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Why I Decided To Adopt A Vegan Diet + Lifestyle

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

It's about time I finally went vegan, right? 😉

Image via Mercy For Animals

Since I am being completely transparent here, I have to admit that I struggled with writing this post. That's because I don't want anyone to take offense or to think I am judging them. Veganism can be a tricky subject to navigate without making people uncomfortable/angry/full of eye rolls/think you're a "damn dirty hippy." And, as anyone with a Facebook account knows, the Internet loves to make fun of vegans; therefore, please let me preface this post with: this is not to call anyone out. I recognize everyone is on their own path in life, and whether they do or do not consume animal products is ultimately up to each individual. This just so happens to be my own path.


It feels good to have the whole "Forgive me for stating my opinion on my own blog" jitters out. Now, let's commence, shall we?

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I became a vegetarian 14 years ago. From day one (I quit meat "cold turkey," which I always find a strange way to describe becoming a vegetarian) I have been very strict with my personal views on consuming meat. From day one I also knew that "one day" I would go vegan. (I just never knew how long it would take me in life to come to terms with the reality and the need.) Throughout the years I also tried to be aware of animal testing, wearing animals as fabrics, and consuming less animal by-products; however, I would still allow myself to gorge on cheese plates and eat ice cream at least once a week.

I have always been aware (and vocal) about my own hypocrisy when it came to knowing that although dairy may not be dead carcasses per se, farmed animals suffer deeply for the dairy and egg industry. I was always just able to set my knowledge about such industries aside when it came to eating certain foods. Then I began to call out my own hypocrisy that my love for animals was overshadowed by my admiration for cheese (oh, cheese... CHEEEEEESE!). Yes, I do love it. I love milk chocolate. I love all the "bad" vegetarian-friendly stuff. But I am done for good this time.

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Do you want to know my breaking point breakthrough moment? My path to veganism (Yeah. As a vegan and someone who practices yoga twice a week, I can now say things like "path" and "journey" and "aura cleansing") officially kicked off on January 3rd, 2017 when Matt and I began a vegan version of Whole30. [You can read about our Whole30 journey and how it acted as the starter to my veganhood here.] Privately, I knew I wanted it serve as my personal catalyst into a plant-based lifestyle but, if I am being totally honest, I still had my reservations about my longterm willpower. (I mean it when I say that I freakin' love cheese.)

On the night of January 23rd, however, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed. I had recently "liked" the Mercy for Animals Facebook page in hopes that I would stay inspired by the vegan recipes they post -- but also to consistently see the heartbreaking videos they publish about what farmed animals endure everyday for human greed. I knew these videos existed. I've seen plenty of them over the years. These types of videos are the original reason I became a vegetarian back during my freshman year of high school in Small Town, Ohio, USA.

But the video I saw on January 23rd just tore my soul to shreds. I knew I could never go back to contributing to any part of the dairy/egg/meat industries and the suffering and abuse they force on animals. (If you are interested in seeing said video, you can do so by clicking here. I warn you though that, as these videos usually are, it is extremely graphic. Yes, it is difficult to watch, but it is also what factory farmed animals go through every single day.) I couldn't even finish watching the whole thing before it made up my mind for me to commit to fully going vegan, once and for all. No more excuses.

Then and there, I started crying, as I've done countless times before from watching animal videos (both of fluffy, one-eyed, rescue kitties finding their forever homes and torturous pro-animal welfare campaign images). But this time it was different. This time I felt the same sorrow and rage that I felt back when I was 14 and decided to become a vegetarian. What I saw in that video awoke my compassion to a whole different level - and my need to help in any way I possibly could. But then, even after my moment of clarity, I began to sob uncontrollably. Because I felt (still sorta feel) hopeless. Hopeless because every year in the United States alone, BILLIONS of animals are tortured and slaughtered for unnecessary human consumption.

Our "meat and potatoes" culture in America is a serious issue. And it makes me feel hopeless that I can't do enough to help save these innocent animals. So I bawled. And I bawled. And I bawled. Matt heard, let me cry on his shoulder, and tried to give me hope (there are amazing people out there actively creating cruelty-free meat in labs that is supposed to be better for you AND the environment). But I just couldn't stop crying. That's when I knew for certain that no matter how much I ADORE FETA (which, by God, I DO DID), I love animals more and I will not allow myself to contribute to any animal's suffering ever again. I can't. I won't. There is no reason to do so.

Image via Mercy For Animals

I have actually semi-tried (and failed) to go vegan multiple times, but this time I am really going to make it stick. I have to. For the animals and our planet, I have to stop making excuses. Because I believe that when our society begins to love all animals (not just pets) and our environment more than we succumb to the desire to consume delicious burgers (Yes. Trust me. Despite not having eaten a real one in many years, I do still acknowledge they taste delicious. I am not taking that fact away - but that taste is not better than free animals), then we will have "made it" as a society.

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It's now been 51 days since I went vegan. I can't fathom going back.
I mean, I'll just let the numbers below talk for themselves!

Image via The Vegan Calculator

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With all of this being said, and as I move forward with this blog, I'm going to try to only share cruelty-free products. I've been conscious of this issue for awhile, and I have done my best to keep them out of posts as much as I could, but now I want to make this a priority of LunaVida. That means I will now only be featuring vegan-friendly products as suggestions, such as faux leather. With this said, I do have articles of clothing from the past that I will still be featuring on the blog occasionally, due to the fact that A) I sadly can't afford to replace everything and B) that would be very un-environmentally friendly and wasteful. As they pieces wear over time though, I am committed to replacing my belongings with cruelty-free items from here on out.

Also, as this is an ongoing new adventure for me, I ask that you please reserve all judgment. I appreciate sincere, helpful, and constructive advice though. If you ever have any suggestions, recommendations, or questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. Which leads me to the inevitable blogger question: would anyone now be interested in seeing more about this side of my life, such as plant-based recipes? Let me know and thanks for the continued support of LunaVida!

Here's to a lifetime ahead of more compassionate eating and living!

PS: I apologize if this post seemed "rambly." I had a lot of emotions flowing through me. 😅

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  1. This was such an interesting post to read. I eat limited meat, for a mixture of reasons, but spent 11 years completely meat free. It's so interesting to read everyone's different thoughts about it. thanks for sharing!

  2. Congratulations on becoming completely vegan! I really admire your strength & determination. I was pescetarian for a few years before but it became so hard living in an asian family. Maybe sometime in the future I can become vegan too. Thanks for sharing your story! Those videos are so hard to watch!



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