Hello friends, welcome here!
So, I have been living a vegan lifestyle for some time now – to be honest, I do not know my vegan anniversary or the exact amount of time I have been vegan, but my standard answer is about two years (laughing face), and that’s been my answer all this year, so… who knows?! I do know my act of rebellion as a 14 year old was going vegetarian after seeing a gruesome PETA video – despite deep concern for my health from my parents. Living a vegan lifestyle is foundational to the way that I see the world and navigate life, which is why I want to celebrate being vegan today by sharing this lifestyle of compassion with you!
What is Veganism: According to The Vegan Society, veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.
The cool thing about veganism (or at least I think) is that it is a lifestyle that is on the rise! Over the past few years, 600% more people in the U.S. identify as vegan. Additionally, individuals that do not identify as vegan have a growing interest in plant-based foods. Why are people going vegan? For their health, the planet, and of course, the animals.
Why I am Vegan.
My reasons for eating vegan has changed over time. Now, if you ask me why I am vegan, I’d probably say something along the lines of this image: For everything. I think eating vegan is one of the easiest ways to love the world and people around you. It is a lifestyle that is centered in doing as little harm as possible to animals, people, and our planet. There is a quote I love (I know, typical Cyndel here) that says, “How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.” I tend to think eating and living a vegan lifestyle is the biggest way I love myself and show others to love me – by living a life of care and compassion.
Since I was little, I’ve loved the world around me. I *genuinely* thought I was going to be the next Steve Irwin. I was out in the Jersey Pines with a bushy stick trying to catch snakes whenever possible. I couldn’t imagine hurting any creatures. Not bugs, not snakes, not sharks. I loved them all. However, I never thought about the animals that were on my plate – until I did. By being vegan, I save approximately 198 animal lives per year according to PETA (which adds up to be huge)! I mean, have you ever actually seen a cow’s face?? Their eyelashes are g o r g e o u s. Just, ugh, how could I eat them? Answer: Socialization and speciesism, but that’s another topic for another day.
Veganism allows me to live a life in congruence with my values – and congruence and authenticity are probably the two things I value most. Living a sustainable lifestyle is important to me, especially as a sustainability education professional. I believe small actions change the world. Living a vegan lifestyle is one of the most impactful things an individual can do to offset their footprint. The NY Times recently released this amazing article and quiz that can help you understand how your diet contributes to climate change. I highly recommend checking it out! Even just one plant based meal a day can make a huge positive impact on the planet.
Veganism has given me a deeper love and appreciation for my body and food. I used to struggle so much with my relationship with food and my body (still do, honestly). Eating vegan has given me motivation to learn more about nutrition, especially as someone who leads an active lifestyle. I am a more adventurous cook and eater now than ever. I eat foods that make me feel good and help me do that things that make me feel good. Without veganism, my life would be so bland.
There are so many more reasons why I love and celebrate being vegan every day. Doing little harm, living in congruence, and self-love are at the top of the list for me. I love hearing others’ reasons for being vegan or questions about the lifestyle – so feel free to leave your thoughts below!
With love, love, love ❤ Cyndel
P.S. The dish featured above is The Minimalist Baker’s Sweet Potato Curry Soup with Roasted Chickpeas 10/10 recommend you check it out!