Jenna's Thoughts On Being Vegan

I’m going to come right out and say it: I am a vegan. It’s a heck of a statement and gets a wide range of responses from people.  Some are intrigued, some respect it, and some even show an interest in trying it.  But mostly people just scoff at me for it.  Let me say this real quick before you read any further.  I am a vegan and I believe in this lifestyle for my personal health and in accordance to my opinions and beliefs. I am in no way a medical professional nor would I ever encourage anyone to become a vegan without doing proper research.  If you’re interested in becoming a vegetarian or vegan for any reason at all read some books, Google it, talk to other vegans on Twitter, Instagram, etc, and talk to health care professionals.  From experience I can tell you that you’re going to want to educate yourself.  BUT THIS IS NOT A POST TO CONVINCE YOU THE VEGAN LIFESTYLE IS PERFECT. I am simply sharing my thoughts and if you don’t want to read then don’t.  I am a vegan, but it’s not all I am.

Eating meat became something that I just couldn't do anymore.  It made me ill just to think about it.  I thought about the treatment of animals and the horrendous conditions they were put in only to serve humans a meal.  The way I felt physically and emotionally when I ate meat and other animal products was becoming more negative every time I consumed it.  I would almost throw up just thinking about a piece of chicken in my mouth.  The only solution seemed to be cutting it out of my life.  It happened slowly and I am really proud of the transition.  I was a vegetarian for about 4 years before making the transition to vegan.  I started phasing out all animal products and began educating myself on animal rights, treatment in production facilities, and the lack of regulation for these animals.  By the time I was a vegetarian the only other animal product I was really eating was cheese.  Most dairy products made me ill so I stayed away from them, but cheese is delicious, right? Ugh, pizza is so good. Okay, so I can also tell you that since I have been a vegan I cheated once or twice and then got sick or felt too guilty that it didn’t even taste good so I don’t even crave it anymore.  I know, I must be crazy but it’s true!!  I just made the decision that this is something I wanted to stand for so here I am praising thee vegetables and plants.  

When most people find out I am a vegan they are shocked and put off.  They start to ask “What do you eat?” and “How do you get protein?” and most importantly, “Why?”  It’s funny because they demand a reason from me of why I choose not to eat meat but I never ask them why they choose to eat meat.  People are perplexed at the thought of me not eating chicken fingers or putting cheese on my pizza.  “Why don’t you eat eggs though?” Again, I explain being a vegan means I do not eat any animal products.  I don’t eat jello, or honey, and I especially don’t eat eggs.  The more I think about being a vegan the more I realize this wasn’t a huge step for me.  I always ate chicken but never really cared for red meat or eggs.  My favorite part of the meal was the herbs, spices, vegetables, and the grains.  I have found that more people around me are becoming a part of the vegan community.  That’s not to say that they are giving up animal products for good but they are eating less of it and enjoying it.  It is a really great detox for your body.  Most people don’t realize that the meats and other animal products they are consuming are filled with hormones and artificial products.  (blah, gross.)  If you’re new to the vegan community, welcome! I feel so inspired by the young people around me and others I find through Youtube and Instagram.  Veganism is redefining how people eat and live their lives.  The colors, the natural ingredients, the health benefits, and just the amazing pure flavors are attracting more and more people.  But there are still many, many people who think it is a less than attractive option for dinner.  Those are the types of people I hope are reading this.  Like I said, I am a vegan but I am also a lot of other things.  I am a creative weirdo. I am a sister.  I am an entrepreneur.  I am a Buffalonian (even though I don’t eat chicken wings with blue cheese).  I love sharing my love for vegans but I won’t ever share unless someone wants to hear.  So if you want to tell me how terrible it is that I don’t eat meat just remember - I’m not telling you that you cannot eat meat.  All I said was no thank you, none for me.  

When I first became a vegetarian, I was so lost.  I definitely wasn’t eating enough protein.  I was basically eating broccoli and pasta all day so never feeling satisfied was pretty annoying and made me pretty miserable.  I knew I wanted and needed to be a better vegetarian. It turned out that being a better vegetarian was being a vegan.  You can find so many amazing vegan recipes for breakfasts, dinners, and snacks on Pinterest and Instagram.  The vegan cookbooks that exist are f a b u l o u s. Literally pure perfection.  Honestly, if I cooked you a meal and didn’t tell you it was vegan you wouldn’t even know!  I don’t think I have loved any cuisine more before in my life because vegan cuisine focuses on natural ingredients with pure flavor and you can really taste the difference.  I feel cleansed and detoxified and happy.  I’m turning 25 next week and I feel grateful that I became a vegan at a young age and my body is on the road to recovery sooner rather than later.  I believe a lot of young people my age forget how quickly we age and we don’t realize that most foods we put into our body have longer negative effects than we know.  Add all the fast food plus added hormones in meat plus harmful chemicals on produce plus an abundance of alcohol and processed sugars and you’ll have an entire generation of millennials dying off quite quickly because all the excess chemicals, hormones, and other additives never really leave our systems.  But on the other side of that, there are so many people taking a stand for our generation and making great strides for health.  We are becoming the future at big corporations and reteaching ourselves about health and fitness.  It is invigorating! Like I said, I am certainly not an expert but I am learning.  Vegan in training! dats me.  

If you are curious about the vegan lifestyle, I urge you to follow some vegan Youtube channels like @KateFlowers, @RawAlignment, @Kalel, @Rawvana, and @SweetPotatoSoul.  These are just a few people I like to watch regularly but there are so many others out there too! Again as a disclaimer, do not make major changes to your diet without consulting with a medical professional (I am not a medical professional). 

be grateful for sunlight.

love, j