The Tipping Point – Going Vegan
Ever heard the line – ‘I know I should be, and I believe that going vegan is the right thing, but…’ and an onset of cheese-loving, comfort-eating excuses spill out in front of the both of you? Whenever I experience this it raises the question: at what point does a person “become” vegan? When exactly is the tipping point?
How it always starts
Whenever I’m around new people, whether it was at a new job, social club or event it doesn’t take long for people to find out that I follow a vegan diet (surprise, surprise). Despite what you may think I am not a t-shirt wearing in-your-face vegan with a constant and pressing concern to let everyone I meet know it. Being human, we like food and drink and for the same point we eat a lot of it, so I usually meet people in a setting surrounded by food, and that picks me out as different. It is the difference in behaviour during these situations when people may ask, “you veggie?” and I respond, “nah, vegan.”
Now, at this point in time, through years of personal experience most conversations continue along this subject matter. It is not religion or politics and so it seems like a safe place to find some common ground, or at the least a couple minutes’ worth of conversation to fill the gap until the next thing. One thing that astounds me with these chats is the amount of people I meet that have thought about or actively tried a vegan diet. It makes me feel that the vegan community is on the edge of exploding in size but there is something holding it back. What the heck is it?
A Baptism by Fire…
… or more accurately, a weekend of watching documentaries like Earthlings and Cowspiracy. My personal journey started with an influx of new knowledge. It began with a chat with workmates about what we had watched recently which led me to learn about the environmentally destructive force behind largescale animal industries. Here I was, cycling everywhere and recycling everything, and suddenly discovering that those pro-environmental efforts were vastly out-shadowed simply by not having a beef burger that day. It didn’t take long for me to put in some more research, mainly with the thoughts – “what about milk and cheese?” “Surely eggs and fish are fine?” My efforts and ideas about what world I wanted to live in were suddenly faced with an enormous moral question.
Do you carry on with the knowledge that your actions are harming something you truly care for?
For me it was simple. For others I understand it’s not so. I gave myself a month to “transition”. This would give me enough time to research everything I needed to know about diet; what would I lose out on? How could that be replaced?
Then I started worrying about costs. Would I be able to afford it? Is eating out going to be a nightmare?
The vegan internet communities had all the answers, my favourite one being that it can actually get cheaper. And it did!
Finally I thought of the criticism I would get from family and friends. Thankfully it was no more than a few smarmy remarks about getting tofu stuck in my beard, but I knew this could be a problem for some.
The month I gave myself to transition turned into 3 days. I have never once looked back with regret, or felt unhealthy because of it.
Other ways around it
This of course is only one story, ignited by a moral concern alongside environmental worries. Depending on the motivations for leading a plant-based diet the path to veganism could be drastically different. For those of you who have no moral concerns but are interested in the health benefits, what I have written above may be incomparable to your experience. Still, with the knowledge you could be healthier eating a vegan diet, what stops you?
I made Go! Vegan Box to make it that much simpler, with a focus on providing the essential vitamins and minerals in from rich and interesting food sources. Countless human examples exist as evidence that it is doable. I won’t say it is easy for everyone, but it gets easier by the month. We are fast growing community and it’s truly inspiring to see what people are doing with their world.
Are you on the tipping point?
If so, read the following:
Have you ever said: “I know I should, but…”?
What is it that is truly stopping you, and how can the vegan community help? Comment below!
If it’s cheese – here in the UK we have Tesco and Sainsbury’s putting out reasonably priced and extremely convincing coconut based products (although I have yet to come across a good cheddar substitute). If you want to make an extra effort for some more exotic vegan cheeses then there are plenty speciality stores and some online stuff too.
If you just “love” something soo much – ever heard the phrase… If you love them, let them go? We’ve heard it before in movies, songs, and images of modern day romance in whatever form. If you loved someone so much but you knew it was causing hurt would you hold on? If you loved someone so much and you knew it was hurting them and you would you still hold on? If you loved someone with all your heart and you knew it hurt them, you, everyone around you and the planet you live on wouldn’t you let them go?
Yes? Good! It’s basically the same with meat and dairy.
This was not an easy article to write as we all have our differing perspectives and situations and I know for many it probably wasn’t as easy or as simple as it was for me. Yet for those that do have it easy – what is really stopping you but yourself?
Please leave a comment if you have had similar experiences with people on the tipping point, and/or let me know how your transition went.
Peace & Love