Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Going Vegan in 2015: Making the Choice

Two years ago I gave up all "red meat."  Now, since different people have different definitions of what that means, I went with the simple phrase - no more mammals or simply "my four-legged friends."  I did this for personal and ethical reasons and as a stepping stone toward complete vegetarianism.  

It was quite simple. I wasn't eating much of these meats anyway, so removing them from my diet had very little effect on my eating habits and lifestyle.  That was January 2013.  I went two years like that - unable to make that next jump to eliminating all fish and poultry as well. Why?  Honestly, convenience and so that I wouldn't have to deal with what people would say - you know, the critics, the skeptics.  I can hear them now, "What are going to eat? You're crazy!"

People go vegetarian or vegan for various reasons.  For some it is purely for their health - possibly even imposed on them from medical doctors.  Others try these diet lifestyles simply to lose weight. While both of these reasons are valid and sometimes downright necessary, I feel if you choose this way of eating for health or weight loss you might become resentful or simply find it too difficult to stick with.

A third reason, and MY reason, people decide to lead vegetarian or vegan lifestyles is for personal, moral reasons.  They simply want to live a less-cruel existence.  And, frankly, for this purpose, adapting your diet comes easy. Tired of the conflicts within, I just needed peace in my heart on this topic.  

Sometime in 2014 I knew that going full vegetarian was in my cards and set a date for January 2015. I could no longer say with good conscience it is okay for me to eat birds and fish but not mammals. Plus, if I was going to be vocal against people eating cats and dogs, I was going to have to come to terms with my own beliefs and stop engaging in speciesim. Why is okay to eat chickens but not dogs? The answer, for me, is it isn't right to eat either. 

By the final months of 2014, I knew I'd made the right choice to give up poultry and fish because I could no longer touch or smell raw flesh without getting nauseated AND without visualizing the eyes of the animal just before it was slaughtered.  

But vegan?  Me? I'm a person that can live on cheese alone!  However, I knew I would have to eventually deal with the conflicts within me regarding dairy and eggs - where animals are sentenced to a lifetime of suffering and imprisonment. 

When the vegan community on Twitter started a campaign for people to try vegan in January (#Veganuary) I knew I had to give it a try.  After all, I had read and seen images of the dairy industry and, with reason, many would argue it is worse than the meat industry.  So, in December 2014, I cut out poultry and ate my last fish.  I started to slowly eliminate obvious dairy and eggs (no more omelets!) in preparation for the new year. 

Over the next few months, I will be blogging about my experiences into veganism.  I'll give you my honest accounts of successes and failures, some helpful tips and resources (the video below is full of great information), and will vent frustrations as I encounter them. I will NOT criticize those who do NOT eat a vegetarian or vegan diet. I will also not expect perfectionism from myself.  I simply want to journal my experience.  I hope you follow me on this journey even if you never had any inclination to go vegetarian or vegan. Feedback, encouragement, and tips are welcome! 

For more articles in this series, visit Going Vegan in 2015.

Dr. Neal Barnard talks about the benefits of a plant-based diet. 

P.S. Check out this coumadin diet guide article from my sponsor INR Tracker.


  1. I enjoyed reading your article, It gave a lot of information and I wish you good luck on your journey.

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. And, please, if you have any experience on this topic, I'd love to hear from you.

  2. Congrats! That is pretty amazing. I had thought of going vegan, but I didn't have the courage (or the willpower!)

    1. I know, it took me two years to go from no mammals to vegan. All I had to do was torture myself with some horrifying videos and there was no turning back. It's not nearly as difficult as I thought and I've even learned how to eat out. I should be posting my next installment soon - hope you follow along! Thanks for commenting!

  3. Wonderful post Nikki. I'm looking forward to learning more and getting an honest testimony. Several of my family members have expressed interest in this area. It will be nice to gain honest input.

    Diane Lynn

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting. See the entire series on Going Vegan at