QUESTION- Was it hard to transition?
ANSWER- No..I’ve kind of always been “this” way.
It is truly difficult for me to answer this question because
I have NEVER liked any of the following-
- Cow’s milk. Never ever ever ever. It would make me GAG as a kid if I ever tried to drink it. When I would have cereal, I would eat it DRY and put it in a zip lock bag instead of a bowl to eat it with my hands. The color, the texture, the taste….all I just could not stand.
- Cheese. I would order pizzas with “light cheese” , never wanted it on my sandwiches, nothing. The only time I felt like it was good is if it was on one of those fancy cheese and cracker plates. Other than that…no, thank you.
- Yogurt. Always grossed me out and reminded me of milk.
- Ice Cream. Would always make me feel sick and I couldn’t stand the “milky” like texture when it melted. *gags*
- Eggs. The only time I thought eggs were delicious was during holiday season…deviled eggs. Other than that…well,I have never even had an omelet before….so you get the point. It literally used to confuse me when I’d make baked goods with my family and I wasn’t allowed to lick the spoon or eat the batter because of something called Salmonella?! HA. That right there told me eggs were not something I should be eating in the first place.
- Candy and Junk Food. I am thankful that I grew up not being allowed to grab the candy in the grocery store check-out line to take home. I have never in my life even had a bag of Doritos or Regular Cheetos. Flavored snacks just have never been appeasing to ME.
(These are all “foods” that I have always simply been turned off by…So it’s hard for me to answer if veganism has been hard for me. Because as you can see, I’ve naturally just never been into the majority of animal by products. Although I’ve never liked straight-up-eggs, I’ve liked foods that contain eggs as ingredients…so I’ve had to transition out of THAT…etc. The hardest thing is that once you’re vegan you realize how many animal products are in our foods.)
So now that I’ve gotten that out of the way- Let’s step into my childhood and upbringing for this one:
For as long as I can remember, I have always had good taste in food! I give credit to my Creole roots and parents & grandparents who are extremely great at-home culinary artists for this passion of mine.
Growing up, my favorite meat to eat was chicken! I ate a chicken caesar salad every day after school… chicken nuggets were MY THANG …and buffalo wings were one of my absolute favorite foods. I used to eat pizza and take all of the pepperoni off before I took a bite to “save the best for last” – Boy…was I wrong!
Things began to change in my kid world when my dad told me a story- When he was a child, his aunt took two glass jars. She put pork in one jar and chicken in the other and sat them outside in the sun. A few hours later, maggots were coming out of the pork! But not the chicken.
I was so disgusted! Almost traumatized, actually.
On top of that, my best friend was Muslim and decided not to eat the pork in the pizza sticks at school anymore. I didn’t want her to feel left out so I stopped eating them during lunch too.
Between my dad’s story and my friend’s practices…both situations really started to make me think about WHAT (why are there maggots?!) I was actually eating and WHY some people (in this case, those of Islam religion) do not.
(ARE YOU TELLING ME I CAN’T EAT MY GRANDADDY’S FAMOUS BBQ PORK RIBS ANYMORE?!!)
I was barely a teenager and I had already “given up” pork.
After about a year, I remember listening in on some adults having a conversation about red meat and how they were going to top eating it for a certain amount of time to lose weight and get healthier. In my head I’m thinking- if you are eating something that is preventing you from being the healthiest you AND YOU KNOW IT, why eat it in the first place?
So there I was again…without much research but ready to give up a food I eat. (I needed to lay off of my favorite fast food burgers anyways)
By the age of 16, I committed to only eating Poultry and Fish!
And then it almost hit me…
I was in the drive thru getting ready to order my usual meaty meal. The line was super long that day. There were several cars ahead of us AND behind us. Hm. I began to think…Wow, HOW IS THERE THIS MUCH MEAT TO PROVIDE FOR EVERY FAST FOOD CHAIN IN EVERY STATE IN EVERY CITY?! And that’s not even including ALL of the grocery stores and other restaurants across the entire country. SOMETHING ISN’T RIGHT….
I thought about that until it was time to eat my delicious meal and I went on about my day.
But then it really hit me…
Not too long after, I was with my family at a Chinese Buffet. I tore that place up…I must’ve had at least four big plates my first round. I got every type of chicken. I think I even got duck that day. By the end, I felt so sick. I felt disgusting. I felt a way I never felt before. When we got in the car…I had a realization. It just came to me. I said aloud “I’m never eating meat again.”
NOPE, no one took me seriously. To be honest, my loved ones have JUST begun to take me seriously! As if giving up beef and pork wasn’t already “crazy” enough…
But hey, it is so important to listen to your body!
When I said vegetarian, I guess I meant pescetarian. Come on, you can’t be Creole and not eat seafood…right?!
To be completely honest, I removed 100% dairy products before I stopped eating fish. I call it pescevegan. I will explain my reasonings for that another day. But what I hope you see is that no change just happens over night. It is a process. Be patient with yourself and listen to YOUR body. Yes, people you love may not understand or will call you crazy. But it’s not their decision to make, it’s yours! Eat what makes you truly happy!