Since I posted this thread over the weekend, I’ve gotten a lot of DMs/comments asking why I became vegan and if I’m part of the zero waste or minimalist communities (because most YouTube vegans are). I would like to start this like I did my thread: I don’t think veganism is possible for everyone. I understand health issues, food deserts, multiple people sharing one small food budget. This is just my experience with veganism and it isn’t meant to shame anyone.
I was a vegetarian during high school and was an on/off vegan all through college. At some point, I stopped being a vegan and I justified it to myself by saying “Oh, I’m so tired and I’m sick so I don’t have enough energy to fix the sort of food I need to stay on a vegan diet.” Because that’s how I viewed veganism at the time- as a diet.
For the next few years, I was off and on veganism again. Last year I started watching vegan YouTubers and I really got into the idea of the raw food movement… but I quickly learned that’s just not for me. I also tried being a fruitarian but, again, not for me. I really felt like I didn’t have a place in the vegan community because all of the vegans I saw were vegan for health reasons. There were a few that were more planet oriented but at the end of the day, they were preaching exercise and that’s not helping the planet. While I want to be healthy, I feel like I could do the same thing eating a standard American diet. My reasons for being vegan are pretty simple- I don’t think a living creature should have to die so I can eat. I don’t think animals should be subjected to inhumane conditions so that I can drink milk or eat cheese or eggs. I don’t think I’m so above animals that their suffering doesn’t matter so long as I get what I want.
I always said that I would never “shock” myself back into veganism but I ended up doing that by watching Earthlings, a documentary that I have staunchly avoided since I found out about it. It is graphic and horrible and after watching it, I will never go back to eating meat or consuming animal products. Part of me wishes I had never watched it but part of me knows that I had to. I’ve always known that animals were treated cruelly but seeing it made it more concrete.
Honestly, the transition back into veganism hasn’t been hard. I feel a lot better mentally and physically, and meal prepping is so easy. Make a pot of beans on Sunday and a crockpot meal on Wednesday, and I am pretty much set for lunches or dinners the rest of the week. That helps out a lot since I take care of my Dad and he’s on a specialized diet. I don’t have to worry about making two meals.
As for minimalism, I try. I’m definitely not as hardcore about it as most people are but I am trying to declutter my house/not bring more junk in. It’s an ongoing process because my mind tells me that I need things to make me happy but I also know that having so much stuff makes me anxious because it has to be cleaned and stored or put to use.
As for Zero Waste… I think it’s a noble cause. I also don’t think it’s feasible. Even if you’re buying in bulk, there’s still waste being made.. it’s just being left at the store. I firmly believe in recycling when possible, using reusable containers and shopping bags, and trying to produce as little waste as possible, but I’m also not going to stop eating tofurkey or daiya cheese because they come in their own packaging. If you live that way and feel comfortable with it, more power to you. It’s not for me.
So, that’s all I have to say on that today! Next week I will post about what I generally eat in a week as a vegan/how much I spend on groceries.
Questions? Let me know in the comments below!