Blog #3. SIX months vegan!
"Cause if you don't believe, it can't hurt you... and when you let it leave, it can't hurt you. Cause if you don't believe, then you know, then you know it can never do you harm... cause if you don't believe, it can't hurt you" - Nothing But Thieves, Graveyard Whistling.
Saturday 11th February 2017. That marked six months as a vegan or my veganniversary as people like to call it. SIX months. It's strange because although six months has passed quickly, it also seems like I've been vegan for ages! I have written a blog post about the changes I had noticed after 4 months of being vegan, however this post focusses on what I have noticed about myself and other people over the last six months.
Reflections from the last six months:
Most people have been extremely positive and intrigued about my transition. I've recently noticed that my friends and family are beginning to accept this part of me now. Maybe accept is the wrong word... more like... they are open to talking about it. I think that just by talking about veganism (and tasty vegan food) has encouraged some of my friends and family to experiment with meat-free meals. My younger sister did Veganuary and she's chosen to continue being a vegan! Even my mum (The T-Rex) said that she had judged the lifestyle too quickly and is super keen to try some Seitan 'Chicken' (she even shared a local vegan festival with me on Facebook!) I couldn't believe it when she said it and that makes me feel judgemental for not realising that people can change their opinions (even when they seem set in their beliefs). So, I need to get my mum some Seitan immediately. I think she will love it!
I've also noticed that there's definitely an 'angry vegan' lurking inside of me that I try to keep in check. It sounds silly but when I first went vegan after watching some documentaries and YouTube videos, I wanted to shout about it from the rooftops. I remember thinking "everyone needs to know this" but I quickly realised that it only turned people away. A good friend of mine said that his friend on Facebook posts statuses about the ethical aspects of veganism. As good as that is, it encouraged my friend to hide his posts from his timeline. So, yes I do tell people I am vegan (they find out quickly when they offer me a brew), but I don't mention it further until people ask and I don't share photographs of cruelty on social media. I'm not going to lie, initially I felt awkward saying "I'm vegan" and I think that was because I didn't want people to judge me negatively or think I was weird or boring. Plus, I didn't want to feel awkward when ordering food. After a month or two it felt normal though.
Some people I talk to just don't get it and that's okay. I think it takes time for some people to come around to the idea (I mean you have to admit, it does sound weird at first). The only thing that bothers me, is when people ask me about veganism then get defensive and tell me to stop pushing it on them. Erm... you asked! I can totally understand why though and I try to keep this is mind when I talk to people about it. Personally, I've noticed that if I talk about what I eat or show them photos of food, they're much more open to it. People don't want to hear about the ethical side of things. I get that because there was a time when I didn't want to know either. If I didn't know then it couldn't upset me (hence the lyrics at the top of the page) . If people are open to trying vegan food then I think that's amazing and a great place to start (or even dispel some myths). I do believe that planting seeds will only encourage people to dig deeper when they're ready.
This last six months has marked my first vegan (and vegetarian Christmas) which was absolutely amazing and I have a tasty nut roast recipe to share with you all. I've eaten some amazing food and realised that I don't mind soya milk in tea, I'm addicted to mushrooms and I crave greens (I know I'm perpetuating the vegan stereotype here - but I bloody love kale). People have asked me if I'm going to stay vegan... in case you were wondering the answer is most definitely yes!
We all have a different journey and I'd love to hear yours. Feel free to share your own experiences in the comments below :)