Celebrating 7 Meat-Free Years!
It was seven years ago today that I quit eating meat cold turkey-- pun VERY much intended.
I'm by no means a food blogger (and never will be) but I do talk about food around here occasionally since it's such a big part of our lives and matters so much for our health. I never want to be the kind of person who shoves her beliefs or opinions on other people (whether its about food or religion or whatever!), but I want to be open about what I think and feel, and I want to share what I'm learning as I go, too.
It was the documentary Food, Inc. that prompted my dramatic diet change -- seeing how hurtful and inhumane and honestly just disgusting the meat industry was turned out to be something I couldn't ignore. I was changed forever, and I knew I would literally never be able to stomach meat again after seeing what I had seeing and learning what I then knew.
Sure, there have been moments over the years where I've missed meat, or where meat has looked really freaking good, or where I've considered just taking a bite (and there was that one time I did eat a tiny slice of pepperoni pizza, but my stomach said NOPE like two minutes later)... but mostly, I love this meat-free lifestyle!
It was a few years into being vegetarian that I found out about my food allergies to dairy and wheat, and it prompted a whole new crazy way of living: gluten-free AND vegan.
Yeah, it's hard. It takes a lot of research and planning and taking snacks with me everywhere I go, and my stomach still isn't 100% happy with me most days... but I'm learning, and I'm really loving the journey.
I've shared posts before about my favorite gluten-free and vegan resources, and I've also shared my favorite green beauty products, and I've shared many recipes over the years (most from Minimalist Baker, because she is the BOMB), and today, I really just wanted to reflect on why I'm vegan, why I love it, and what it all means for me personally.
(ps-- some of the "read this" links below take you to articles (some with photos and videos) that may be hard to stomach. i'm a big believer that ignorance is not bliss here, but just don't want you clicking through and not realizing that things may be gross, violent, or really sad. i'm not trying to scare anyone into being vegan, but this is reality, and you should be aware.)
- I'm vegan because I can't separate meat from animals. They are one and the same, and I love living creatures too much to want to end their lives for the sake of my next meal.
- I'm vegan because I have zero good reasons NOT to be. (Read this for answers to all the big questions.)
- I'm vegan because I care about the earth. The meat industry is a huge cause of pollution and damage to the environment, and I don't want to support that.
- I'm vegan because it matters that I live my life with as little negative impact on living things as possible -- animals, humans, the earth, etc. It's impossible to live with zero negative impact, I know, but this is a huge way I can minimize the harm I'm doing to other creatures, and that matters to me.
- I'm vegan despite the fact that it's counter-cultural, often mocked, challenging, and not very socially accepted. The community in the vegan world is AWESOME.
- I'm vegan because I care about where my food comes from, how it's made and raised, what's in it, and how it makes me feel. Vegetables and fruits and other whole, raw, real foods just make me feel happier and healthier all around.
- I'm vegan because wearing animal products is unnecessary and shouldn't be fashionable -- wool is itchy, leather has an icky smell, feathers just aren't cute, and fur is ridiculous.
- I'm vegan because plant-based cooking is FUN and delicious and not lacking at all.
- I'm vegan because I know I can still get enough protein from non-animal sources. (Everyone, you can stop asking me if I get enough protein now. PLEASE.) (Read this.)
- I'm vegan because coconut and nut milks are DELICIOUS and way less disgusting than real milk. (Read this.)
- I'm vegan because I can't scroll through pages like this without being WRECKED. (photos, be warned.)
- I'm vegan (and not just vegetarian) because cows DO die and ARE harmed because of the dairy industry, and milk isn't worth that to me. (Read this. -- photos, be warned.)
- I'm vegan (and not just vegetarian) because many chickens DO die and ARE harmed because of the egg industry. Again, not worth it. (Read this. -- photos, be warned.)
- I'm vegan because there are SO MANY fruits and vegetables and whole, natural, foods out there, and I SUPER rarely feel like I'm actually missing out on anything.
- I'm vegan because I feel better, happier, healthier, guilt-free, more intentional, and more free all around when I eat a plant-based diet.