Today my friend, Lisa Lubin, over at LLWordTour agreed to be outed as a wanna-be vegetarian after she shared her transition story with me. With her permission, I want to share our recent correspondence about transitioning to the veg lifestyle. She has been moving in the direction of vegetarianism for a while. I think her story is a good example of the struggles people go through. I know it wasn’t easy for me to make the change. It was a lot easier to “compartmentalize” the issues and continue to eat animal products.
Recently I was having brunch with a new friend who is also vegan. She mentioned that she thought vegans were doing a disservice to others when they say it’s easy being vegan. (Ouch!) But, I do agree with her despite the title of this blog.
The thing is is that vegans need to be cheerleaders for the people willing to make a change—any change—in the direction of compassion for animals. I didn’t always feel this way. This feels soft, gentle—even uncertain. This is not how I normally respond to people and situations. So as others change, I find I’m changing too. Meeting people half way—cheering them on with each success and supporting them when they struggle. And yet, I’m still being a voice for the animals.
Did I tell you I finally watched Vegucated? I am really trying to transition here. It’s taking years and I am still not sure where I’m headed, but I am happy where I am now and how far I have come. I haven’t bought meat or milk of any kind for home for 2-3 years, and now I’m mostly choosing veg options at restaurants. I really want to cut out pork next. I rarely eat chicken and don’t miss it at all. I think I will still eat the occasional bacon or prosciutto and a burger every now and then…and cheese. But I am excited to keep going in the right direction. I am excited about finding some farms in NJ near Chris where I’m comfortable buying eggs. I’m excited about this challenge. It’s hard and heart breaking at the same time. I really struggle with the hypocrisy of how much I love animals and then occasionally eating something that I KNOW suffered and lived a shitty, sick life that would make me crumble if I saw it in person. EVEN animals raised a ‘bit’ better…I know I still wouldn’t be happy with their existence for them. SIGH…
It’s good to hear from you and thanks for sharing your transition story. It took me 19 years to become vegan but when I did, I did it “cold tofu” in a way. Had I done it in a more conscious and step-by-step way, I probably would have been able to make the transition sooner. Hindsight is 20/20. Anyway, what I did experience once I decided to give up all animals products is a freeing of the mind. I was carrying around a lot of guilt for eating animals that I knew suffered and once I committed to being vegan, it was such a gift (and relief) to not feel this guilt anymore. I only say this to let you know what you could possibly expect as you move down this path.
On the other hand, it hasn’t been an easy journey despite the title of my blog. It’s absolutely easy to eat vegan and avoid wearing animal products, so that is why I chose that title. Initially, I thought finding vegan food and clothes would be hard. It hasn’t been at all. What is hard, is the social aspect. Sometimes—even after eight years—it’s hard for me to stand by my values when I know that means I will be left out, not invited, seen as radical, etc. My whole life I have just wanted to fit in and this lifestyle certainly does nothing to facilitate fitting in. It really just widens the gap. People are often offended by my not eating meat and what that really means is that they feel judged…which I’m not judging, but they are judging themselves. I had an experience recently with family that really broke my heart. I haven’t been so hurt in so long and it was about food. I’m still recovering from it. The thing is though is that I will not waiver from where I stand. It is too important to me and in my heart, it’s how I want to live. So, I understand your journey and understand it’s not easy. I’m glad you watched Vegucated. I thought it was a really well done documentary. I’m here if you need me.