About a week ago, I reached a milestone in my life. I have officially been vegan for 1 year!
A lot can change in a year, but one thing that will never change is my desire to keep animals off my plate. I’ve learned a lot about the world, animals, and myself the past one year, and wanted to share some of it with you:
Avoiding animal products is easier than it seems
I was never much of a cook. My diet a year ago typically consisted of processed food I would heat up in the microwave. When I was vegetarian, I practically lived off pizza rolls and cheese roll-ups. Going vegan changed that for me, and in the best way possible.
Yes, if all you eat is microwavable processed food, finding vegan options is going to be more difficult and expensive. However, making my own food is not only cheaper and healthier, but tastier too! (Beans, rice, vegetables, and fruit are not expensive!!) I’ve found so many quick and easy vegan recipes that I absolutely love, most of which are honestly easier than cooking with animal products. Vegan mac and cheese is a gift from God.
French fries are a vegan’s best friend
Even though eating at home is simple, eating out at restaurants is difficult. Luckily, it’s fairly easy to google the vegan options at different places, but unfortunately, most of those “vegan options” consist of salad with no dressing or French fries.
It’s a good thing I love fries.
I have found some really good restaurants with vegan options, though: Instant Karma in downtown Joplin is amazing, Pie Five and Mellow Mushroom have really good vegan pizza, HuHot is a buffet with many vegan options, and shaved ice is my life.
God didn’t intend for us to eat meat the way we do
Yes, I said it and I mean it. I will stand by this belief until the day I die.
In Genesis, in Eden- the land where everything was perfect and how God intended- Adam and Eve were given a list of things they could eat:
“Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.”
Yup, God put Adam and Eve in charge of animals, to take care of them, but he did not give them as food.
God only gave man animals to eat after the flood, when all vegetation was dead. There were no plants to eat, so the people had to resort to eating animals. It was a means of survival.
Another reason I believe this: When Daniel needed to be strongest (physically, mentally, and spiritually) he ate a vegan diet.
Daniel ate plant-based foods to align himself to God, to be in the best physical shape and mindset he could be in. Coincidence? I think not.
And finally: God is compassionate, loving, and cares about every creature on this planet. Yes, he made humans in his image, but he still watches over the birds and the fish and animals on land. Don’t you think he would care about how they’re treated by humans- the very creatures he tasked with caring for animals?
The way animals were raised and cared for in Biblical times is not barbaric. The way they’re treated now is. It’s evil. They’re enslaved in tiny cages, forced to give their lives, milk, eggs, and children for humans to eat, when we don’t need them for survival.
I believe Heaven is vegan. I believe God looks down on factory farms and his heart breaks for the creatures he created and loves deeply.
People hate me because I’m vegan
Someone will think I’m pretty cool until they somehow figure out I’m vegan. Then they hate me for that sole reason. I’ve learned to not care.
I’m more capable of trying new things than I ever gave myself credit for
I used to be a super picky eater. Since going vegan, I’m much more likely to try food I’ve never eaten before (as long as it doesn’t have animal products in it). Maybe this was a “growing up” thing, but I would like to thank veganism anyway.
Being married to someone who eats meat is not impossible
When people find out I’m vegan, one of the first questions I get is, “Is your husband vegan too?” No, Shane is not vegan. He’s not vegetarian either. He still eats meat, and I love him the same.
I think what’s important here is the fact that we both listen to each other. Shane listens to me rant about animal agriculture, and he gets it. He understands my passion and why I don’t eat animal products and respects me for it. Most of the food in our house is vegan, and he always eats what I make him. However, he does have sandwich meat in the fridge and eats frozen pizza often- dairy and sausage in all. When we go out to eat, he always gets meat and he doesn’t hold back when eating at family or friends’ houses.
I can’t force my husband to be vegan. But I can love him and he respects my decisions not to eat animal products. It’s all about balance.
Also, he LOVES vegan cookies.
I’m doing a lot for the planet
The biggest reason I transitioned from begin vegetarian to being vegan was the environmental impact. Animal agriculture is the single biggest cause of environmental destruction, and after I learned the facts, I couldn’t allow myself to contribute anymore.
Since going vegan one year ago, I alone have saved:
7,436 pounds of CO2
10,957 square feet of forest (including the rain forest)
16,436 pounds of grain
401,766 gallons of water
365 animal lives
One person can make a difference. Imagine if more people decided to cut out animal products? What would the world look like in one year, five years, ten years from now?