First of all: I thought about making some posts about the most common reasons people bring up for not being vegan. And I’m talking about people that actually think being vegan is the right choice, understand what it’s about and who admire vegans as I was one of those myself. So I’m not talking about reasons like “humans are naturally carnivores”. 😀
So, this one is about discipline.
I always though vegans need a lot of discipline to resist all the delicious “temptations” that are out there. I thought I could never do it because it’s too hard to say goodbye to all the stuff I ate before. And it is true: I am not a person with the most discipline when it comes to eating. I mean, I didn’t eat crap before becoming vegan, in fact I was eating quite healthy with lots of fruit, vegetables, oatmeal,.. well, healthy for an omnivor diet when I still thought milk is good for you. 😉 And I guess I had a little advantage in adopting to a healthy vegan diet because of that. But I couldn’t do things like cutting out lactose or gluten for a week just to try if it changes something for example. And I didn’t really want to because I was quite crazy about discipline in eating/not eating when I was younger (the usual struggles of a young woman..) and I didn’t want to get this unhealthy relationship with food back again.
So how did I manage to become vegan and how come I don’t have problems with sticking to it? It’s simple: There is no discipline needed.
You could say I’m one of this “crazy” people who became vegan overnight. I hadn’t even been vegetarian before. I just watched more and more videos from other vegans and how they life and animal cruelty. As a big animal lover I knew all of this was wrong even years ago and that’s why I always knew veganism is the right thing but I just suppressed it. Thinking about all the animal cruelty made me feel so sad and bad about myself and humans in general. But with watching all these videos from others who showed me how simple it is to be vegan and that it’s not a big deal I decided to finally do what my heart and mind told me and to stop eating animal products from now on. For me this was different from just changing my eating habits. I was not changing my diet for myself and my body but out of compassion for other living beings. Once my compassion and the feeling that what we are doing to the animals is so wrong became stronger than the enjoyment I got from eating animal products. I couldn’t even enjoy them anymore as it made me so sad to think where they come from and how the animals suffer for them. It even made it easier to give up cigarettes completely finally. I stopped smoking even before but it makes it easier for me not to fall back into it even when I crave a cigarette sometimes, I admit, as I just have to think about the animal testing behind it.
I guess it is different with choosing veganism only for health reasons though. I often hear about people who fall back in old habits or are having “cheat days” with animal products. Changing your diet to vegan just for yourself requires some more willpower, I guess. Sometimes I even think “How can they eat vegan just for their body?” It amazes me. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing of course, every meal counts, no matter what’s the reason behind it. And many “health vegans” get into the ethics behind it anyway after a while. Just as I found out about the health benefits.. 😉
Long story short: Once you feel this strong connection with animals and you know what happens to them (and also to our earth and all the starving people..) is just wrong, it becomes easy. When you start crying just thinking about all this injustice, there really is no discipline required at all to make a change, I believe.