January 2nd will mark my 2-year veganniversary (anniversary of going vegan)! In the beginning, it was all so new. I went through a series of strong emotions and phases of wanting to learn anything and everything I could find as well as the strong desire to share my newfound knowledge with everyone I knew. I was counting the months and would always be so proud every time I reached a new milestone. These days, I haven’t really been keeping tracking so much. These days, it’s just life as usual.
And what an incredible life it is! I love being vegan SO much that I decided to put together this list of reasons begin vegan is awesome.
It’s much easier to say “no” to unhealthy foods…sometimes
Before I started my own business, I worked at a large advertising agency where they would order donuts every Friday morning. There would be cake every time there was a birthday (there were almost 500 people in the office…you do the math). Our list of clients included Kettle Chips, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell so there was never a shortage of junk food lying around.
After going vegan, I was instantly given the ultimate power of restraint. These foods no longer appealed to me in the same way, after knowing what was happening behind the scenes. Ok, there are some vegan flavors of Kettle Chips…and I still eat them…sometimes…
I’ve learned to be super creative in the kitchen
I used to be one of those people who “could never live without cheese.” I was vegetarian before going vegan and cheese was one of the things that I would depend on to make meals taste better. But because I went vegan for the animals, there hasn’t been a day where I even thought about going near the stuff.
That’s not to say that I don’t crave the same dairy-filled foods that I loved, such as lasagna, cookies or ice cream. I’ve simply found creative new ways to create those rich, creamy foods! Coconut milk, tofu and even nuts have become my go-to ingredients for creating creamy dishes. Nutritional yeast, miso paste, vinegar and lemon juice are key to creating the best vegan cheese.
Getting creative with plant-based foods is not only delicious, it’s fun – and healthier than cooking with animal-based ingredients.
It’s easier to choose what I want at a restaurant
Some people might think that being vegan is so restrictive. This misconception often arises from viewing what options we have at non-vegan restaurants. A lot of times the pickings can be slim – my biggest gripe is when a menu has ten salads and NONE of them are vegan. How is that even possible? That’s the easiest thing to get right!
So it might seem like having limited options is a bad thing, but for me, it’s been a blessing in disguise. Having less options to choose from makes it easier to pick one! It’s also fun to get creative. If the server is friendly, they’ll be helpful when I artfully meld bits and pieces of different offerings to create a vegan one – especially if their menu was not very accommodating.
I do have to admit, that it is getting easier and easier to find vegan options on menus. There are tons of inventive chefs and restaurants serving up delectable vegan food in cities across the world. Happy Cow has a great database of vegan and veg-friendly places!
I get sick less often
I’m not a doctor, so I can’t say for certain that going vegan will make you healthier. But I’ve done enough reading to be convinced that this is 100% the case. It’s not just reading that has brought me to that conclusion. Before I went vegan I would get sick around 4 to 6 times per year. And I’m talking 1-2 weeks of coughs, mucous, fever, the works! Over the last two years I’ve gotten sick a total of two times and each time it lasted only a few days. I’ve been around co-workers and family members who were sick and watching everyone else catch the same sickness while surviving unscathed!
I feel a new sense of peace now that I’m living according to my values of compassion
I consider myself, as I’m sure most people do, to be a compassionate person. I believe in treating others as we want to be treated. When I decided to go vegan, I did so from a place of compassion for our fellow non-human animals, compassion for the earth and compassion for myself and my health. Looking back, I realize that there was a conflict inside about eating animals. There were quite a few times that I was confronted with uncomfortable truths about the behaviors I was participating in. There were times when I even paid attention to and sought information about why people would want to live a vegan lifestyle.
Many seeds had been planted in my mind before I decided to go vegan. But once I made that transition, I watched as my heart got pried open. It can be painful at times to be aware of injustice and cruetly. But it is far more peaceful for me to know that I am doing my best to keep from contributing to it.
I plan on writing another post like this because there are many more reasons why being vegan is awesome. I’d love to hear your reasons also! Feel free to share your reasons in the comments.