Becoming vegan was never part of my plan. I loved cheese, and chicken was my favorite food… how could I give that up? Over the summer of 2015, I babysat a young girl whose whole family was vegan. She would always show me vegan snacks and foods and we would try them together. To my surprise, almost every vegan snack or meal we tried tasted exactly like its non-vegan counterpart. I ended up buying a lot of those things she showed me, which led me to further my research into the vegan lifestyle.
I began to watch videos online about the vegan lifestyle, and afterwards began to watch videos showing the harm done to the animals, our planet, and ourselves with a non-vegan diet. It hit me extremely hard, and I spread the word immediately, but I still couldn’t go vegan. I hadn’t found a way to give up those things I loved so much. Believe me, I immediately began to eat less of those things, but I couldn’t quit so suddenly.
I came up with a plan in mid-October of 2015. Though at this point, I still never believed I could fully go vegan. I started to eat vegan once a week, that’s all. After a few weeks of this, I began to eat vegan twice a week, and so on. Around January, I had worked my way up to 6 days a week. I thought, “If I can eat vegan 6 days a week with no problems, why not try 7?” So I did. And that week changed my life forever.
The week I decided to eat fully vegan was the best I had felt in my life. I felt absolutely amazing! I was bursting with energy, I wasn’t as tired, I wasn’t bloated, and I was no longer constipated constantly. In addition to that, I am an extremely intense athlete, and my training was the best that it had ever been, up until that point.
“If I am capable of eating this way and I feel this good, why would I not want to eat this way?”
That was the week I decided to go fully vegan.
For the first month, I labeled myself as a Paris/Travel vegan, meaning I would not eat vegan when I traveled and I would not eat vegan when out with friends or family. That never happened, and I quickly removed those labels. Now I am an occasional travel vegan, depending on where I travel; you can read more about that on my blog at www.wonderfully-raw.com!
When I first joined the vegan community, I didn’t know much about it. I understood where our ethical opinions, environmental opinions, and opinions on animal agriculture stood, but I didn’t understand it verydeeply. As I continued on my journey in the vegan community, I made it a priority to not only become more educated myself, but to also help the world become more educated.
I created a blog a few months before I chose to follow a vegan diet, but I didn’t use it much due to lack of content and lack of knowledge in the health field. I also had an Instagram, where I posted healthy recipes, but not much else. As I did more research and became increasingly more knowledgeable on the topic of veganism, I was able to speak freely about it on both platforms and help educate people around the globe. I talk about my life as a vegan and try to be a role model to others who would like to try the lifestyle as well. I also write and sell meal plans to help people transition to a healthy, balanced, and eventually, plant-based diet.
I haven’t belonged to the vegan community for very long, but I know it’s a community I will continue to be a part of throughout my entire life. As of right now, I don’t have a significant place in the vegan community. I am just one voice. However, I am so proud to belong to this community.
I may just be one person, but I am making a change in this world.
I encourage you to try out veganism! Start small, with just one day a week, and work your way up; see how you feel! Also, check out Gary Yourofsky’s “The Most Important Speech You Will Ever Hear”—it’s extremely eye opening!
And Happy World Vegan Day!
– By Sophie Dixon