Over the last few months I’ve been having a lot of conversations about why I removed animal products from my life, with people who eat a Standard American Die . It was through these conversations about why I went plant-based that I realized how my motivation and dedication to a plant based lifestyle has evolved so much over the past 6 years.
In the beginning, I quickly learned that removing meat from my diet wasn’t the most comfortable thing ever. I was a freshman in college, living in a dorm with no kitchen - just a microwave and mini-fridge. I ate a salad two times a day, French fries at every meal, pasta, veggie burgers and tons of fruit. Looking back I can say that I genuinely had no idea what I was doing. I went back and forth with being a non-dairy pescatarian or a non-dairy vegetarian for the first two years. It was ok in the beginning because I ate what felt good, not what was necessarily healthy for me.
About 4 years ago I realized that I wanted to stop eating meat and animal products entirely because they didn’t make me feel good. It was really that simple. I realized that eating meat was convenient and that was truly the only reason I ate it. I noticed that I didn’t even really like the texture - I just enjoyed the flavors that coated the meat.
As I graduated from college, traveled, and read more, I began to realize that the benefits of being plant-based stemmed beyond my physical health. I realized the spiritual effects too. I felt lighter. Moving to a rural, big ag/farm town in California showed me the direct environmental hazards of eating meat. The smell outside my door (I live a mile away from a dairy farm) is enough to motivate me to maintain a plant-based diet. Until we become a country with hard and transparent food and agricultural laws, I will continue to avoid the global meat industry.
If you would’ve asked me 7 years ago if I could remove dead meat from my diet I would’ve said, “so then what do you want me to eat?” I don’t think I could have fathomed cooking a meal without meat. The most significant factor in me living a successful plant-based journey is me learning how to cook plant-based meals.
I truly live a lifestyle that is sustained without animal products and its a lot more easier than it felt in the beginning. The journey thus far has been incredible. I’ve learned so much about myself (spiritually), my culture and my habits after removing animal products from my lifestyle.
I genuinely encourage you to live a life less revolved around animal products. Learn to listen to your body. Take a break from a lifestyle structured by convenience. I say all of this to say, enjoy the journey because once you know better, you do better.
With love, Breanna.