Magnús here. There was an interesting conflict that quickly revealed itself when I turned vegan. At the same time as a whole new world of ideas and options started opening up for me, which is very exciting and fun, it became apparent that it is quite difficult to have a pleasant and constructive conversation about it. If it comes up, non-vegans understandably sometimes get quite defensive. When one side of a conversation becomes defensive, it starts to feel like the other side is attacking and blaming, even if that was not the intention at all. After a few rounds of uncomfortable conversations I become more mindful of this and tried not to “push the agenda” too hard, although it’s not nice to feel like you have to walk on eggshells. It’s can be a great conversation to have, though, and I have had many good ones as well.
There are three main pillars of reasons for why I went vegan. For my own health, for the love of animals, and for the protection of mother earth. I won’t go into detail in this post about these things, there are plenty of sources for those that care to find out how animal agriculture and consumption is affecting us and the planet.
I had eaten less and less meat for about a year when I was propelled into making this choice. After watching several documentaries over the course of a couple of weeks, that made me and Ieva feel like it was the only sane choice, we just just went for it. Not thinking “oh I will never eat a steak again” or “how I can I live without chicken wings?”. Just one day to the next, like ripping of a band-aid. Turns out, it was much easier than I thought! The cheese craving took a few weeks to get out of my system, and that’s also what most people say, “I could never be vegan, I can’t live without cheese!” But in fact, yes, yes you can.
So let’s look at some of the things that came up when I dropped the animal products. First we get the bad stuff out of the way, and then we can focus on the good!
A few interesting, surprising (and some not-so-surprising) CONS about going vegan:
- That when I buy ready made food, there are often very limited or no options at all. Although it’s quickly changing.
- That I can’t “just eat” whatever is offered like most others.
- That I feel people get awkward around me or feel like I’m judging them.
- That you have to watch people around you all. the. time. eating stuff that’s terrible without feeling like you’re able to say anything to change the behaviour. And no, it doesn’t mean I’m judging them, but I want to help them (and the animals and environment!).
But these things are really just a groggy little puddle of bad shit next to the beautiful ocean of things that I love about it. So let’s look at:
Some interesting and surprising PROS about becoming vegan:
- How easy it has been.
- How much fun it has been.
- How much I have learned about cooking and nutrition.
- That I don’t eat nearly as much processed food.
- How rarely I miss anything I used to eat.
- How little I had to sacrifice in terms of flavours and textures. (Almost nothing!)
- That I lost extra weight that had been with me for a long time.
- That my skin doesn’t get as pale in the wintertime.
- That my sweat rarely smells bad anymore.
- How healthy it makes me feel, and comfortable in my body.
- How happy it makes me feel to do something good for the planet and the animals, not partaking in the madness.
- That I’m never “stuffed”, so full of food that I feel bad.
- That I can eat as much as I want without thinking about gaining weight.
- That when you do go to a vegan restaurant, it’s such a big treat.
- That I now know both sides of the conversation on veganism.
The list could go on and on. But let’s leave it at that. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! And if you’re curious about trying I can recommend the 22 Day Vegan Challenge. There are a lot of resources online to help you take your first steps into the wonderful world of plant based living! <3