Although there are probably many other people out there who published similar posts, I want to tell you guys about my personal experience with going vegetarian and then vegan. Both have been processes for me, not strict day-to-day switches. Maybe it works differently for different people, but I think in general it is always better to have a longer period over which one can gradually move towards the big goal. A little like with an addiction. Just cutting the stuff out all of the sudden is not exactly gonna do the trick.
Of course no one (at least I hope so 😕 ) is addicted to meat or dairy products, but if these foods have been part of your daily diet for years it won’t be a breeze to live without them immediately.
For me it was also to make sure that I could handle what I was planning to do. Becoming vegetarian was harder, I must admit, because I was younger, less experienced, just not as steady as I am now. I didn’t know how strong I was and what it would mean to me to suddenly eat differently from my family.
Between thinking about maybe becoming a vegetarian for the first time and actually doing it, a good two to three years passed. Sounds a lot, right? Anyways, during that time I learnt so much about myself and grew up a lot, and I think I needed this time. The last year before being completely vegetarian I maybe ate meat for 4 times. And – relating to my last post – usually it was to please my family because my mom would ask me to please eat some because she was worried that I might not get enough protein or something. I can’t even remember properly, it seems so ridiculous to me now. I’ve never been healthier than on my beloved plant-based diet! 🙂 Anyways, the last time I eat meat was on New Year’s Eve and before that I hadn’t eaten it for nearly half a year. Immediately after eating, I was so mad at myself, and I guess this is when I knew that I had actually made it. I was a vegetarian then, because eating meat to please my family had made me feel just wrong and guilty and not me. Never touched anything related to meat ever since. That was 6 years ago.
About 2 years ago the second switch came into rolling, I had played with the thought of going vegan for a while and felt more and more that this is what I truly wanted. Again it was a bit of fighting with my mom (who, in the meantime, had also become a vegetarian!) because she was afraid of having to give up too much. Of course, me going vegan wouldn’t have meant her having to do it too, but since we live together and I do a lot of our cooking and all of our baking, and we are very close in general, it was clear that it would affect her as well. For a while I listened to her but it didn’t take me long. I wanted to know. Luckily, I found some awesome food blogs that probably most vegans here know quite well (Oh She Glows and Chocolate Covered Katie). These completely eliminated my fears and I started doing the same as for going vegetarian. I finished all non-vegan stuff that was left and just tried without it. This time, it was so much easier. Actually, I thought it wouldn’t be because I used to adore cheese and ice cream, but I think my willpower and motivation have grown immensely since the time of my becoming vegetarian. Every vegan day I was infused with my enthusiasm of actually doing this. No animal suffering for my food – could it be any greater? Yeah, so within half a year that I had planned as my trial period I lived nearly completely vegan, with the exception of two occasions where I was invited to friends who had tried to cook vegan for me but accidentally added something non-vegan – there I was not consistent as it was my trial period. 😉
Okay, so as conclusion I would say that allowing yourself some time to adjusting to your desired diet prior to switching completely is a good thing. For one, it prevents disappointments because you are not a euphoric new vegan for two weeks to then switch back because you can’t handle it. Instead, you are only a trial-vegan first to confirm that you can do it. Afterwards, you can be even prouder. Also, it just is easier because also your social environment can get used to your new diet gradually and once you have completely switched, everyone already knows. For me it was the perfect way.
Let me know how you think about it!