The term Vegan is quite trendy on social media and is all over the internet.
Just like how you bumped into this blog, I happened to bump into many posts on social media regarding veganism about four to five months back.
Well, what is veganism? And what’s all the hype about? Here are some of the doubts I had before I decided to choose a vegan lifestyle.
Just a diet?
Vegan: The word refers to anything that is free of animals or animal products, like meat, fish, eggs, honey, milk, wool, silk etc, etc.
This sounded a bit too extreme to me, urmm, well at first.
I always wanted to become a vegetarian. I also gave it a try a few times and failed miserably. I just couldn’t get over the taste of chicken and fish (the only meat I used to eat). But this time I was adamant. I knew I had to ‘make the connection’ and turn into a vegetarian. I decided it’s time I learn how exactly my food ends up on my plate. And so I took the standard approach and watched a documentary.
I watched ‘Earthlings’.
While watching it, I kept telling myself, relax, it just happens outside India. But does it really? Are these all isolated cases?
And just halfway into this documentary it made me upset and I felt I never paid for these things to happen. I mean this doesn’t cover Indian animal agriculture(it did cover the leather industry in the second of half 🙁). I wanted to know the scene in India, so I paused it, and being one of those ‘seeing is believing’ kind of a prick,I googled about meat and dairy industry in India. Well the meat industry turned out to be absolutely barbaric and nothing different from what I watched in the documentary.
But what really shocked me the most was the dairy industry. I couldn’t fathom the stuff I learned from birth; things like “COWS GIVE US MILK“.
How dumb was I not to realise that we steal it from her and not just her milk but her baby as well.
In some cases, there’s also a practice of hanging the calf’s head on a stick next to the cow so that she produces more milk.
And if that wasn’t enough, the milk that we drink may have pus. And abroad there’s a minimum amount of somatic cells allowed in the milk sold. This is not even mentioned on Indian milk packages. WTF!
Facing my hypocrisy
You see, I’m a dog lover and hence I always thought of myself as an animal lover. Boy oh boy, did EARTHLINGS just smack my cognitive dissonance right in the face. This documentary made me question my lifestyle, ethics and redefine the word ‘humane’ for me.
Forget about being a vegetarian, I just knew the right thing to do now was to become a vegan.
A Niche Vegan
So I’m a vegan now, ’yaaay’. But…
A week later, I’m all tired and weak. What’s wrong? I thought this was supposed to be a fit diet? What the health! right?
Obviously even non vegans were to feel the same if they were to starve themselves. Well I had not researched about the food I was going to eat and it was a rookie mistake.
I read about what vegans eat (and it’s not just salads). I learned a whole new way of veganizing some non- vegetarian dishes as well. And honestly I’ve never felt better. After turning to veganism, the amount of fruits and vegetables I eat in a week is more than what I usually ate in a month.
And this was when my vegan journey began. I learned more about nutrition, protein, calcium, iron, omega-3s, phew!! Just to name a few.
It is not tough to become a vegan. It’s about having the right attitude and strongly believing in the cause for which you’re a vegan.
I’m a vegan in a small state of India where most of them have not even heard of this term.
A state where fish curry rice is the way of life.
I am a hopeful vegan in Goa.