On 29 January 2016 I officially went vegan. I had been on holiday in Queensland, Australia and would have gone vegan sooner if not for the enticing prospect of eating good vegetarian food for a week. After six days of constant junk food, various unhealthy desserts, and eating takeaway almost every night, I was prompted to start the vegan journey whilst travelling home. For breakfast I ate porridge with soy milk, and at the airport I scavenged around for something that I could eat for lunch. I ordered a juice, but found nothing in the way of a substantial meal. Oh well, I would eat something on the plane.
I didn’t eat anything on the plane. While the plane that took us to Queensland had food that you could to pay for, this plane had a complimentary lunch meal of meat pies and M&Ms. There was no option of buying food. Although I was willing to starve, my mother asked the flight attendant whether there was something “vegetarian” for me (she still thought that I was vegetarian). The flight attendant said that nobody had pre-ordered a vegetarian meal, so she left me with the M&Ms. I gave them to my brother because I was determined to stick to eating a vegan diet.
We made it back to Melbourne at around three-o’clock, and by then I was very under-carbed. The only food store around baggage claim was a Gloria Jeans, so I surveyed the options there and found they had nothing that was vegan. Because of my desparate hunger, I begrudgingly settled for a spinach and cheese roll, which I finished in under a minute.
I failed my first day of being vegan, so technically it wasn’t really my first day, but it was a start. The first few weeks were not bad. I stocked up on health foods like chia seeds, acai berry powder, and dates, and tried making the meals that I constantly came across on Instragram. Things like smoothie bowls, chocolate balls, and rice paper rolls, even though a lot of the time they did not come out tasting very good. I am pretty close to perfecting them today, however.
I have definitely completed the most challenging part of being a vegan. It is in no way a difficult thing to do, however there are some things that take some adjusting to. Telling people, not getting enough to eat, overcoming irregular disgestion, and learning new meals are all annoying things to endure, yet easily accomplished.
Although I went vegan because of the animals and the environment, I am pleasantly surprised at what is has done to my health and appearance. Since I went vegetarian, which was three months before I went vegan, I have lost almost 7 kilograms. I went from a AUS size 12 to a AUS size 10. Although I think it was mostly due to the diet change, it was also due to exercising 3-6 times a week, which I was already doing.
Everytime I buy something new, like clothes or make-up, I consider whether it has been produced in an ethical way. I recently bought some make-up that had not been tested on animals, and I do not know why I wasn’t considering this even before the change in my diet. The suffering of animals in any way is not what I believe to be ethical.
Now that I have been vegan for six months, I doubt that I will go back to eating meat. Eating this way has been so good to my body, and more importantly has helped me understand the affects of mistreating animals.