I've officially lived one year as a vegan.
Admittedly, this year has become much larger than abstaining from animal products.
I've lost nearly 30 pounds over the course of 8 months by eating for nutrients, void of calorie counting, portion control and very little working out. However, over the past few months, I've taken up cycling, running, weight training, yoga, and boxing is next on my radar. I've decided that I want to become a warrior princess and feel great too #NoDaysOff
Although I physically feel better, my weight loss and glowing skin really aren't the highlight of this journey. It's the healthy lifestyle, the possibility of encouraging change and living as a conscious human.
When you choose not to consume anything that comes from an animal, you feel more. You start to see all animals like they are your family pet. Because really, what is the difference? It's the decision to disconnect from how meat gets to our plate.
I've traded in my make up and cosmetics for cruelty free and vegan brands. Outside of giving up eggs, this was the hardest. I've worn Dior Mascara since I was 16 and I had a quick moment of silence when the time came to throw it away. This was scary at first, but to my surprise, many of the brands I was already using were cruelty free/vegan (Urban Decay, Too Faced etc) so it really wasn't a big deal. I also had a lot of anxiety about giving up my shampoo I've been using for probably 10 years. Unfortunately, all the natural shampoos and deodorants I've tried aren't great, but I'll power through and find one that works.
If you'd like to check out which brands are PETA-approved, learn more here.
Now that I've gained my vegan confidence, I no longer respond to questions like "how do you get your protein?" or itemize everything I eat in a day. I used to feel terrible for making five million modifications to my order and asking a ton of questions, but I don't anymore. When you think big picture, this inconvenience is a drop in the bucket compared to animal suffering and environmental consequences.
It's been a wild year and I'm looking forward to continuing this journey. People have asked whether I will revert to vegetarianism because it's "easier". It's true, it would be easier to eat at restaurants, but to me that seems selfish. This could change, but as it stands today, I'm a very happy vegan. I feel awakened and I'm not prepared to eat animal products with the knowledge I've gained over the past year.
I challenge you to go vegan or even vegetarian for just one day a week, together we'll change the world.
"The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different."