The Vegan Experience

Sizzling bacon, creamy ice cream, thick juicy steak.

By definition, vegans can’t eat any of these things- or more specifically, any animal based products.

After seeing vegan friendly products featured at popular stores like Lush, Central Market, Whole Earth Provisions and Freebirds as well as go-vegan promotions all over sites like Peta, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter. I wanted to make sure that going vegan was the right choice for me, I wanted to get all perspectives.

The good, the bad, the ugly.

The Good: 

Starting the diet had its advantaged including increased energy, preventing obesity and diabetes, and decreased risk of stroke and heart disease increased by fatty foods loaded with saturated fat, cholesterol and hormones. There were, of course, other benefits like ensuring you had no part in the killing of innocent animals, which was why Danylle Hernandez (11) was a vegetarian.

“(Eating meat) grosses me out. It doesn’t seem right. The only reason we’re not eating each other is because we can talk. If someone was killing a cow and the cow was like, ‘Hey man, what the heck’ we probably wouldn’t eat them. I’ve been a veggie queen for 5 years this September.” Hernandez said proudly.

I stand up for animal rights, and after seeing the viral slaughter video Peta released late June this summer, I haven’t really looked at packaged meat the same way.

Dr Katz, was featured on the Oprah show and did a special on the vegan diet early this summer in July.

“The benefits of a vegan diet extend beyond your own health to that of the planet. Eating plants, rather than feeding plants to animals and then eating the animals, makes much more efficient use of land and water, and produces far less pollution. Eating less meat means fewer industrial farms and fewer animals subjected to harsh treatment,” he explained on the show.

My inner hippie was doing somersaults- helping the planet and not being a contributor to animal cruelty definitely sounded like something I wanted to be a part of.

Danylle Hernandez (11) shows off vegan friendly jewelry by christyrobinson.com
Photo by Sarah Morales

 

The Bad:

While only eating food that came from the ground sounded healthy enough, most vegans actually had to take dietary supplements to make up for the loss of protein and iron in their diet and more often than not, the vegan diet just doesn’t agree with your system.

“I was a vegetarian for two years. No one tells you how bad it is for your body. You get a lot of your vitamins and nutrition from meat you eat,” Thomas Duncan (12) said.

The Ugly:

“When I was in middle school I was put in the hospital from eating undercooked meat,” said Jackie Pinedo (12). “It put me off eating meat and I’ve just stuck with it.”

She was convincing; undercooked meat was super gross and definitely not worth being hospitalized for; eating natural meant never facing the repercussions of eating undercooked meat.

The verdict was 2-1; it sounded rewarding enough so I decided to go vegan for just one week and see if it was something I could handle as a lifestyle choice.

It was the hardest week of my life.

I had no idea how much cheese, meat, eggs, or snack foods I ate, or how many manufactured animal based products like my mousse, deodorant, body wash, shampoo and conditioner I used, and after eating basically fruits, veggies and nuts I always felt hungry. I had never wanted hot, processed food more badly than I had that week.

I did feel more refreshed and good about my body, and my body responded well to the diet; I was sleeping better, feeling more energized, and I honestly think I was happier.

I decided not to entirely go vegan or vegetarian because I like food so much and I would hate having to take supplements every day just to function, but I did want to benefit from a good diet, so I made the decision to go vegan at least twice a week.

I think going vegan has a lot of benefits- in moderation.

I had a tender moment with ice cream after I finished the diet.
Photo by Sarah Morales
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About Sarah Morales

My name is Sarah and I'm the head editor :-)

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