Tricks to being a Kick Ass Vegan
You’re a person just like everyone else. So why does everyone make such a fuss when you talk about your lifestyle, and why do you feel the need to tell every person you meet that you’re a vegan? It’s like “Hi, I’m Candice, and I’m a vegan…” Really?! You would never tell anyone else your birthday right off the bat, or your dress size… So let’s stop acting like it needs to be front and center ALL OF THE TIME.
Remember why you are Vegan: Whether you woke up one day and decided that you couldn’t live a life based on the torture of innocent animals, the mere idea of eating something dead freaks you out, or you simply decided your diet could use a makeover; remember why you went vegan. If you are reaping the benefits, then be happy with yourself; you don’t need a pat on the back from anyone.
Don’t try to be perfect: Don’t live in a state of vegan paranoia. The world we live in is constantly using, hiding, and filtering our wines, sugars, and shoes with animal by products. Being vegan means that you are making conscious decisions about the products you consume and use, it is not about being perfect. That car you drive is probably not vegan… neither is the transit system… you can demand that Toyota make a cruelty-free car until your vocal cords start bleeding but it may never happen. So stick to the things you can control, your food, your beauty products, your clothing and cleaning products. You have to do what’s practical, or go live in the forest and reject modern society all together. Hell, I know tons of vegans that go on vacation and will indulge in a pizza in Florence or a croissant in Paris. But they consciously made that decision. Is it right? Well who has the right to tell you what you are doing is wrong? You will suffer enough from the stomach pains you’ll receive after eating it… but you knew that before you took your first bite. It’s cool that you’re Vegan but no one is expecting you to be perfect, and if they are– you already have a back pocket of shit to lay on them.
Learn to cook: Cooking vegan is NOT hard, unless you don’t know how to cook. It’s not more time consuming and it does not involve special tricks. The #1 reason why people don’t go vegan or don’t stay vegan is because they haven’t realized that it isn’t the food they miss but the flavours they are conditioned to like. Any non vegan will tell you that the taste of bacon cannot be duplicated, and they would be 100% correct. If they were to take the time to explore the flavours a vegan diet has to offer they would realize that they could live without the taste of bacon all together. It’s just a matter of finding a substitute. If you’ve been to a good vegan restaurant, you know that vegan food can be as delicious as non-vegan food. I myself struggled giving up cheese. For one year it was my weakness and my curse. But after giving up cheese for 40 days, I no longer found myself craving the taste, I didn’t even think about it. Just buy yourself a good vegan cookbook (I live by all of Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s cookbooks) and just follow a recipe. Anyone can cook, and if you can’t it’s your own damn fault for not trying. PLUS you can wow all your non vegan pals with your awesome vegan skills. Seeee that’s living by example! There’s nothing better than watching a non-vegan eating a vegan cupcake.
Non-vegans are not the enemy: Listen, you were a cheese devouring, chocolate milk guzzling, burger happy monster once yourself, so don’t badger the poor non-vegan because they haven’t seen the light yet. It’s easy to get caught up with the intricacies of a vegan lifestyle and the debates about animal welfare, health problems surrounding animal by-products and comments made by non-vegans. But stand strong, as it shouldn’t matter to anyone what lifestyle choices you have decided to make. There is a time for debate and a time to discuss, but not all the time. Lead by example, lead with food, and lead with your beautiful complexion and rockin’ bod. There is something for everyone in a vegan lifestyle and once they see you as the happy beautiful vegan you, are they’ll get it. You are not contributing to the exploitation of billions of living things every year. That’s special — that’s reason enough to smile every day! Be proud, but don’t preach.
Create a Community: Unfortunately, you will be at the receiving end of some ridiculous and sometimes hilarious stereotypes. That’s why it is very important to engage with other like-minded vegans. It’s so easy these days; there are Facebook groups, fan pages, Meetup’s, conventions, cooking classes and twitter! Create a community, get together and swap stories, recipes and all things vegan!
Don’t make the non-vegan world wonder why you choose a lifestyle that differs so greatly from theirs; make them wonder whether their lifestyle needs a second look. Live by example and be true to you!