Why am I vegan?
This is a tricky question for me because the reason I became vegan and the reasons I remained vegan are pretty different and I have a hard time coming up with a short answer that fully captures it. I feel like each day I spend as vegan I find more and more reasons as to why it is the right choice, and have gotten to the point where I can’t imagine living any other way.
Testing my own will-power is an (admittedly) bizarre hobby of mine. Despite not being religious, I give something up for lent every year, just because I love the challenge. My initial vegetarianism began as one of my lent challenges, and after the 40 days it just kind of stuck and I never ate meat again. In college my friends and I would do weekly challenges where we either gave something up (meat, cheese, coffee etc) or started something new (like daily workouts) for week-long periods. These “not for the week” challenges were an opportunity to work towards self-improvement and are something I informally carried on throughout my post-grad years (but now I don’t force my friends to do them with me. You’re welcome, guys).
After being vegetarian for a few years, I started being vegan as one of those personal challenges to myself. I really just wanted to test myself and see if I could do it, but now I’ve gotten to the point where going back to an omnivorous diet isn’t even a thought in my mind. People who knew me in my pre-vegan days probably find this astounding because I was in no shape or form anything resembling a vegan. I ate a ton of meat, cheese, eggs and ice cream and I wasn’t particularly passionate about animals, the environment or healthy eating in general. Somewhere along the way all of those things changed and here I am: I graduated with a minor in environmental studies, find myself overly emotional at the thought of the animal torture that is the food industry and haven’t knowingly eaten an animal product in three years.
Maybe in the future I’ll do a post about why veganism is important to me, but in brief a few key reasons are:
- global warming, pollution and climate change
- the straight-up horror that is factory farming
- my health (both general health benefits, and personal ones that I elaborated on in the why gluten free? section)
- to avoid ingesting the hormones, antibiotics and pesticides that bioaccumulate in animal products
- it’s delicious!