Wow! Time flies when you’re having fun. So I’ve been saying for over a year now (on this blog) that “It’s easy being vegan!” What I haven’t been saying is change is hard. I figure after one year it’s time to come clean.
Changing from an omnivore diet to a vegetarian diet is pretty simple. Most people are accepting of vegetarians and food is readily available almost everywhere. But going all the way — that is, vegan — can be a difficult change and most people like change as much as throwing up. I am one of those people. I am expert on resisting change. Case in point, it took me 19 years to commit to the vegan way.
There are so many reasons why people don’t go vegan as soon as they learn the horrors of animal cruelty. Some are social. Some are food-related. Some are health-related. Some are fashion-related. All are fear-based. Here is what I have learned over the years.
A lot of people are afraid of what others will say. Who cares what other people say! The reason they make derogatory comments is because they are afraid that if you change, they will also have to change. See, it’s a vicious cycle… the more I become me, the more you must become you, and the more “they” must become themselves. But, isn’t this a good thing? If we all stayed the same, life would be so boring. We would all be overgrown, adult babies still sucking our thumbs. Part of being human is changing and growing — that just can’t be denied. Shouldn’t we all be living the lives we believe in anyway? Why not come out of the vegan closet and embrace who you really are?
Others don’t want to give up cheese. All vegans have heard this a million times, if not more. Instead of saying, “I could never give up cheese,” why not give up cheese and see what it’s like before you decide. Try some vegan cheese substitutes. Try soy ice cream. Try soy cream cheese and sour cream. There are excellent products on the market. You may actually feel better eating the soy products. You may enjoy improved digestion and fewer colds as well as other health benefits. Who knows what can happen. If you can’t stand it, then you can say, “I gave up cheese but was miserable. I must eat dairy cheese.” At least give it a go before you decide your fate.
There are those who don’t want to wear ugly shoes. Not all vegans buy their shoes second-hand or at Payless. Not all vegan shoes are made for hippies. Great vegan shoes come in all price ranges. The same goes for bags, purses, clothes, outerwear and so on. Check out the shopping links on the right side of this blog for terrific vegan shopping options. You will not be disappointed.
For others, health is a concern. How will I get enough protein? Will I wither away to nothing while eating just lettuce leaves? No and no. There are many medical doctors who promote a vegan diet. Go to Dr. Fuhrman’s site and you will find a wealth of information. It’s easy to be a healthy vegan if your diet consists of a wide variety of foods, and, of course, whole foods are the healthiest. Even professional athletes are discovering the health benefits of a plant-based diet. Check out this recent article on ESPN.com. Inform yourself. Read health-related web sites and books, and talk to a nutritionist. No matter what your diet preference, you are in charge of your health.
So if you are one of those people who are inspired by vegans and haven’t made the switch, perhaps you could consider what change means to you and why you are resisting this change.
to be continued…