Over the last six years that I spent as a vegetarian, vegan felt like a small step away. Vegan was, from my perspective, the sister of vegetarianism; close, but with a tumultuous relationship. It wasn’t until five month ago, when I actually became vegan, that I really began to understand how distant these concepts are and why there has and continues to be tension between these two communities.
There were a lot of reasons I became vegetarian, including moral, spiritual, and health-related issues. But at the heart of it, I became vegetarian because I wanted to remove some of the hypocrisy from my life. If I wasn’t willing to kill the animals I was eating, then why was I eating them?
For me, cutting out meat wasn’t that difficult. I simply added in more beans, lentils, healthier grains and veggies. Along with the twenty pounds I dropped after adopting this lifestyle, I began to feel better about my impact on the environment and the animals around me.
Being the only vegetarian in my family wasn’t always “easy,” but I felt like I could walk around with my head held a bit higher… Walk around, that is, in my down jacket and leather shoes, enjoying my Greek yogurt and scrambled eggs.