Early in 2012 I started reaching out to vegan friends on twitter to ask them to share their testimonials. My hope was that by getting vegans to share their stories we could educate and inspire others and give people first hand accounts to replace perceptions or stereotypes. I’m incredibly grateful to those that have participated. Their stories speak for themselves! If you enjoy the series please let us know!
When I turned vegan, my whole life changed. I had been vegetarian for a long while already. That decision was based on a desire to protect animals, and I had heard snippets about veganism from various sources for a long time. I wasn’t able to go all the way until one day my best friend asked me to accompany her to Red Mango (a frozen yogurt chain). I went with her and we sat down and then I looked at the yogurt she had ordered: fully realizing now what it was, where it came from, and the animals that were harmed in getting it to her plate. That, coupled with a horrendous visit I had to an animal market in Ecuador a few months before, absolutely sealed the deal. I had been practicing veganism for a while, quietly, without telling anyone, seeing if I could do it, but that day I realized I had to complete my transition: I was done.
Then, I was better. In every single way.
Let’s start with physically. I feel more comfortable in my own skin. My hair looks and feels so healthy. My nails are much stronger than they ever were when I was eating dairy. They don’t break at all. And my skin! I still have scars from teenage acne and bruises, but my skin is glowing and healthy and not dry or rough, and I QUIT BREAKING OUT. How come no one ever told me getting rid of dairy would do that?! I don’t need as much sleep. I have much more energy. I also just sort of “settled” at this perfect balance and harmony with my body physically to where it sort of knows what’s good and what’s not. If I spent a night eating lots of junk food and doing horrible things before, my body would have a meltdown. Now, it sort of just bounces back quickly to balance, as does my mind. Which leads me to….
Mentally. This is the biggest. I struggled a lot for the better part of my childhood and adolescence with depression and other issues. Everything seemed to be really hard. Now…stuff just…slips away. I feel lighter. I don’t get mad as easily, or at all. I used to have a crazy hot temper, and now I just feel calm and peaceful. And happy. I know, if you aren’t vegan, you are reading this and thinking, this girl is freaking nuts. Even if you are vegetarian, you don’t know yet how much of a huge impact cutting out dairy can have on your body and mind. But it’s like a personality transformation…one that’s here to stay because it’s not based on drugs or anything artificial. I feel so happy, so grateful to be alive, and I think it’s because my body isn’t trying to process all the negative intake. Not to mention, the days that I eat macro or raw…I cannot stop smiling.
Spiritually…I am just way more open. And I spend more me time, and that helps me do more for others. It’s now become very easy for me to just sit in silence for a few minutes and breathe and appreciate everything around me. I know you think this is something that I worked really hard at, but no. It’s easy to just be calm and peaceful and happy in my own body.
The feelings that define my day are peacefulness and gratitude. You may think I must be a naturally zen person. But that’s not the case. That’s who I am now.
My body feels the way it was always meant to feel. I feel beautiful, and happy, and glowing. Sure, I absolutely love knowing that something I’m about to consume doesn’t have any animal products in it, and that nothing had to die for me to feel this way. That’s why I became a vegan. Who knew about all these other benefits? And I love knowing that I’m saving the planet (and maybe the world) with every food decision I make. It’s become easier to care, easier to love, easier to feel.
I’m not interested in proselytizing. I just feel amazing, like I’ve never felt before, and I want other people to feel as great as I do. But I know if it’s meant to happen for others it will happen in their own time.
I love life and living it, and I feel good.
I am so grateful to Anjali for sharing her story! Please let her know you appreciated it as well! You can follow Anjali on twitter @AnjaliSareen and at her blog.
Feeling inspired? Do you have a story to tell? Please read this post and learn how you can be part of the Vegan Testimonials Project. There are also some interviews about the project that you may enjoy. Kasey Minnis (@veggiemightee) interviewed me for This Dish is Veg. Ashley Flitter also interviewed me about the project on The Unintentional Vegan.