weight. That’s when I did my research and realized I wasn’t doing it right. I was still eating unhealthy, my meals weren’t balanced and I wasn’t exercising. I realized that dieting alone would not help me lose the weight. It can, but in a vegan diet, that could be very unhealthy and highly unrecommended. So if you are turning to this diet for weight loss, or dieting in general, always supplement it with routine exercise.
- Hanging out with friends: You may have some close friends that aren’t vegan and going out to eat can be a challenge. Some friends may not be supportive of your lifestyle and eating at some restaurants can be hard for you. A friend of mine told me that a celebrity (Will.I.Am I believe?) was a vegan for some time, but had stopped so he could hang out with this friends again. I’m not sure if it’s going to be THAT hard for you. I’m sure your friends aren’t eating at 5-star brazillian steakhouses every night. I think if a friend truly cared about you and your choices, they will make accommodations for you and vice versa. You can switch off choosing restaurants. You can decide to bond over another activity instead! The possibilities are endless!
Hopefully this list of Pro’s and Con’s were of help to you. They certainly helped me evaluate what I want to do next. For now, I want to continue being vegan. Strict vegan full-time? We’ll see. But to all of you who are or are thinking about being vegan, best of luck to you!