So as a previous post mentioned, I’m trying to go vegan. It has been a very eye-opening experience so far. It was amazing how both of our families have been so supportive and done their best to accommodate (even over the holidays!). And some of the responses I’ve received from non-family have been very…interesting.
Top 5 most interesting responses, and my thoughts about them:
- “Oh wow, that’s so great for you! I could never do that!”
This, however, actually splits into two separate issues:
a) “I could never give up meat / dairy / eggs”
Not even 5 years ago, I insisted that I enjoyed meat too much to give it up. Now, it’s a bit gross.
Just 6 months ago (probably less), I was insistent that I could never give up dairy. I LOVE ice cream. It is my comfort food, and one of my great joys in life. It is the treat you could use to bribe me to do almost anything. I had a friend say to me after learning I went vegan, and I quote, “I am so shocked, though. Ice cream was like your vice.”
(Fortunately for me, there are non-dairy ice cream alternatives, like coconut milk ice cream and sorbet, otherwise my mood would be permanently down the tubes.)
Sure, there were (and are) transition periods, but the cravings eventually tapered off. I don’t even crave cow’s milk ice cream that much anymore.
b) “It’s just too much work”
I’m going to turn on the sass a bit here, but that’s really just a copout. Yes, it would be hard, and yes, it would take work. But don’t all the best things take work? If they don’t, then they don’t really feel that good in the end.
2. “How do you get enough protein / vitamins?”
Here’s the thing: fruits and veggies have tons of nutrients! The more one incorporates into their diet, the better — vegan or not. As for the protein, there are tons of alternatives to meat, dairy and eggs out there! (i.e. soy, beans and nuts).
3. “What do you eat instead?”
I drink unsweetened almond milk and have it on my cereal instead of cow’s milk. I eat coconut milk based ice cream. I eat dairy-free dark chocolate (I highly recommend this one). The cheese dilemma has not been solved but I’m fairly hopeful about the daiya fake cheese we just got. I eat tofu and quinoa and beans and greens and fruit.
Honestly, I have never enjoyed fruit and vegetables so much. They were always a chore, before, but now, they taste pretty frickin’ amazing. I marvel at how after stuffing myself (not good, I know, but it’s so tasty) with a raw vegan meal, I can walk for long periods of time without getting nasty stomach cramps.
4. “How’d you “convince” [force] your fiance to do it?”
Here’s the truth: I didn’t. He was as ready to take the plunge as I was. I find it very hurtful to have people tell me that they think I would force someone into making that change. It’s a huge change, and the only person I can make that decision for is myself.
Because I love all animals and think they deserve to have a good, humane, life and death. Because I care about my health and after thinking about it enough I really started to wonder about all the crap I’ve been putting in my body over the years.
And there you have it. Overall, I’m really impressed with how people are taking it. It wasn’t too many years ago when I treated veganism with equal parts shock and dismay. How different it feels from the other side!
What experiences have you had where you made a big life change and got mixed responses?