My Vegan History

My name is Kali.  I'm twenty-two, a maths student, and relatively new to veganism.

My Ridiculous Sunhat says hello.
I first tried veganism at sixteen, and it went disastrously.  I couldn't cook, didn't buy food, and didn't have regular access to google.  I had no idea what I was doing, and no support.

At twenty-one, I started dating a vegetarian, David.  Vegetarianism isn't something that's ever appealed to me, as I find it hard to see what good it does when the atrocities associated with, for example, dairy farming, are still going on.  Still, being around him made me a lot more aware of what I was eating, and brought back all those feelings that made me try veganism at sixteen.  But, I was frightened.  I thought it would be difficult; I didn't think I had enough willpower.  It scared me, the idea of saying "I'll never eat that again".

After viewing this video, in July of 2010, I decided to be a vegetarian most of the time, unless we went to an expensive restaurant, in which case, I would order what I liked.  We never actually did that, so I ended up being a vegetarian full-time, except for one lapse on my birthday, in August.

I still felt that being vegetarian wasn't enough, and, finding it a lot easier than I expected, I decided to try veganism.  Not forever - just one year.  2011.  I persuaded David to join me in this project, although we broke up very shortly after starting, and I have no idea how he's getting on, if he is at all.

I started in September, by eating vegan for three days every week.  I was raised on chips (fries), and only started trying to eat vegetables regularly at this point.  I used to find that most vegetables made me gag, and were difficult to force down, but, after trying them some 15-30 times, I found that my tastebuds would stop whining about it and just went with it.  Some things took a bit longer, and I was physically sick once or twice, but, eventually, it became easier to eat vegetables regularly.

Anyway, this unfamiliarity made it tricky to find vegan recipes at first, so I started in this manner so that I could make it a bit easier on myself.  I could push myself to be vegan, and find new recipes for an entire day at a time, then have a day off.  I also made a rule about not trying out any new recipes that weren't vegan, so as not to tempt myself with delicious meals made with animal products.

In October, I added another day, and ate vegan four days a week.  Five in November, six in December, and 24/7 in January.  I also started posting here, and watching more videos and reading more articles concerning animal products.

I found November to be the most painful month.  Then, I was going for long stretches solely eating as a vegan.  I found that the cravings for cheese really kicked in here.  I also found my mind doing odd things; meat would go from being absolutely disgusting, to abstract, to appetising, and back again.

Once I got through this stage, which lasted for a month or so, life became much easier.  Once I stopped craving cheese, the hard part was over.

I last ate cheese on New Year's Eve, more as a last hurrah than because I wanted it.  I didn't enjoy it all that much, and I didn't regret my decision not to eat it again.

I last ate egg in the early days of January.  I ate onion rings without checking the ingredients until afterwards, when I found that the batter contained egg.  Most onion rings don't, so I hadn't thought to check.  I also started seeing Anthony around this time.  He's an omnivore who isn't threatened by the idea of eating or cooking vegan, though he was at first sceptical about how enjoyable vegan food could be.  He was also a bit disappointed about my lack of appreciation for his chicken, paprika, and mozzarella sandwich.

I last ate a non-vegetarian item on the 4th of April.  Again, I failed to read an ingredients list correctly.  It was an iced Hello Kitty biscuit, and while I checked the allergens for eggs and milk, I missed the bit of the ingredients list that said 'beef gelatin'.  I simply didn't expect to have to look for it in a biscuit (cookie).

Now I eat vegetables easily, even ones which previously made me sick.  I enjoy making vegan recipes - I find that I need more creativity, and have more fun than I did before.  I also have more options, not less, now I've done away with the fussiness.

All in all, veganism is working out for me.  I'm still taking it in baby steps, one day at a time, but every day, I get more and more comfortable with my diet.
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