World Vegan Day: Reflecting on My Changing Lifestyle

In case you didn’t know, today is “World Vegan Day” and many people are choosing today’s platform to bring awareness to the harms of eating a diet containing meat.

That said, I am not a vegan or a vegetarian—I still indulge in meat two-to-three times a month— However, I am much more informed these about where my food comes from and I’ve tried to take the necessary steps to ensure that whatever goods I buy are sourced locally.

As a result of my concentrated efforts to change the way I view food, my approach to consumerism is drastically different today than it was a year ago and, to me, it is that change in thinking that embodies the spirit of “World Vegan Day”—opening your mind to options and exploring change on a deeper level.

The intimidating part about veganism (or even vegetarianism for that matter)—at least for me at first—is that many feel they have to jump right in and cut out all meat cold turkey (no pun intended), but that’s simply not the case.

In my situation, I still cook healthy, flavorful, meals for my family, filled with different cuts of chicken, pork, and beef (although red meat is used to a dramatically lesser extent), but I also take the steps to be sure that those meats were processed in a humane way and, in many cases, don’t mind spending a premium to get cuts that were sourced within a 50-mile radius of where we live. I just feel like that’s something I want to do for my family and my children.

And while my diet is slightly different from what my family eats—I tend to use soy, seitan, and tempeh as my meat substitutes—we all have grown accustom to eating healthier portions of fruits, vegetables, and salads on a daily basis in lieu of some of the heavier southern fare that my husband was raised up on. And the difference that has made in his life and theirs has been invaluable to me as a mother and wife.

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