Last night, when I sat down to think about what to write today, it struck me how I've grown into my vegan lifestyle. I first posted on this blog on September 22, 2008, about a year after deciding that veganism was the next step in aligning my fork with my beliefs. Tentative at first, and still not certain about the implications of my decision, I soon realized that the only animal products I really missed were eggs for baking (so unnecessary, except for meringue) and yogurt (sorry, but processed soy or coconut yogurt contrasts sharply with my overall food philosophy). I didn't feel deprived, and I didn't have to give up chocolate (phew).
In fact, as I was musing over the seemingly treacherous transition from a vegetarian to a vegan, I realized how little I even think about the absence of dairy or eggs from my diet anymore. Many people's first reaction to the prospect of making a drastic change in their lives - whether this is removing meat from their diets or beginning an exercise regimen - is one of hesitation or reluctance at best; and more likely shear terror or complete dismissal. The thing is, once you begin, these changes not only become easier, they become second nature.
Funny thing how over the past couple of days I should start contemplating how acting has only strengthened my conviction that this was a good decision, and that I am perfectly capable of leading a healthy vegan life. Grist, one of my favorite online news outlets, recently posted an article on how behavior change, in fact, can open one's mind to further understanding. Granted, the premise was climate change-related actions, but the concept as a whole is the same. No matter how much someone told me my dietary shift would be easy, or beneficial to my health, nor matched my take on sustainable food systems, until I actually made that change in my own life, I could never be fully convinced!
So, with that, I leave you this challenge. If you have been thinking about making a change in your life (not necessarily dietary, but I won't stop you if you try to cut out meet 1-7 days/week), take the extra step and do it. You may find it difficult at first, so stick with your decision for a couple of months before you decide to give it up. Feel free to post a comment here, if you think you need someone to hold you accountable, but do it for yourself. Happy last 50 minutes of November!
-Over and out!