These lovely "interviews" are with other fellow vegans, to inspire and share their stories and lifestyles and love for all things vegan. Oh, and to prove we don't eat grass and have a ton of kick-ass fun! ;)
Vegan Since: 2006
Pets? Three cats: Big Al, Theo, and Emeelee
A bit about yourself: I'm studying Psychology at Indiana University, I'm deaf, and I'm married to a US Marine :)
What did your diet look like pre-vegan?
I was a vegetarian for three years before switching to veganism, but prior to that, it was a pretty standard omnivorous diet. I come from a meat-and-potatoes kind of family.
What does your diet look like now? Any fun new foods you had no idea existed until becoming vegan?
I eat a ton of fruit, and seriously, a jar of peanut butter a week. I sneak kale and spinach into my fruit and soy yogurt smoothies :) I'll have raw weekends just for the fun of it, but I've had trouble eating a raw diet and getting enough calories to sustain my physical activity. Quinoa is a food that I found after becoming vegan, and it's now one of my main staples.
What is your favourite food or meal to eat now?
Lately I've been on a stir fry kick. I make them out of whatever veggies I have lying around, some cashews, and rice.
What made you become vegan?
My first year of high school, my bio class dissected fetal pigs, and when I pulled ours out of the bag, it felt like a human baby in skin texture, weight, and in the bones. Something sort of clicked with me regarding the interconnectivity of the animal kingdom. I figured that it wasn't my place to contribute to the horrible conditions under which animals raised for food are kept. Plus environmentalism played a big role.
How long was the transition, and were there any slip-ups?
I didn't really have a transition; I just switched. It wasn't too hard. Most of my slip-ups came from family and friends trying to cook for me without realizing what is and what isn't vegan. Honey and sugar processed with bone char seemed to be the biggest obstacles. Makeup and toiletries were bigger issues because I didn't know what all of the ingredients were, but finding beauty products that passed turned out to be very rewarding :)
How do you feel since going vegan? (changes in your health, mood, body, etc.)
My mood has improved, and health-wise, I never feel overly bloated. And my skin is always clear!
Biggest challenge about making the switch? How did you get through it?
The biggest challenge came from not having supportive friends and family. My husband and parents were really not into it at all. I got through it simply by persisting. By year 4 of veganism, everyone finally settled into the fact that I was committing to a lifestyle and not in just a teenage phase.
Do you have any other vegans in your life? (family, significant other, friends, roommates, etc.) How do they handle your veganism and how do you handle them?
I know a few vegans, but I don't get along well with them because they look down on anyone with a non-vegan diet. I feel like the superiority vibe is counterproductive since no one wants to change to become like someone who makes them feel bad about themselves. I'm not close friends with any vegans, though my husband eats vegan food at home since it's easier to cook one meal for the two of us.
How do you deal with ignorant/annoying/difficult people and questions about your decision?
I don't meet too many of them. Because a lot of the vegans around here aren't very nice, people usually are totally cool with my veganism when I give them rational reasons for my switch. The key is just to make it clear that you're a completely reasonable person and not to be pretentious about it.
Favourite part about being vegan?
I feel good about alleviating some of the burden on the environment!
Any tips for others thinking of going vegan?
Don't be pushy about it. Also, if you're going to someone's house, tell them in advance that you're vegan. It's just as bad to throw it away the food as to eat it.
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