Vegan: The term “vegan” was coined in England in 1944 by Donald Watson, co-founder of the British Vegan Society. In 1960 H. Jay Dinshah started the American Vegan Society, linking the movement to the Janist and Buddhist concept of ahimsa, the avoidance of violence against living things.(source)
Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing and any other purpose. (as defined by the Vegan Society)
any abnormal phenomenon or product or unusual object; anomaly; aberration.
a person or animal on exhibition as an example of a strange deviation from nature. (source)
Yes, I am a Vegan Freak.
I don’t always feel like this is what I am. When I am in my peaceful home baking muffins or cookies with my kids or sitting down to a wholesome vegan dinner, I feel very content, even blissful. Life seems perfect most times almost too good to be true.
We are happy and we are healthy.
In my little world, being vegan is the norm. Fresh fruits and vegetables compliment the majority of our meals, our cupboards are stalked full of beautiful whole grains, beans and legumes, there is almond milk in the fridge and sprouted grain bread in the freezer. All of these things are my norm, but then I go out into the real world and my family and I are freaks. Complete vegan freaks.
The grocery stores are laden with animal foods. 99% of restaurants are not vegetarian or vegan and don’t even have any vegan options, except a plain salad. Nearly everything in the stores is derived from animals or uses animal products. Sadly, this is not a vegan world.
I write this today because I know that there are other vegan freaks out there reading this and you can probably relate. It is hard to be a vegan! It is hard enough being a vegan in a non-vegan world and it is even harder being a vegan mother to two (plus one growing) beautiful vegan children.
So why do we do this? Why be a vegan anyway? If you take a good look around, you are a complete freak! I often find these thoughts running through my mind especially in social situations and gatherings or at the grocery store. It is awkward and I question myself at times. Even throughout the beginning of my pregnancy I was scared about being a pregnant vegan for what people might think of me and did a little vegan backsliding. I have actually had a fair bit of criticism for the way I raise my girls and yes, it does bother me. Sometimes I feel completely hopeless and that maybe I should just try to be ‘normal’ but deep down, I know that I could never actually do that. I could never go back to living a ‘normal’ life again.
Being Vegan for me is not about food, health or weight loss. It is not even about creating delicious recipes and feeling amazing. Those are all terrific benefits of being a vegan but for me being vegan is about compassion and as the original definition intended above, ahimsa. It is about living a life conscious of my actions and doing my best to cause the least harm to others, the animals and our planet. It is about being a voice for the voiceless and teaching my children about extending love to all beings. I show them that through my example and by spending half of my time preparing nutritious, compassionate and kind meals and snacks for them daily.
We teach our children about loving pets and see cute pictures of animals in books and smile. We teach them to be gentle to animals and to love them, yet we also get them to sit down and force them to eat them everyday. We pass down the same indoctrination that we had as children, afraid to wake up and question where it is these beliefs that we hold come from. We cause abuse and death to many animals throughout our entire lives and teach them to do the same because that is what is ‘normal’. Something about that just doesn’t make any sense to me and I don’t believe that it ever will.
Being vegan you have to learn how to cook and bake and you don’t have many of the conveniences that non-vegans have in this world. You have to read labels (a lot of labels), answer many questions and won’t have many options at a restaurant. To most people, this is seen as terribly inconvenient. But where has convenience ever taken us? It seems that everything convenient nowadays is harmful to our health and the health of our planet.
To me the convenience of not being vegan does not outweigh the heaviness on my consciousness and the fact that deep down I know that there is never a reason to take a life, especially for the sake of my appetite or to fit in to a societal norm.
So what do we do when we feel different, lonely or hopeless? What do we do when we can’t seem to see any change in our world and we are just vegan freaks? What do we do when we choose the inconvenient path and give our best and it still doesn’t feel like we are making any difference?
We just keep on keeping on. We do what we know is true for ourselves and what we know in our hearts is the right thing, no matter what society says. We do what brings us peace and gives us hope for the future. And we “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world: indeed it’s the only thing that ever has”- Margaret Meade
Most importantly, we remember that we reap what we sow.
“As long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.” -Pythagoras
Well maybe you are a little bit of a freak but that is why I love you! 😉
I am proud of you for everything you have accomplished in the last couple of years. You have been a big inspiration to me especially with your amazing recipes.
Couldn’t agree more! Sometimes I have the same doubts and wonder the same things.. then I remember this book I read called Yoga & Vegetarianism, and in it she talks about ahisma and causing the Least amount of harm. In my moments of weakness I am reminded what its all about and what it is all for. Thanks 🙂
I love Sharon Gannon!
I really really love what you had to say about convenience. It IS ruining our planet; we need to change that!
I’m planning on going vegan soon (I nearly am at this point anyway, since I’m lactose intolerant.) At this point, though, it would be very difficult because I’m not an adult and don’t pay for my groceries. I can’t bring myself to have my mom spend her money on the sometimes expensive alternatives (another thing I hate: MONEY.) Thankfully, my mom is a vegetarian so I don’t have to ever worry about running out of my proteins, since she needs them too 🙂
Good for you! 🙂
Thank you all for your comments!! 🙂
Oh, I love this post! And it is so true! Its not always easy to be vegan, and I can only imagen it is even harder when you have a family too. But if everyone always did thing because it is the norm and everyone else does it, this world would be really bad (worse that it is :P).
Your family is so happy- they will grow up to be healthy caring people!
This is a great post. Yes, it can be hard to be vegan at times. But, I must say that is has certainly become easier throughout the years. I first became a vegetarian in 1988 or 1989 at the age of 13 or 14. It was hard enough to be a vegetarian back then let alone vegan. I tried to go vegan many times since then, but would resort to just being a vegetarian. I am proud to say that I have been a pretty solid vegan for the past two years. I find it amazingly easy in this day and age because of all of the health food stores that seem to pop up in every neighborhood. Whole Foods is also a franchise that seems to be expanding pretty rapidly. Also, many traditional grocery seem to have organic sections, which is where I buy the majority of my food. If all else fails, their is thousands of items available online, which wasn’t even an option in the late 80s, early 90s. I also find that many people know what the term “vegan” means, especially when I go to restaurants. I remember many times where people would look at me like I was nuts when I said “vegan.” So, I guess my point is that yes, it can still be hard to be vegan at times. But, from my experience, it is certainly a lot easier than it has been in the past.
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Thank you for your post. I’ve been a vegan for about 1 year now. I’m a mother and grandmother and find it a bit easier to commit to veganism now that I live alone. Two of my four children appreciate my choice, and even though they’ve tried the vegan lifestyle it doesn’t seem to fit for them right now. I, too, feel alone at times, and misunderstood, but the majority of the time I feel a deep sadness at how we as a society treat the animals that we share the planet with. So much cruelty and waste. It’s refreshing to experience others compassion for other living things. Thanks again.
Thank you for your comment Linda! 🙂
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I’m a new vegan freak, celebrating 2 months today, but I like saying to myself, “being vegan is easy!” because it makes me feel it’s possible, and sometimes very easy. at home, it is so simple, but going out, being at social gatherings, it can be difficult. and we’re not even at the holidays yet, not looking forward to answering my family’s questions! I love your blog, looking forward to reading more! (I’m also a mom of 2, and at home all day with me they eat vegan, but I let them eat what they want when we are out or with family)
Checked out your blog today and I think that it is great! 🙂 Tried to comment, but it wouldn’t show.
That’s true! When I am on the vegan road, I ever thought that how nice if all the whole world, all the other people are vegetarian, so I will not be faced so much “temptation” from around, such as “only eat fish no meat”, or “you can eat little bit meat, such as steak once a while, that is good for your recovering blood after period time”… How do you think about this, Tiffany? Seems that one nutrition can not be found in the plants food. Shall the vegan take any vitamin pill to supply it? Sorry , my vegan knowledge is not very complete.
Thank you for your sharing The people like me towards to be a vegan, always need the inspiration and encouragement from the real demonstration like you!
HelloI – my name is Vicki Crawford and I am a casting associate in Los Angeles. You have a beautiful family. I was on your blog and also tried to send a message.
I am casting a network series and looking for a fun VEGAN family. This network series wants to give you and your husband or if single, you your dream job…i,e, you are in marketing but always wanted to be a gourmet chef…everyone will be paid, including the children. It’s also a show about parenting and looking for high energy fun family.
I would be happy to explain more – my office number at Cast Iron Productions is 323 822 7398 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope to hear from you soon!
Have a blessed day.
I am from India and practise ahimsa as mentioned in Vedas. Really proud of your conscience, compassion, care, conviction and commitment! May God bless you and your family with health, peace, joy and prosperity! 🙂
Thank you so much! Blessings to you also! 🙂
I am from India and practise ahimsa as per the Vedas. Really proud of your conscience, compassion, care, conviction and commitment!! May God bless you and your family with health, peace, joy and prosperity!!! 🙂