Going vegan changed so much more for me than just the way I eat, it literally turned my whole life around. This probably sounds so cliché, I know, but it’s true. So here’s what changed for me:
- Veganism cured my unhealthy relationship with food
Since being a teenager I had struggled with my eating habits and even had an eating disorder, you can read more about this here. Even after overcoming this phase, my relationship with food was never relaxed, I still had lots of disordered thoughts in my mind, was often restricting myself, then again eating way too much, having crazy cravings and was most of all often just feeling bad after eating. Just before going vegan, I started to feel even worse as all I could think about when eating was all the animal cruelty behind the food I was having and then I finally went vegan to be able to enjoy my food again. And it’s amazing: Since turning vegan I never ever had thoughts again like “oh no, I ate too much, I’ll gain weight”, “oh no, I shouldn’t eat that (vegan) chocolate, it has too many calories” etc. And you know why? Well, first of all: I just eat a very healthy diet in general, so I know that what I put into my body is really good and is not a risk for making me sick or gain weight. But of course I’m not eating perfectly all the time and sometimes I just have days when I eat a little too much or too much unhealthy and fatty things. Anyway, I don’t feel bad and guilty on these days for eating like this as I know I don’t eat any animal products anymore and this is still so much healthier than eating non-vegan unhealthy stuff would be. The main thing is though: I know that I do not contribute to animal suffering with these foods so this automatically makes me so much happier and relaxed as I think “ok, this may not be the best for my body but hey – I’m not hurting anyone else”. It just feels like eating “peaceful” food like this, even when it’s not the healthiest, is still doing something good for me mentally. I hope, you get what I mean, it’s a little hard to describe this feeling. Long story short: Vegan food just makes me happy as it’s cruelty-free and I don’t feel like harming my body even when I’m eating vegan cake or cookies.
- Veganism made me more conscious and positive
Obviously, I’m more aware of all the animal cruelty that’s going on in the world but that’s not the only thing. With going vegan, it slowly felt like a “cloud” floated away from my brain and made my mind become clearer. I started to realize for example how we’re destroying our planet with consuming animal products and how this fact isn’t even discussed in the media. Instead everyone just talks about cars being the main cause for climate change which is just not true. I realized how manipulated we get by politics and the mass media to believe what they want us to believe and to live a life in fear instead of making our dreams come true and living life to the fullest. I realized there are other, alternative ways to live than just the typical “9-5 job, living for the weekends, buying a house, marrying, getting kids, going on one or two vacations a year, retiring” kind of life. I realized how people are always so unhappy, hate Mondays, complain all the time etc. just because they believe this is just the way life is and they aren’t changing anything or even being aware that they actually can. With getting to know all this, my mindset completely changed from that typical complaining and negative thinking to a pretty positive one. I now have a vision of what I want my life to look like and am willing to make changes to achieve my goals and leave my current unfulfilling life behind. I guess this more positive and relaxed attitude also has to do with not putting products anymore that come from animal suffering and are full of antibiotics, hormones, fear and stress.
- Veganism made me a minimalist
With becoming more conscious, I also noticed how much stuff I have, like how many clothes there are in my wardrobe for example. The truth is: I actually don’t need that many clothes, noone does. When I went on trips in the past, I took so many clothes with me as I couldn’t decide what to bring and then only wore half of them anyway. On my last trip I just travelled with my handluggage and it was amazing, I felt so free and had so much less stress. And funnily even then I didn’t need everything I had with me. In the past, shopping for clothes was one of my favourite activities and I loved doing it, especially when I had a bad day to treat myself and make me feel better. Today shopping for clothes bores me. Somehow buying material things – except for food maybe, haha – just doesn’t really bring me a lot of joy anymore and I realized that it will never bring me true happiness. It will maybe make me happy for a short time and then this “happiness” is gone again and I need to buy something else. I now rather save as much money as I can to spend it on trips or investing in my future dreams. Only non-materialistic things are what can truly help us to become happy, I believe. Things like meeting new people, making experiences, being in nature, challenging ourselves, learning new things,.. Buying a lot of stuff that you don’t even need but you think you need will probably just distract you from doing things and thinking about things that would be worth your time so much more, things that in the end could really make you happy. It will also make it harder to be able to spend money on great non-materialistic things like travelling for example.
- Veganism gave me purpose
In the past, I often felt so lost in life, I questioned why I’m even here, what the purpose of my life is. Today I feel like I found my purpose which is to contribute to make this world a better place with spreading the vegan message, to be a good example by trying to live a life that harms other living beings as well as our planet as little as possible and to just become the best version of myself that I can possibly be. Today I don’t feel that my life is just about me anymore but about so much more than that. I don’t think anymore “oh what difference can I as a single person actually make” but I now understand that every single person can contribute to making positive changes in the world and that noone is unimportant when it comes to the bigger picture. All positive changes started with a few people taking the first steps and then many others following their footsteps.
With all of these positive changes, going vegan was one of the best decisions – if not THE best decision – I ever made in my life.