VWPA Advice #011: Is It Hard?
Is it hard…
Get your mind out of the gutter, scamp – we’re talking about veganism! Brian suggested this as a question to answer, because vegans get asked this almost as much as “What do you eat!?” and “Where do you get your protein!?” Usually this is asked with at least a modicum of sincerity, and so I recommend answering sincerely.
To vegans, I recommend you answer this question honestly. Lying will not convince anyone to go vegan, and it would set them up for failure even if it did. Everyone’s experience is different, and it may have been easier or harder for you than the next vegan. Being honest about your experience will help someone learn about you and from you.
My personal response to this question is:
“It’s joyful and difficult. I’ve found a strong community and a sense of belonging with some of my fellow vegans, but other vegans are very different from me and I find myself frustrated with the in-fighting that happens. I’ve also found that it’s caused a distance between me and those people I love who aren’t vegan. You see the world differently, and that can be great but also sometimes frustrating and lonely.
Eating at home is easy, I love cooking and I do cook all the time, although there’s plenty of food I could buy premade or restaurants I could order from if I didn’t want to cook. Eating healthy and budget are why I choose to cook a lot, and learning to cook in this new way have helped me find a new passion for food and cooking and has expanded my culinary horizons like I never thought possible. But sometimes my friends or coworkers are talking about steaks or eating appreciation pizza and it makes me a little sad – sad that they still eat animal products, sad that I’m not included and sad that veganism is still the exception and not the norm.
I’m reminded every day that I’m different and that I live by values that a lot of other people don’t have, or actively try not to have. Some days that makes me feel like a fucking warrior princess, some days that just makes me feel tired. It’s absolutely worth it. Even though it’s not always easy, I wouldn’t go back for anything.”
Wow… I don’t know about you all, by Nichole’s answer really hit me right in the feels :) I agree with her, in answering this question try be totally honest and might I also suggest-be a little vulnerable. Yes, transitioning to veganism can be hard for some (I might even say its hard for most). Being different is never easy, and it can be tricky to re-train your brain about how and what to eat. But once veganism has really gripped you, really become part of who you are, it can be as easy as breathing. Being vegan for me is no longer a question, no longer a struggle… I don’t eat animals– they are no longer food to me. But was that first month brutal, HELL YES! Would I trade it for ANYTHING, HELL NO! As a vegan I can experience lower lows but higher highs, it has made me see mankind in a different light but it has also bought me more joy than I could have ever hoped for. Knowing that every single day, no matter what is happening in my life, what kind of mood I am in, or whether I even changed out of my PJs, I able to lessen the cruelty contributed to the word just by what I have chosen to eat, has empowered me and given my life meaning in a way I never expected. I truly believe that deep down we are all desperately searching to find meaning in our lives and being vegan is a beautiful place to start.