This blog post is different than anything I have done. It is actually going to be an interview with my friend, Paige, and myself. We are both vegan and I thought this would be a fun post to answer questions about a plant-based diet. It is a bit longer than anything I have posted, but I really think it has great information in it!
Before you jump to any conclusions about vegans, I ask that you read this post. If you have any other questions once you have read it, feel free to reach out!!
This is just the experience of two vegans in their twenties. One from a big city and one from a small town. This is not how all vegans experience being vegan, but it is our own personal experiences. I wrote my answers before I got Paige’s answers so I wouldn’t have my answers swayed at all.
Now that I feel I have the proper disclaimers, we can get to the fun part! The interview!!!
Why did you go vegan?
P: I went vegan because something internally felt wrong with eating animal products. I’d been different forms of vegetarian since I was around 12. I had heard of a new movie called Okja and binged that and a few other Vegan Fueled documentaries. I cried and cried for hours. I was horrified by the way the food system was and couldn’t unlearn what I just learned. I made the choice that day, all teary eyed on the couch, filled with a new fierce passion!
H: I went vegan because most of my life I didn’t really eat meat, I went vegetarian, and then I saw people who were vegan online. I had started to change my life around and wanted to see how eating plants could change my body. I was sick of being sick and tired.
Why are you still vegan?
P: I’m still vegan for every reason. For the animals. For my health. For the health of the Planet!! Every reason I am vegan, is a deep value of mine. My health and wellness is a value, respecting and protecting animals is a value, and working towards major climate shifts for the sake of all of us on the planet is a big value for me! So the choice is easy really. Not being plant based would go against my morals and I’m choosing to live my life authentically!
Aaaand I feel really good! I have tons of energy, I recover physically quicker, I sleep better, I have clearer skin, I don’t feel lethargic or sluggish, I just feel good!! I feel myself!
H: I am still vegan because I think it has a huge impact on not only my health, but also the planet. I also care about animals and don’t see what the difference between eating any animal is. What’s the difference between a cat and a cow? I have done my own research on the positive things it can do for your body and when I eat vegan I feel like a completely different person. When I see non vegan food I ask people if they really find it to look appetizing because I don’t see something like a browned chunk of cow as being delicious.
How long have you been vegan?
P: I have been vegan since July 13 2017! Three inspiring years, and then some!
H: I have been vegan for three years! Or since February 1, 2018.
Do you feel like you struggle with getting enough protein?
P: I’ll be honest, I don’t give a flying crap about protein and if I’m getting enough. What I care about is if I’m eating a large diverse amount of plant; fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains. If I’m eating a wide variety of plants, I know that I am getting all the protein I need. Because all plants have protein.
H: No I do not. I actually eat at least double the amount of protein I did when I was not vegan. Protein is in so many things.
Was it hard to transition to a vegan diet?
P: At times it would be challenging. Maybe if I was at a restaurant or at a friend/ family’s house and there was no option for me. But ultimately, I found it enjoyable! I got to explore a million new recipes and ways of preparing food! When before cooking was a hassle and a chore. Transitioning was fun for me! There were all new alternatives at the store, new milks and ice cream and all the snacks! It was an exciting time! I’d recommend!
H: Honestly yes and no. It was weird to learn how many things had milk in them. I transitioned to a very processed vegan diet at first but then when I switched to whole foods it was much easier because I never had to read a label. I love that there are so many products that are vegan now too! Basically anything you could ever want comes in a vegan form or there is a recipe to make it online. I will say traveling was hard for me because I wouldn’t plan ahead. Now I know to do my research on where I am going and make a plan for food.
Hardest part about being vegan?
P: Definitely stubborn non-vegans who want to change you and your mind about why eating a dead thing is right, normal or delicious. Too harsh? Sorry, not sorry.
H: I think for me being so passionate about the way I feel, how I feel I am helping the planet, not wanting to eat animals and trying to not yell it at people to COME ON JUST TRY IT!!! I want other people to feel how good I feel. I came from a standard American diet where I didn’t even know how sickly I was making myself feel. I know there are other people out there who are making themselves feel sick with the food they are eating and I don’t want that to be the case.
Easiest part about being vegan?
P: Sleeping at night knowing that I’m doing the one easiest thing that I can do to make a big difference in the world! Also I looooove Oatly ice cream and all the vegan restaurants in Minneapolis!
H: The easiest thing to me is making the choice to do good. I know that I am helping so many things with the choices I make to fuel my body.
Do you think everyone should be vegan?
P: I think that everyone should make an honest attempt at it. If it’s not possible to cut out meat completely, that’s ok, buy and eat less of it and eat more plants! That makes a difference! Your body will thank you!
H: Do I want everyone to be vegan? Yes. Do I think everyone can be vegan? No. I think there are certain people who would not have the resources to be vegan or it would not work for their body. I think everyone can benefit from adding as many whole plant foods in their diet as they can and cutting back on the animal products they consume.
Do you think you will be vegan forever?
P: Absolutely! Does that mean that I’ll never try another bite of something again, or eat an egg occasionally or have some honey in my latte, no. But I will always try my hardest to Think First before consuming.
H: I can’t predict the future so I can’t say that I am 100% positive I will never consume something that isn’t vegan, but currently my answer is yes. I believe that this diet makes me feel better than any other way of eating and I do not have plans to eat any animal products.
P: A delicious pot of fresh curry with all the leftover veggies in it! And peanut butter!
H: OATS!!!! I love me some oats. Warm oatmeal, cold overnight oats, oatmeal cookies, oat flour banana bread, oat milk. Basically if it has oats I probably like it.
An extra note from Paige:
Don’t beat yourself up if it’s hard. Keep making small changes every day, little switches. Keep educating yourself. Watch documentaries about food, health and the planet! (What the health, game changers, okja, vegucated, cowspiracy, food inc., earthlings, ect.). It is ok if someone believes something different than you, put yourself in their shoes and try to understand WHY they believe it. Hold compassion in your heart, in every situation!
I want to say thanks again to Paige for doing this with me! If you want to check out her Instagram, which I highly recommend you do, it is paige_zarbo.
I hope this post brought you some insight into a plant-based diet and why people feel so passionately about eating plants.
No matter how you choose to eat, I encourage you to add more plants to your diet if you are capable.
I truly believe going vegan changed me in a way I can’t fully articulate, but it is for the better. Every. Single. Day. I am grateful to fuel my body with plants and not animals and my body rewards me with lots of energy and excitement for life.
To plants and all that they provide to this world.
Until next time,