How I Became Vegan

Remember back in 2013 when I challenged myself to be vegan for a week during Wanderlust: Squaw Valley? Surprise: I’m vegan now.

So what did I think of being (almost completely…) vegan for one week?
Overall, I really enjoyed it. I did. I didn’t miss the things I thought I’d miss as much as I anticipated. I didn’t even think about it. Here are some things I loved most:

  • Being thoughtful about my eating choices.
  • Cutting back on sneaky empty calories.
  • Feeling like a solution to the problem.
  • Feeling good.
  • Getting creative.

Is this it? Am I going to stick to veganism now?
God I wish I had a more solid answer. I’d like to think so. I mostly want to say yes, but part of me struggles with giving up the farm culture I was raised with.

(From my final thoughts on the Vegan for a Week challenge)

It’s funny looking back because I honestly really enjoyed it. I remember being at Wanderlust and certainly not feeling left out when it came to food… And that was at a small festival! Not home where I have complete control.

 

What changed? Well, I went to Bali for my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training. This was the seed. I wanted to be vegetarian while there. At the time it wasn’t really for animals, but 1) just to see if I could do it, and 2) because I wasn’t about to get some weird food poisoning from bad meat in a very poor part of country (we were not in the main cities… we were waaaaay off the grid). My month of veg-munching went really well. Granted, I ate a shit load of eggs, but I was also one of the only few people who didn’t get raging e. Coli poisoning. I also felt great and got fit af. But that was probably from the 3+ hours of insanity-level yoga we did everyday…

After returning from Bali I knew I wasn’t going to remain vegetarian. It was a world-wind of restaurants, as my return from Bali wasn’t back to normal life. I flew home, and the next morning we drove 10 hours to San Diego for my big graduation ceremony, YTT celebration, and birthday weekend. We ate and ate and ate.

I wish I could remember when, but a few weeks later I began to feel a tugging on my heart. Maybe it was because I really missed Bali, or because my connection to Earth and overall sensitivity seemed to sky rocket after my teacher training – but I felt moved to go back to eating vegetarian. During this period I never ate meat, but occasionally ate fish. I felt really good and began to have more of an ethical connection to being vegetarian.

Soon after we moved to Seattle. Our first few months here were exciting and full of an adventurous state-of-mind. As winter came things got worse. We lived in a shoebox: the three of us in a 400 square foot studio. I worked mornings and Marcus worked nights. We never saw each other. Our jobs, which we initially both liked, gradually became nightmares. Both of us became depressed. Our relationship struggled and when we did see each other it was typically him playing video games and me watching Netflix with headphones on.

I toyed with the idea of making a huge change in my life and going vegan as a resolution in order to possibly kick-start a new challenge, or happiness, in my life. The New Year came and went.

But on January 10th, I woke up on my day off feeling different. Calm. Peaceful. Reflective. The night before I had watched a video on the dairy industry and felt a tug on my heart. I began to journal about changes I wanted to make in my life, one of which was going vegan. Later I noticed the strong sense of reflection and decided to Google and see what was going on – It was a New Moon, and one that called for a lots of reflection and changes. I took it as a sign and committed.

That’s how I became vegan. It was definitely not overnight like some do. It was gradual and took lots of research and education. But I swear, it was the best decision I ever made.

This is just my vegan story. I plan on writing posts on how I made the transition into veganism (with tips!) and then another on the benefits I’ve experience since going vegan. So look out for those!

xo Kale

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