On the 24th May 2018, I decided I would trying eating a vegan diet for a week. I’d been particularly bored at that time, struggling to fill the hole that skiing had left in my life now that the snow had melted and the lifts were closed. I’d watched every Princess Diana documentary on Netflix and moved onto documentaries on global meat consumption and diet. Fueled by facts about the negative impacts on the environment and your health that animal produce causes, I impulsively decided I would try a vegan diet. I was intrigued to see how hard it would be; I’d always been on the side of “I could never do that”.
To my surprise the first week went by without too much difficulty. Luckily I have a friend at work who is vegan and they were able to give me a lot of great advice and guidance. Whistler is a very open place with lots of different lifestyles coexisting, so finding vegan alternatives was easy. Considering I’d made it that far, I decided to keep going. I wasn’t sure how much longer I would carry on but I wasn’t ready to go back to eating meat just yet. I’m forever grateful to Pinterest for making it so easy to find amazing and delicious vegan food inspiration. Some of the tastiest meals I’ve had in a while have been since I changed my diet and I’ve probably become a better cook, learning to make new things like quesadillas.
After a couple of weeks had passed and I was still sticking to my new diet, I decided to tell my family. I’d told my brother from the beginning – he’s a vegetarian and was very supportive of my decision – but I was nervous of telling my mum. Actually I was nervous of telling most people and I still am. Her first reaction was something along the lines of “can’t you just be a vegetarian?” which epitomises what I had feared – the negative reaction to being a vegan. Lots of people think you’re just being fussy or difficult. They can’t understand why you’ve made such a “drastic life change” and they can’t see why it matters so much to you.
But why do people have such negative views of vegans when those choosing that lifestyle are doing it for positive reasons? We should be glad they are trying to reduce their environmental impact, the amount of animals killed each year for our consumption and improve their own health. I’ve always being conscious of being an “inconvenience” to people when I eat out after being a picky eater as a child and I guess this feeling has intensified now that I’ve cut a large section of everyday foods from my diet. But I’m happy and proud of the decision I’ve made so I shouldn’t shy away from telling people.
I know that this doesn’t appear to have anything to do with travel and it’s quite different to what I’ve written about before, but for me, travel is a journey of self-discovery and choosing to eating vegan is my latest adventure.