The hardest thing about going vegan is the comments and judgment from other people. I didn’t think I cared so much about being different until I went and did something that is completely out of the norm. Eating food is such a shared cultural experience that eating something different can seem insulting to those around me.
The first time I said I was vegan in a restaurant, the waiter jokingly said my fries had dolphin meat and gave me a plate in case I wanted to join the dark side, meaning share my sister’s seafood stew. He knew I was vegan because I had previously asked if their fries had cheese since the description was obscure. His comments didn’t hurt me, but they certainly annoyed me. I feel like people don’t bother to understand my reasoning, which makes me question whether or not this life change is worth it.
There are days where I doubt this lifestyle change because I don’t want to be judged or a burden to those around me. I have to plan every meal because most restaurants don’t have vegan options. If I’m going to a restaurant with friends or family, I check the menu ahead of time or cook at home before going out.
When I start doubting this whole decision, I have to remind myself why I’m doing it. I watched a short video the other day on YouTube (it’s a lecture so you don’t have to worry about gore) and it instantly reminded me that I’m doing this for animals and the environment.
Here are some quick facts from the video:
- CO2 and methane from the livestock industry is killing ocean life
- 90% of fish are ground up into pellets to feed livestock
- We kill 2 billion animals a week
- 10,000 species are being wiped out every year because of one species, us
- It takes 50,000 liters of water to make 1 kilo of beef
- 1 billion people are hungry and 20 million die from malnutrition. Cutting meat by only 10 percent will feed 100 million people. Eliminating meat will end starvation forever.
- Developing countries sell their grains to the west so we can feed it to livestock to make steak
Some crazy stuff, right? I had no idea how harmful the food industry is to the world and environment. If everyone made a slight change to their diet, we would be doing a whole lot better and that doesn’t include health benefits. I’m not trying to convince you to be vegan, but cutting out animal products a couple of times a week can make a significant change.
Most people think “giving up” meat is the hardest part of being vegan, but it honestly hasn’t been for me. Seeing Vegucated really made me see animals as innocent sentient beings who don’t deserve to be tortured and killed for our taste palates. If you think about it, it is kind of like we are enslaving animals for our pleasure. For that reason, I don’t crave meat anymore, which has pushed me to experiment with new ingredients and sauces for dinner.
I should probably take more pics of the food I eat, but these are the only two I have on my phone. The top picture is Chipotle’s veggie bowl with rice, guacamole and corn, which is sooo good and the one below is a smoothie bowl I made for breakfast with frozen strawberries and almond milk. Vegans eat much more than just lettuce.. even though you only see lettuce and corn in the first photo.
We are so lucky to live in the era of Pinterest where you can find recipes in a matter of minutes. Here are my favorite recipes that take about 30 minutes to make:
- Tofu Stir Fry ( SO SO good and the best tofu I’ve ever made)
- Quinoa Black Bean Tacos
- Sesame Kale Bowl
- Chipotle Tofu Chilaquiles
- Butternut Squash Mac & “Cheese”
- Tofu Saltado (Peruvian dish that uses steak, but I just substituted tofu)
Maybe try making one of these meals on Meatless Monday. I just had the tofu stir fry last night and I’m in love.