My Journey as a Vegan

I spent 3.5 years of my life as a vegan.  My dad likes to say that I was, and still am, a carbatarian (which was definitely true, but less so now).  It was definitely an interesting experience.  Everyone asks why I became a vegan, and my answer was usually that I tried it for Lent and just stuck with it.  But the truth is that Justin, my boyfriend, was vegan and I simply followed suit.  I used to say that I liked the diet because it forced me to try new things-- this is somewhat true, because I never would have fallen in love with quinoa had it not been for my vegan diet.  I also liked to say that I felt better eating vegan, which would have been true had I chosen to eat less carbs.  

I honestly don't remember what a standard meal was for me then.  I was vegan basically throughout high school and did my part in discovering all of the junk food that I could eat.  Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos, Oreos (don't think too hard about that one), and classic Chex Mix were all my guilty pleasures.  I also greatly survived off of saltines, hummus, and chocolate soy milk.  I didn't feel like it was that much of a problem at the time.

Tofu pho from the Pho Factory
Currently, I've a vegetarian.  It's not for any moral reasons, and I know Justin wouldn't have a fit if I decided to add meat to my diet.  I choose not to eat meat because it grosses me out.  I don't have a problem with other people having it, but it's just too odd for me now.  There are times when I still binge on the carbs-- a frozen pizza or making a batch of cookies just for myself-- but they aren't as enjoyable. I restrict myself less on the foods I eat, and I think it makes the rebellion just a little bit less sweet.  I don't gain anything by pigging out on junk food except feeling gross.  Making cookies takes a lot less skill then making a good soup, and I would much prefer a meal based off of the latter-- the flavors are more complex if nothing else.  

I know it wasn't the most healthy to be vegan as I was.  If I were to try it again, I would do everything differently.  The thing is, though, that I don't feel a need to go vegan again.  I can feel just as good and try new foods without restricting myself and tempting myself into rebellion.  But being vegan at that point in my life was actually a good thing, I think, even in the carabatarian manner in which I ate.  You see, I was vegan in a part of my life when most girls try to restrict their eating.  I had body issues the same as everyone else.  Being vegan allowed me to feel like I was in control of what I was eating, it was my way of restricting like nearly every girl in high school does somehow.  But the way I was being vegan meant that it did not have adverse effects on me.  Sure I could have eaten more vegetables, but I turned out pretty okay while still being in control.

I don't want to ever go vegan again.  For me, there is no real purpose.  I am all about health and less about the animals.  There isn't much that I can do by not eating animal products when the US subsidizes milk.  But I'm glad I changed my diet when I did, not only so that I could make it through high school with out any horribly disordered eating, but because I'm not really okay with eating vegan products once in a while.  Because while they may not be the best for you, those vegan BBQ riblets are SERIOUSLY delicious.  


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Meet The Author

I'm Madysen, born and raised in Nebraska but now living out my dreams in New York City. I moved here to go to Columbia, but living in New York has become so much more to me. This blog is a space where I can share my experiences of reconciling my midwestern upbringing with the life I live in the city. But even bigger than that, this blog serves as a space where I can try to understand where I fit into the larger social world, where I want to go in life, and how I want to go about pursuing all of these endeavors.

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