My transition to veganism
I was asked to share more of my experiences, so I open up a little by telling you the story of my transition to veganism (yes, it was long!), how I told my relatives and the reasons I started blogging!
Childhood & Adolescence
I've always loved animals, it's my biggest passion! As a child, I had a cat, then 5 hamsters followed one another and several fish too. I think my last hamster has the longevity record : 3 ½ years! He died of a stomach tumor. My family then adopted the love of my life : Nougat! I was 10 years old…
Younger, I saved the bugs in the pool with a net and helped them fly. It’s also with meticulousness that I’ve always apply myself to sort out the recycling bin. The environment had (and still has) a big place in my heart and was the subject of most of my school projects.
Being vegetarian? Oh no never, "I love meat too much, I could never be a vegetarian". My sister was "vegetarian". She was eating tofu, which is where came from her nickname Tofu. Oh I loved to make fun of her!
I was at a superbowl party with some friends. February 2014, I'm 20 years old. My boyfriend at that time was serving food : hamburgers. One of his friends said "I don’t eat hamburgers, I'm a vegetarian". And there, I must tell you, I REALLY judged her. She thinks she’s superior or what? Being vegetarian, pffffff!
Thinking back, I realized that she wasn’t the one I was judging, but rather myself. Because I was extremely jealous of not being able to do what she was doing, to follow my values. Because we remember that at that moment, I was living a conflict of values, without realizing it : I loved (all) animals, but was eating them (and so, I was the cause of their death).
Day after day, guilt started to gnaw at me, I swear! Superbowl is in February, and I told my mom and my boyfriend that I wanted to start eating more vegetarian dishes, I think it was in March. As you can see, I didn’t start by saying, "I'm becoming vegetarian," oh no! Because I was starting from so far away! 5 glasses of milk a day, my favorite meals were roast beef and hamburgers. I had never eaten beans, I found it disgusting, and neither tofu! My family likes to remind me that I ate so much meat that I probably had enough for a lifetime. So I was vege-curious, then flexitarian (vegetarian only at home), pescetarian and vegetarian, all of it in 3 years. Then, I moved in with my boyfriend. A year later, in the summer of 2017, we decided, both of us, to become vegans. We didn’t make the decision for both of us, we made it individually, without saying it to the other one. At a family dinner, my sister asked him if he was vegan and that's when both of us learned that we had each one made the same decision. Pretty funny, and very strange to tell (you had to be there!) !
Why did we become vegans? Largely for ecological reasons, after listening to Cowspiracy (available on Netflix).
Why am I staying vegan? For compassion and I am an environmentalist at heart. Also, I felt several health benefits since I cut meat and dairy. Indeed, my stomach pains that I had practically after each diner (consisting of meat) or the sickness after eating cheese (I think it was my liver) stopped. Many people also feel lighter after eating a vegan meal, which I also agree!
In the summer of 2017, I’m a vegan and I study for my big accounting exam, the CFE (CPAs will understand). Subsequently, I start working for a big audit firm... I really hate my job, we work crazy hours and I don’t see purpose in my life. Seriously. I am depressed.
At the same time, being in the accounting field, I'm pretty much the only vegan... So people often ask me recipes. At Christmas 2017, I’m wondering : why not start a blog and this way, all my recipes will be in the same place! The blog helped me go through difficult months at work, because it gave a new value to my life.
The blog starts and I like the impact it has on people's lives and especially on our planet! I think that the more we talk about it, the more we spread the vegan movement and the better the planet will be. That's what drives me to persevere. Because no, I no longer have this job, but I continue to have another full-time job, in addition to the blog, my volunteering in the Young CPAs and in the Association végétarienne de Montréal. Sometimes, it becomes overwhelming.
I hope my journey will help you with yours, but also to be more forgiving with the omnivorous. Because we’re not all coming from the same place with the same relatives and we don’t have the same experiences and education.
How to announce it
I was very, very afraid to announce that I was vegetarian and even more vegan. In fact, I don’t think I really told anyone. I just started to say I don’t eat any more of this and that, in a very flexitarian way, which means making exceptions and eating what I found the least worse (eg : eggs rather than cheese). When I started my blog, well, there were no need to tell it anymore!
Why is it so scary? Because we feel judged. We feel judged by non-vegans who don’t necessarily understand why we do this and by people who tell us bacon jokes or plants have feelings. Then when we make exceptions, we’re also judged by them who tell us that basically, we’re not real vegans. And vegans, too, will tell us the same thing if we make an exception. But I’ll keep on saying that we are vegan for ourselves and that we make our own rules (read my article for an easy & sustainable transition).
Recipes that helped me
For those who don’t like chickpeas : https://www.yourweirdveganfriend.com/blog/peanut-butter-chickpea-curry
For those who don’t like lentils : https://www.yourweirdveganfriend.com/blog/lentil-soup
For those who don’t like beans : https://www.yourweirdveganfriend.com/blog/best-chili
For those who don’t like tofu : https://www.yourweirdveganfriend.com/blog/general-tao-tofu-the-best
For those who cannot live without creamy pasta : https://www.yourweirdveganfriend.com/blog/creamy-gusta-sausage-pasta
For those who want a real Bolognese sauce : https://www.yourweirdveganfriend.com/blog/no-meat-spaghetti-sauce
For those who want a real good salad meal : https://www.yourweirdveganfriend.com/blog/bean-apple-and-cranberry-salad
Feel free to suggest other topics of articles!