Anna’s story on her vegan journey is inspiring, and her tips in the second half of this post are powerful, for anyone that’s just getting started. Let’s dig in!
Veganism : Anna’s Story
I went vegan almost 9 years ago. Even though I grew up as an omnivore, eating almost everything apart from fish, I always thought it was extremely weird to eat something that came from the sea. I later discovered a very strong connection with the sea inhabitants. But this is a totally different story, maybe for a different time!
While growing up, I had severe iron deficiency and doctors kept saying I needed to eat red meat to help raise the iron levels in my blood.
In hindsight, my iron levels continued to stay low almost all my life, despite all the animal products in my diet. I should have just thought better, but oh well!
The older I grew up though, the more I started to feel a certain disgust every time I used to eat meat and realised that eating animal flesh was not only cruel but also unnecessary. I remember one episode in particular, when looking out from a train window I saw all these animals bred for meat and destined to a very early death. I remember that I started crying so much, from the pain which I could feel for these innocent beings.
That was the moment when things started to slowly change for me.
I started reading tons of books on vegeterianism, watching countless videos on YouTube and gathering as much information as possible.
The more I read, the more I became aware of the cruelty that involved the dairy and the egg industry. And the more I found out, the more and more I felt outraged by the cruelty that these beautiful, innocent, sentient beings had to endure.
Becoming vegan became the only way to be. And almost overnight, I took the best decision of my life.
As I become more and more knowledgeable about veganism, I also became conscious that many of the clothes I was nonchalantly buying were the result of more exploitation and suffering. The washing up liquid I was using, was more of that.
I felt that all my life I had been supporting animal cruelty without even knowing. I was hurt, I felt guilty, I was angry.
And yet, that was the turning point of my life. My life vision completely altered. I was changed forever
Mixed with the sadness, there was also a very real excitement about this new phase of my life. I bought even more books to make sure I was giving myself enough nourishment and I was feeding my body with everything it needed.
I also wanted to make sure that my lifestyle was free from animal by products and 100% cruelty free.
Needless to say, I have been vegan for almost 9 years and it is a choice that I not only regret not having taken earlier, but that also fits with my spiritual path of love.
Veganism : Tips on How to Become a Vegan
To me, going vegan almost overnight felt extremely easy. It came within me, strong and powerful. It was almost like a moment of enlightenment where the world showed me how colours could look different, how light could be brighter. I was the same, and yet deeply changed.
I understand that not for everyone becoming vegan will be that easy, smooth or heartfelt. And it is absolutely fine.
Every experience deserves its time, its personal approach and beliefs. But if you are flirting with the idea of becoming vegan and don’t really know how, here are my top 10 tips.
- Have fun while learning.
We all mess it up at the beginning. It’s OK to make mistakes, it’s OK to miss cheese and maybe also to eat it sometimes. Slowly transitioning into a vegan lifestyle is what makes this choice easier to stick to.
- Take it one animal at a time.
For some people radical changes are not really practical and doable. Start by removing one category at the time until you have completely removed all animal products from your diet. For example, remove fish (or seafood first), then land animals, and finally any produce by animals (honey, milk, etc).
- Make sure the reason you are going vegan is motivated by your inner sense.
It could be to improve your health, to actively do something for the planet or to stop animal cruelty. Whatever the reason, it needs to come from you and not just to follow a fad.
- Educate yourself as much as possible.
Read a lot of books; connect with like minded people and don’t be afraid to ask for advise. If you are worried about nutrients deficiency consult a nutritionist. Don’t be shy. People are always happy to help when someone is trying to make a big, positive change.
- Experiment with your cooking.
Try different recipes, have fun in the kitchen, get creative! You might even find a talent you didn’t know you had! Share your culinary experiments with your friends and show them how tasty vegan food can be. I’ve been experimenting for years, and that’s how I’ve come up with recipes like Vegan Roulade and Vegan Pasta.
- Stick to plant based food.
Everything coming in its natural state is very likely to be always vegan. This seems also to be the cheapest and most affordable way to eat vegan. I always hear from people that they don’t go vegan because it’s more expensive. Rice, pulses, broccoli, potatoes, tinned tomatoes are the cheapest things you can find and they make delicious, satisfying meals.
- Being vegan isn’t limited to food.
It means also removing from your day-to-day life animal products and byproducts. Support companies that are certified cruelty free and vegan.
NOTE : Not all cruelty free brands will have the official certification. It is quite an expensive application and not all small companies might be able to afford it. In doubt, a quick search online will clarify any doubt.
- Come out of the frame of mind that you are missing out.
Friends and family might make you feel that you will be missing out on social gatherings and functions. Truth is, times have changed and restaurants and caterers will easily accommodate any request especially when made in advance. Infact, there are exclusive vegan restaurants too, and they’re growing in number by the day!
- Stand strong in your beliefs.
Be prepared to be challenged, criticised, made fun of by the people around you. When you bring about such a change in your life, people will feel challenged in their own beliefs. That’s why is important to know your facts and your nutrition. When people will see you thriving and enjoying life more than ever, they will want to follow your example.
- Remember becoming vegan is a choice of love that reconnects you with love. So, love yourself in the process, too!
Life will improve in so many levels that I could just write an article about that! Be kind to yourself as you are trying to be kinder to the world. Every little step made towards a better world is already a big change and the world, the animals and your own soul will bow to you with reverence and respect.
Becoming vegan is not only an ethical choice, it is also a choice that will bring you more peace into your being and in the world around you.
Sending love and light to all beings,
Annalisa D’Agostino is a Reiki Master, also professionally pursuing holistic and spiritual counselling.
She enjoys cooking and making delicious vegan takes on everyday food.
So here you can find a little corner, TheVeganSense, where you will find recipes and Vegan insight to show love not only to your loved ones, but also the animals and the planet.
Follow her on Instagram @TheVeganSense