It took me quite some time, I now feel that it took me way too long, but I guess it happened the way it was meant to happen. In my experience becoming vegan doesn’t happen overnight (at least I don’t know any vegan that did). It’s a process. Sometimes it can be a lengthy one, in other cases it’s a faster journey.
As a teenager I consciously stopped eating porc under the influence of some of my friends (mostly for beauty reasons: “you get pimples because of pork meat”). When major food scandals occurred in the late nineties (hormones, mad cow disease, …) I phased out other meat, except for fish. Once again, this was mainly out of reasons related to my own health. Fish only got banned from my life after reading the very inspiring and confrontational book by author Jonathan Safran Foer “Eating Animals”. This was purely an ethical choice: animal welfare, environmental and human exploitation reasons. In the meantime I had started working for the Belgian Vegetarian Organisation (EVA vzw, first as a volunteer later as a project leader for the Thursday Veggieday campaign in Brussels) where I learned so much about all that’s going on in the horrible world of dairy and egg production. It took me almost a year, but I made the final leap to living cruelty free. And life’s only getting better !
Being vegan is also “ahimsa” (Sanskrit:tअहिंसा) or non-violence / compassion a cardinal virtue in yoga. As a yogini this lifestyle only brings more benefits: both physically and spiritually and hopefully karmic too 😉
- Feeling lighter, both physically, emotionally & energetically
- Discovering many new flavours, spices, dishes
- Becoming more creative in the kitchen
- Meeting a whole new group of like-minded people all over the world that live by the same values
- No longer buying junk food as it’s mostly loaded with with additives and animal products => HEALTH +++
- Saving the life of numerous animals that would have otherwise been killed for my temporary satisfaction
- Learning so much about food, nutrition, vitamins, healthy living
The few disadvantages
- Always calling ahead to a restaurant to see if they can accommodate a ‘vegan’
- Having to read labels on packaged foodstuffs (I simply eat less of them)
- Having to explain myself over & over again to non vegans (same ol’ questions, ‘jokes’, …)
=> Read more about the sources for my vegan inspiration