Happy Veganniversary to Me!
Today marks the beginning of my 4th year as a vegan!
1,095 days as a vegan has taught me a lot, and I thought I would take this opportunity to share my top 4 tips for living a purposeful and happy vegan life!
ONE... Sriracha and nutritional yeast are your friends.
Feel free to use liberally.
Feel no shame.
TWO... Don't let anyone steal your spark.
I mean this in both a specific and more broad be-your-own-majestic-unicorn sense.
Specifically, in relation to veganism, don't let anyone make you feel guilty for your choices. You are doing immeasurable good for the welfare of animals, your health, and the environment. Don't feel you ever have to apologize for that. People will try to tear you down. That's the unfortunate truth. But you're doing your best to leave a positive impact on the world, and if that makes other people feel bad, that's not your problem.
I understand that vegans tend to be sensitive people. Plants know, I am. But don't let the haters give you a heavy heart or make you a stereotype of 'the angry vegan'. Be proud of who you are, of what you're doing. Be passionate. You deserve to be!
THREE... Know your facts.
The more you know about the realities of animal agriculture, plant based nutrition, and ethics the easier your life as a vegan will be.
When someone criticizes or questions your way of life, the easiest way to diffuse the situation is to educate. If you really know your stuff, it becomes much harder to argue against.
Be kind and understanding but don't back down on the facts. Truth is truth, no matter how much people try to deny it. Eventually the facts will add up.
That's exactly why I started this blog, to simultaneously educate omnivores, vegetarians, and fellow vegans! I wanted a place to record the information I have been continuously learning over the past 3+ years where it could benefit more than just myself.
If you really don't know where to start, go to this page and download the vegan 101 booklet I created for just that - quick, easily digestible facts on the main facets of the vegan lifestyle. (It's free! Just scroll down a bit to the green box.) You can even print it out and carry it around with you for reference when you need it or save it to your phone!
Empower yourself and take charge of your interactions with others. As much as we might dislike the responsiblity, we may be the only vegan this person has ever met. You, at some time or another, will represent all vegans. So know your stuff!
FOUR... Have fun with it!
Being vegan isn't all about doom and gloom. Yes, the world is in a frightening state. Yes, there is much to be sad and angry about. Yes, change is coming far too slow.
But if you focus on these things too much, they will take over your life. And not in a good way. (Believe me, I know.)
Activism is important. Every kind of activism has its place. And there's no rule saying you have to stick to one kind of activism for your entire life.
Feeling particularly riled up? Go protest or participate in a demonstration! Yell until you lose your voice!
Feeling more grounded and at peace? Take time to connect with people about these issues one on one. Have deep, meaningful conversations.
Feeling inspired to cook glorious vegan foods? Do it - and share widely!
Veganism is about being compassionate to all sentient beings. And guess what... that includes you. Don't neglect to show yourself compassion. We need as many strong, happy, fulfilled vegans as possible to bring about the changes that are sorely needed.
Don't forget to be one of them.
How long have YOU been vegan, vegetarian, or veg-curious?
I want to know!
Until next time,