New Vegan No More

As it happens, I wrote my very first blog post one year ago today!!

I don’t remember the exact day I become vegan but it was definitely before I started this blog. So I am not longer a ‘New Vegan’! I may just have to change the name of my site now.

I am a proud vegan, healthy and strong and content knowing I am doing my part to help animals.

I have had some challenges in my first year of veganism.

But, learning about what veganism is in terms of an ethical stance as well as about what food I consumed, finding awesomely delicious recipes (basically learning how to cook again!), searching websites for common health issues that some vegans face and solutions to address them, have all helped me so much!

My sister became vegan when I did, and having her as my confidante, my already best friend to share vegan recipes and websites with….helped a lot too. She’s also been there for me to share the pain with. The pain of what animals go through for us. And so unnecessarily.

Having people to talk to and share with is so important for both the good and the bad .

Joining vegan communities and hearing from fellow vegan bloggers here also has kept me on the good path for over a year now. Thank you.

Some challenges I faced:

  • Learning how to make vegan café lattes!  Turned out it was no issue at all with soy, rice, cashew and all the other vegan ‘milks’ out there and you can make your own  – even better!!
  • Learning how to make vegan ‘butter’!  For me, simply coconut oil and salt has done the trick nicely! I occasionally buy Earth Balance for baking but rarely.
  • Making sure I’m getting enough complete protein: I wrote a blog about that.
  • Realizing I can no longer buy leather, down, or other materials that hurt animals.
  •  At one point, I became omega deficient. I now take flax oil daily with chia seeds on my salads and my symptoms have all but gone away.
  • Realizing that wine and sugar are not all vegan!  I wrote a blog about vegan wines and recently found out that when making sugar, bone char from cows is used in the filtering and refining processes. The countless and invisible ways that we use animals is just shocking to me. Organic cane sugar is always vegan.
  • Telling friends and colleagues about my veganism wasn’t always easy. Occasionally I was teased or just not taken seriously. Some have listened hard though and remain my staunch supporters-though not vegan, they read my blog, ‘Like’ my Facebook posts about veganism, and always eat vegan when they are dining with me (though I’ve never asked them to), and occasionally enter in painful conversations about the issues with me. I am grateful.

Though there have been challenges, there have been ever more wondrous and joyful moments, knowing that I am living according to my values and beliefs that humans should no more ever use animals for food, for clothing, for entertainment or for testing of our cosmetic, household and health products.

Vegan food is divine, and I don’t miss my old life very often. Occasionally I will miss eating cheese or having a salmon steak or just living the simple life of eating what everyone else is.

Being vegan is a daily decision that requires daily action. No laziness here. If I don’t have vegan milk, I don’t have coffee – it’s that simple. And for those who know me, coffee is the most special thing to me-my ritual, my alone time, the thing I will never give up…unless I don’t have vegan milk that is!

I hope that my lifestyle change is having an impact on the lives of animals in the world. After all, this is why I became vegan a year ago. According to PETA, vegans save 198 animals per year!!! Definitely not the case for me as I’ve never been a big meat eater. I might have saved 30 animals though and hopefully saved more from torture and abuse by no longer supporting the dairy industry.

I hope that me being vegan is making others think more about their choices as well.

For the love of animals, how can it not?