"Oh, don't worry, I'll never go vegan."
-Exact quote from Carleigh, founder of The Vegan Clubhouse
Yeah, I said that. Crazy now when I think about it. I thought veganism was extreme and restrictive. I didn't want to get sick from not getting all my nutrients.
I mean, for years I was taught that we had to have meat & dairy in our diets to be healthy. I didn't agree with what was happening to the animals...but I also just actively avoided looking at it.
I didn't want to be confronted by my conscience.
That all changed when I was given a plant-based health book. All my excuses of "healthy" living were invalid. I had to finally face what I was contributing to & make some changes.
I've always considered myself a kind person who lives by their values, but if you had met me before I went vegan, I was definitely misaligned. I was turning a blind eye to the animal industry & I knew if I faced it, it would change my life.
Once I was confronted with the truth behind healthy living & that no, we don't need animal products to live, I was able to face what I was supporting with the animal industry. I watched Gary Yourofsky's Best Speech You'll Ever Hear & decided right then and there to go vegan.
But, going vegan wasn't quite as easy as I thought it would be. I was so motivated to make this change, but my body, my mind, & my environment fought back.
It was uncomfortable, isolating, frustrating, confusing, overwhelming, & I was getting push-back & questions from everyone around me. It took me a couple months of focused, determined, & unwaivered hard work to finally get to the point where I wasn't eating anymore animal products. I felt amazing.
But, what about everything else? The beauty products tested on animals, avoiding leather, & making sure my eating is balanced. That took even longer. It took days, weeks, months of research to understand the system & how to truly live according to my values. But, I got there.
& you can get there too.