Four years vegan: what in my life has changed?

Recently, I wrote a post about my vegan journey in which I discussed why I became vegan. Now, I thought I would answer some questions that people have asked me after I turned vegan.

Do I miss any animal products?

Surprisingly, I haven’t had this question come up as often as I thought it would but sometimes, people will ask me if I miss anything and what. When I first went vegan, I didn’t miss what everyone thought I would: cheese. Instead, I really missed cow’s milk in coffee because I felt like nothing could compare to the taste. That went away and now, I can’t even remember what it tastes like and I’m also not sure I would appreciate the taste. Oat milk is so nice and all you have to do is shake the package really well and pour it slowly and – ta da – you have yourself a Cappuccino!

But one thing I still miss and probably will continue to miss for a long time is the convenience of not caring. I don’t mind caring now but I wish very often that vegan food was as readily available as non-vegan foods. Honestly, this is not such a big issue in a city in Sweden where, according to Statista, almost two percent of the population identifies as vegan and the amount of available vegan alternatives is very high but I don’t think it’s so easy in smaller cities and in other countries. Also, the choices of nicer restaurants is not that good and that is something I really do wish was better.

Do I feel better?

Yes and no. As opposed to some people that say that they feel like they have more energy or have cured a disease or gotten rid of their acne, I don’t feel very different at all. I was pretty healthy before going vegan and simply going vegan did not help cure other things that I’ve struggled with, like mental health and arthritis.

But, going vegan has made me feel better about myself to some extent. I now wake up in the morning and know that I’m doing all I can not to cause animals do die unnecessarily and that has been a huge change in my life. I can now truly call myself an animal lover and know it to be true, rather than trying to suppress the uneasy feeling I used to get from calling myself an animal lover while still choosing to eat animals.

Has going vegan caused me to reevaluate other things in my life?

Yes, it actually has! For a long time, I’ve been interested in sustainability questions and how to cope with climate change and as it turns out, veganism was the first step on a great journey toward living a more sustainable life. Doing one thing makes it easier to take the next step as well. In 2018, I made the decision to not fly anywhere for at least five years – which sometimes feels like a daunting task, and I have completely stopped buying new clothes (other than underwear).

Has my relationship to food changed?

Yes. As many women (and some men too), I struggled with food a couple of years ago. I counted calories, I worried about eating too much etc. This all went away when I became vegan and since then, because I’m eating a whole-foods plant based diet, I never feel like I have to worry about eating too many calories. I know that they come from good sources and that what I eat is full of vitamins and fibers and other things that will make me feel good.

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