A Day in the Life of a Vegan: Christine

Welcome to a new series called A Day in the Life of a Vegan. It’s my effort to continue to normalize and mainstream veganism. We’re just everyday folks who choose to live vegan for a variety of reasons including health, animals and the environment. Since I’m this blog’s author, I will go first. If you would like to participate, email me at itseasybeingvegan@gmail.com. All vegans welcome. As always, thanks for reading.

Vancouver, 2011 at The Wallflower

Name: Christine Cook

Age: 43

Where do you live? Chicago, Illinois

How long have you been vegan? Since January 1, 2005.

Wake up: 5:00am or when my cats start meowing for me. They have been banned from the bedroom at night, so they’re eager for me to get up. Originally I was against keeping the kitties out of the bed at night but have learned I sleep much more soundly without them walking all over me.

Breakfast:  After I feed my three cats, I drink some coffee. Today I ate steel-cut oats topped with walnuts and maple syrup but this meal varies a lot. I might eat tofu scramble, granola or a smoothie depending on my mood and schedule.

Chelsea: Adopted in 2003 from PAWS Chicago. (Photo Credit: Lisa Lubin)

Morning: I recently left my corporate job to start my own business. (Details coming soon!) This morning I traipsed downtown to the county clerk’s office to complete my “assumed business name” application. While there, the nice woman helping me looked at the business name on the  application and read it out loud — It’s Easy Being Vegan — then asked,

Really? My husband and I really want to change our diets. After hearing about the chickens, cows and pigs, I just want to eat fruits and vegetables from my garden.

Of course, I don’t have my business cards yet, so I whipped out a piece of paper and wrote down my info. I slipped her the note between customers, so she could email me if she had any questions. I believe vegans should always be willing to help other people make the transition. This interaction was the highlight of my day. I practically skipped to lunch!

Lunch: White bean and veggie sandwich from the French Market, and bittersweet chocolate bark for dessert — lucky find of the day.

Afternoon: I’m leaving on vacation tomorrow, so no more work today. Instead, I went grocery shopping for our trip. We will be sailing on Lake Michigan for a week. We have refrigeration, so we can bring most of the food we will eat. Basically it’s like camping on water, so we eat a lot of picnic-type food.

Dinner: I eat a lot of soups, stews and stir-fries. Tonight I had leftover stir-fry with mushrooms, onions, zucchini, beans, tomatoes and brown rice.

Gracie: Adopted in 2001 from someone who was allergic to cats

After dinner: Tonight I’m packing and making some food for our trip including macaroni salad and banana oat bars.

Lights out: Ideally 9PM. I would argue that sleep is one of the most important components of good health. I need eight hours for optimum mental functioning. I’m pretty rigid about getting it.

Favorite Cause/Current Project: Veganism and animals are my passion and I enjoy working on this blog because of that. I have been writing It’s Easy Being Vegan since 2007. It’s coming up on the five year anniversary. My new business will be an extension of this blog. I want to continue to normalize veganism. I also enjoy giving a tip of the day on my Facebook page. That has been a fun project.

Mr. Max: Adopted in 2000 from the Anti-Cruelty Society

In July, I’m going to start volunteering for HEART (Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers). I’m looking forward to learning more about their work.

Favorite animal or vegan book? I really like The Inner Art of Vegetarianism by Carol J. Adams. It’s an older book that I read just last year. She writes about resistance to change, the challenges of it and the rewards of change itself. I am a master of resistance, so this short little book spoke volumes to me.

Favorite animal or vegan movie? I will watch almost any documentary on veganism, the environment or health living.  I lap this stuff up! Recently I watched Vegucated and really enjoyed it.

What’s the best part of being vegan?  It has freed my mind of guilt. They say ignorance is bliss and I believe it is. Once I knew what was going on with the animals, I felt guilty eating meat or wearing leather for years. Yes, years! 19 to be exact. Once I decided to go vegan, it was like a huge cloud shifted and the sun burst out from behind it. It just plain feels good to be vegan.

I also enjoy trying new foods. I eat a much wider variety of foods as a vegan than I ever did as a meat-eater. It’s funny how removing a few foods (meat, seafood, eggs, dairy and honey) leads to adding a bunch of new whole foods to ones diet. It’s good for me too.

What do you want people to know about living vegan? It’s easy being vegan—obviously.

Want to read my story of why I went vegan in the first place? Check it out on Ready for Plan B.