Recently I decided to start eating more vegan. I say eating more vegan because it scares me to say ‘I am a vegan’. There’s something about saying ‘I am a vegan’ that makes it feel very definite and concrete and like there’s no flexibility at all and that doesn’t bode well with my mind! So I’ve decided to eat vegan as much as I can. Which is cool I guess?!
I have to admit it was the recent news that helped me make that final decision. It just feels like a really good way to personally do something that can contribute towards helping the planet. I realise that sounds a little naive but I really do think that every person, whether they are just cutting down their meat consumption or eating 100% vegan, is helping to make a difference. I don’t have any facts or stats to throw at you so I mean this mainly in the sense that it keeps the discussion strong and in the forefront of our minds.
Each person who decides to consume less animal produce is giving power to the movement. It reinforces the idea, gives it strength and helps spread the word. And that is what we have the power to do as individuals. Spread the word so much that it HAS to influence what the supermarkets are selling and what the restaurants are offering. That it makes more sense for them to provide meat free / plant based options for its consumers because that is what we are consuming. I mean we can already see how much that has had an impact over the past couple of years. It is so so much easier to eat a plant based diet now than it was just two years ago.
Which brings me to my next issue. I am currently travelling which is another reason for not being a 100% set in stone hard core vegan. There are times on the road where it might just not be possible to eat vegan. Perhaps I won’t always know exactly what is in the things I am eating. Perhaps there is simply nothing that does not contain milk powder or fish sauce. So I am putting no pressure on myself to only eat plant based. My aim is instead to choose the vegan option if there is one and turn down non vegan snacks. (Goodbye Nutella ice cream!!) </3
I have also decided that I will happily eat vegetarian when visiting people for a meal or going home to eat with my family. I am an intense people pleaser (which is probably a bit of a downfall). It really does stress me out to think that I could be a nuisance with my choice to eat more vegan or even worse offend someone if they have spent time creating a meal. I really don’t want to turn down a meal that someone has cooked. A home cooked meal is made with so much love and effort and that is truly not a bad thing. It really isn’t.
Finally, I just want to say that I have no judgement whatsoever on your personal diet choices. Everyone has a different opinion and relationship with food and for some it is just not possible to eat more vegan. If you can cut down on your consumption of meat and dairy then fantastic!! But by no means is this me telling you to do what I am doing. Everyone has their own way of helping the planet and doing something to help the world. Whether that’s giving money to charity, living a super low waste lifestyle, teaching, fighting their own physical/mental health struggles, being a parent, being a friend etc etc the list goes on. This is just what I want to do to try and make a difference. And in a way that I feel possible to fit into my life right now.
One great thing is that I really enjoy it! I have been obsessed with health and the food I eat for a very long time. I love considering what I am eating and I think opting for a vegan choice when possible is a really good way to keep every food choice a mindful one. Mindful eating is such an important thing for me and my mental health. I think I am finally in a place now where I can try and commit to making those choices vegan as much as I can.
So that’s where I am at with it. No pressure, no expectations and who knows where I will be with this in a few months time. I want to show also that it is okay to try things out. You do not need to put pressure on yourself to commit to something 100%. We’re all complicated humans at the end of the day and no one is perfect. If you think trying to stick to something like that is not good for your mental health or isn’t possible given your personal circumstances then that is okay. Just do what you can do.