The Accidental Vegan

I was originally inspired to help my daughter when she was exploring a vegetarian lifestyle & was running into much opposition in her pursuit (through ridicule, criticism and belittlement). 

After committing to join her in her efforts for 1 month, I was awakened to my own possibilities for personal growth and fulfillment, now continuing through InspiredLiving.Life,  Pinterest.com/InspiredLiving and Facebook.com/InspiredLiving.Life.

So my journey into vegetarianism began.

Let me preface this by saying that, I was a lifelong meat and food lover – and this was going to be somewhat of  an onerous task… However, the fact that it was going to help my daughter, and was only for one month, made it do-able for me.

Although I understood why my daughter was drawn to this lifestyle, and had espoused all the health and environmental benefits of it, it wasn’t until she showed me a video on animal cruelty, that I was truly impacted…cat-and-dogMy reason for helping her was now solidified.

The day after Thanksgiving a handful of years ago, I ate my last drumstick…

With an overly full stomach, I went to bed happy and awoke the next day wondering what I had been thinking, to embark on such a nutty journey.
The knowledge that I was supporting my daughter pulled me back into the reality of my promise to her.turkey-blog-pic So I had toast, coffee, leftover mashed potatoes and rice stuffing from the day before and ate my way to integrity, lol!

Realizing that I would have another 30 days of this to look forward to, I quickly started to think about how i would get through it without eating carrots & celery sticks all day:-(

Well eating out wouldn’t be that hard as i could always eat veggie burgers, fries and meatless pastas and oh yeah – salads:-)

For my favorite breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast – I replaced it with eggs, avocado & toast, lunches would be noodles / soups / meatless sandwiches and dinners – pastas / stir fries / casseroles, curries and whatever else I could think up.

And so it went for the next 30 days.

Whenever I would get a craving or a reason/excuse to cheat, all I had to do was think about letting my daughter down, or thinking about eating my cat (yes – sounds kooky – but I rationalized that if I wouldn’t eat my cat, that I loved – how could I eat any other animal and deprive them of their life, feelings – and further animal suffering, by consuming them). This was my goto strategy in any moment of weakness, from the smell of KFC, BBQ’s or tempting food that may be in front of me.

The days started to progress quickly and I found myself being conscious of what i was consuming, planning my next meal in my head and coming up with hacks and substitutions for meals that i would be eating… cheese-natchosThis transformed my thinking and allowed me to never be hungry or be in a situation where I’d have to eat meat!

Well about 2 weeks into this exercise, everything was going quite well and I thought, why shouldn’t I just go all in? If I was serious about not eating animals – why subjugate them at all? So for the next 2 weeks I would go vegan! I was already doing well as a vegetarian and it would only be another 14 days, so why not go for it…

Now this was a lot harder than I thought, as I loved eggs / cheese / butter and dairy products!

I jumped in with both feet and had to double my efforts to stay on course with my commitment to my daughter. As before, armed with my procedures for my moments of weakness and next meal planning, I was able to do it – & quite well if I do say so myself:-)

It was becoming second nature to think this way, and it enabled me to finish my month!freedom-sunset-wind-surfingI was happy to have completed my commitment and actually felt physically better and morally elevated (i’m so good:-). I had done something to satisfy my non-participation to animal suffering by not eating them or their products. I wouldn’t be part of that chain of suffering any longer and it was awesome!

Well surprisingly enough to me, I felt this great feeling of accomplishment and really how little of an actual change to my way of living it was (the act of substituting vegan burgers / chili / curries / stir frys etc for meat ones was not really a big deal) – so why wouldn’t I just keep going, until it wasn’t working for me anymore?soap-stand-boxAll these years later it’s reinforced my accidental veganism and I’ve developed so many hacks / easy ways of eating, that now it is my way of life and believe me, I love food and eat more than I ever did – but not at the expense of animal suffering, world ecology or my health. But whatever your thoughts or reasons, why not be the possibility of inspired eating!

Start here –  Meatless Mondays or find helpful resources here to begin:-)

This is how it all started for me – Good luck!