It’s been 65 days since I’ve been living vegan. I feel really great, and have tremendous energy!
I’ve also lost 8 pounds since deciding to give up animal products, which is pretty remarkable. I became vegan for animal cruelty reasons, not health reasons. I haven’t been intentionally cutting back on calories or eating less. I think the body I’ve got now is simply the product of a vegan lifestyle, rather than the product of a fad diet or weight loss plan.
When I first became vegan, I was paranoid about not getting enough nutrients. I’ve since started a daily vitamin routine which includes an omega 3/flax seed supplement, vitamins C, D, a calcium-magnesium, and B complex.
I was anxious about my health, especially given my recent weight loss, so I went to the doctor and had some blood work done. My tests came back showing that I am very healthy. This news was of particular comfort to my mother, who kept insisting that I should just start eating meat again because “being vegan isn’t a sustainable way of life.” Oh…..mothers.
What I have found most interesting about becoming a vegan, is how other people react to my lifestyle. Being a vegan invites polarization.
Currently I am reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Eating Animals” (book review coming soon!) and a passage from his amazing novel paraphrases a few of my experiences perfectly. Jonathan writes:
“….many people fall back on this all-or-nothing framework when discussing their every day food choices. It’s a way of thinking that we would never apply to other ethical realms. (Imagine always or never lying). I can’t count the times that upon telling someone I am vegetarian, he or she responded by pointing out an inconsistency in my lifestyle or trying to find a flaw in an argument I never made. (I have often felt that my vegetarianism matters much more to such people than it does to me.)”
For the first time in my life I am part of a counter culture. I’m not the norm. I’m that person at the table making annoying queries like “Does the curry have ghee? Is the pasta finished with butter?”
I’ve felt at times that I need to be apologetic. Or else I have feigned lactose intolerance. Oddly, people are more forgiving if they think you can’t eat dairy than if they think you are choosing not to eat dairy.
Then again, some restaurants are very accommodating and go out of their way to ask the chef if they can make a vegan version of your entree. Typically, it’s the higher end restaurants that tend to be more open to vegan queries, as they pride themselves on excellent service and customer satisfaction.
So, it’s onto month 3 of living vegan. With the holidays fast approaching, I am sure it’s going to be an interesting December….
*Courtesy of Contributor Jenny Duffy
**Follow Jenny as she searches for an ‘ethical’ turkey this holiday season on her blog: Vegans Eat Pencil Shavings