What I’ve Learned in One Year Being Vegan — A Case For Plant Based

A Case For Plant Based
6 min readOct 6, 2020

🎉 Happy one year vegan anniversary to ME!! 🎉 October 7 is our vegan-versary, and what an amazing, life-changing year it has been! I have learned more in this past year than any other time in my life (including nursing school!) In one year, I feel more empowered, enlightened, and all-around healthier than ever before. I’m excited to share with you a few things I have learned in one year being vegan.

Gradual changes over one year

Some changes in my life have been a slow, gradual process. Others have been very rapid.

For years, my husband and I have been trying to consciously live more sustainably. At the time, I didn’t realize how diet and sustainability were correlated.

Initially, we decided to transition to a plant based diet for health reasons. For us, going plant based overnight and quitting meat and dairy “cold turkey” worked best.

Then, as I dove into more research, I discovered all of the environmental benefits of eating a plant based diet.

And the further I researched, the more my life began to rapidly change. We made more drastic changes to live sustainably. (By the way, I now have an obsession with everything bamboo! I’ll discuss bamboo with you in a later post. 🤗 )

We try to mostly eat a whole food plant based diet.

I learned the atrocities of the meat and dairy industry, and suddenly animal rights and ethics were also reasons to eat plant based.

And then I realized-for me, this is more than just eating a plant based diet. This is veganism and everything it stands for.

I overhauled my cosmetics, personal care products, cleaning products, and everything in between. Vegan, cruelty free, and sustainable products are incredibly important to me.

I’m a researcher: I like facts and to look at both sides of an argument. My choices and decisions are based on evidence-based studies and research findings. Peer-reviewed articles are part of my daily readings. I have read countless books. I have watched endless documentaries. Quite simply, I’m obsessed with learning as much as I possibly can.

Looking back, it’s hard to believe just how drastically my life has changed for the better.

How my life has changed

I started this blog because I want everyone to be informed and know how life-changing this journey is.

Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually I’m stronger, healthier, kinder, and happier.

My ethics, morals, and values are more profound and well-defined.

I feel like I am a better wife, dog mom, Christian, and human being.

If I feel this amazing after one year, I cannot wait to see what happens beyond this!

How my perspective has changed

I no longer look at a hamburger or a chicken breast in the grocery store and see a meal. I see an innocent animal that led a horrific existence and was mistreated, abused, unloved, and neglected.

Animals all have emotions, share connections, and feel pain. Every single animal deserves to be loved and cared for.

What makes my dog any different from a factory farmed cow? Who decided in this country that it was ok to eat cows and not dogs? Other countries eat dogs, and we’re horrified by that. Well, what we allow to happen to innocent animals in this country is beyond horrendous.

I appreciate each and every living being more than I ever have. All living beings deserve kindness, respect, and a life free from abuse and neglect. Not just dogs and cats.

Because of this change in my mindset, I am kinder, gentler, and more compassionate. In turn, this has given me more motivation than ever to be an activist and advocate.

I am more driven than ever before to be a better person. Helping others improve their life has always been a passion of mine. I desire for everyone to be the healthiest, kindest, most loving version of yourself that you can be.

What I’ve learned in one year being vegan

People will judge you! Everyone has an opinion-you’re either too vegan or not vegan enough. Let it roll off your back and do what’s best for you. Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. 😉

Most people will disagree with you-and they’re not afraid to give you their opinion. And in turn, if you give them your opinion, you’re a judgmental vegan. Some days you just can’t win! 🙄

Stand up for what you believe in, and don’t compromise for anyone.

It’s ok to fail. And you will-intentionally or unintentionally. There is no such thing as a perfect vegan.

Reading food labels is a must.

It gets easier. (It gets so much easier!) Learning to cook, what to eat, and how to order at restaurants is now almost second nature.

Cooking a plant based diet is fun! I get to experiment with new ingredients, and I eat a wider variety of foods than ever before.

Eating a plant based diet is actually cheaper than a traditional Western diet.

Food! Oh the yummy food 😉

Tofu isn’t gross! (I guarantee you that most people who say this have never even eaten tofu). It’s extremely versatile and takes on the flavor of whatever marinade, spices, or dish you add it to.

And speaking of tofu, tofu eggs are one of the greatest things ever!

Nutritional yeast is a game-changer. I use it all. the. time.

And since I’m clearly distracted by food now-chickpeas, cashews, kala namak, jackfruit, coconut milk are all essentials to have on hand at all times. (I could go on and on with this list!)

A strong support system is a must. I’m incredibly grateful that my husband agreed to go plant based with me. It would be extremely difficult if he hadn’t, on so many different levels. Surround yourself with like-minded people and those who share your same ethical beliefs and values. Join social media groups. Get involved in your local vegan community.

One year down, a lifetime to go! 🌱🎉

Thank you for sharing my vegan-versary with me! What started as a change for my health has now transitioned me into an environmentalist, activist, and advocate. What started as a plant based diet has turned into living a fully vegan and more sustainable lifestyle. 💚

No matter what your journey is or where you are in that journey, support each other, love each other, and lift each other up. Be kind, and change the world through your example. ❤️

Originally published at https://acaseforplantbased.com on October 6, 2020.