10 Signs You'll Go Vegan One Day
Mwahaha, I’m a vegetable psychic now and I’m about to pumpkinize you. Beware if you read this list, you may have thoughts of going cold turkey into the vegan world (pun intended).
Just kidding, I'm not here to tell you what you are or aren’t/will or won’t be one day. I’m simply looking back at the signs in my life that ultimately led me to veganism.
And, by the way, going vegan isn’t the scariest or hardest thing I’ve ever done (I work for a bungy company, every freakin’ day is scary).
If you’re reading this and you’re not vegan, you’re probably thinking, “Okay, what the hell does this girl think she knows about me? I could never go vegan, I like my meat too much!” Plus, “Isn’t it expensive to be vegan?” And, “Do you even get enough protein on a vegan diet?”
I know, I know…you’ve got lots of concerns and apprehensions about these vegan people and what they eat…or more specifically, what they don’t eat. That is exactly what you should be thinking right now, according to just about everyone in society. That is the way that 9 out of 10 people think, so you’re most definitely not alone and you’re certainly more “normal” than a vegan.
But, that’s where it gets fun. Stay with me here…
If you were raised like me, you were taught to fit in with everyone, follow the leader, and listen to your teachers. Take, for example, the food pyramid. What exactly are we taught as kids is a part of a balanced diet? Just about everything on there is thumbs-up okay to eat, even bacon and candy. While balance is important, it sends mixed messages to kids.
When you think about it, though, people these days are barely sticking to this ancient concept of a food pyramid. Where is the gluten free food pyramid? Or the lactose-intolerant pyramid? Have you heard recently that carbs have been criminalized and protein reigns over everything?
Things are changing and you can either embrace it or get left behind. Not to be harsh, but it’s true.
The fun in it all is the experimentation. The thinking out-of-the-box. The innovation.
Don’t tell me that you’re not fascinated by the Impossible Burger. Vegan or not, it’s a peculiar human feat.
People are trying to be different now, more open minded and less beige. The stubborn Sallys will always keep their feet deep in the mud, but we’re in a time of going against the grain and challenging everything our grandparents taught us.
When you’re the first person to try something different or wear something unique, don’t you feel kinda cool? Kinda high on that feeling of challenging the status quo?
My point here is, being vegan is a movement that’ll start turning heads. Some people are adopting it because it’s “trendy” in the sense that the “South Beach Diet” was trendy, but others are doing it because they’re starting to realize there’s more to it than just being a hippie and at one with the earth. Namaste.
This thing is pretty legit…and, it’s a million times less terrifying to adopt than I thought.
Now, this list here is not a “if you’re X, then you’ll definitely be vegan in a year” sorta thing. It’s more of a retrospective idea of how vegans may have been before they started learning more about what a vegan lifestyle is all about.
If you are vegan reading this, you may be able to relate to this list as pre-vegan thoughts or behaviors that you can remember were possible triggers for considering the change.
Let’s dive in!
1. You’re an empathetic person
If you’re an empath, you always absorb the feelings of the people around you. You’re an emotion magnet. Someone cries, it gets you all worked up. Someone is angry, you feel angst inside.
Empathetic people are feelers and it takes an empathetic person to make the connection between an animal and the food you’re eating that came from it.
2. You’ve got a pet (aka you love animals)
Having a pet typically means you’re an animal person. You may love cats, you may love dogs, you may be obsessed with parakeets. Owning a pet means you care for animals and believe they deserve a good life.
When the connection is made that a dog’s life is no different than a pig’s, things will start shifting in your psyche and your view on animals could broaden into love for them all, not just a few select domestic ones.
3. You are gluten, dairy, or peanut free
When you already live with food restrictions, you’re likely a pro at reading labels or ordering food that’s different from everyone else. You know the consequences of eating gluten or dairy…no one enjoys those horrible stomachaches…so you have gotten used to utilizing that section of the grocery store most people just walk passed.
Living with differences in your diet, at this point in history, isn’t the worst thing in the world. Alternatives are pretty easy to come by and most restaurants even have separate menus or take extra care to not cross-contaminate. Being selective about what you eat is already in your nature.
4. You’re vegetarian
As a vegetarian, you’re already halfway there. You may not eat meat because the concept is gross to you or you want to do your part to fight global warming. Being vegetarian means you have an awareness of animal rights, environmental issues, and/or health implications.
Living a vegetarian life means you’ve already paved the way for yourself, you’re just holding onto those last slivers of cheese or buttery croissants. I get it, I’ve been a cheese lover most of my life, but I can tell you, making the switch was a lot easier than I expected.
5. You have tried different diets before
If you’re one to hop on the diet train: Atkins, Ketogenic, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc. to try to get your eating habits in a good place, you’ll likely turn to veganism one day. I know I struggled with my weight for years, obsessing over every single bite and counting every single calorie.
I fluctuated in weight, starved myself, binged and purged and I’ve been a prisoner of the body image and diet-obsessed age we live in.
Once I made the connection and went vegan, I developed the healthiest relationship with food and my body I’ve ever had.
I know that everything I eat is not going to make me want to hate myself afterwards and gorging on plants won’t induce a fear of weight gain.
Going vegan was the best thing I could do for my self-love and my connection to the rest of the world. Who knew that could happen through a diet? (Pssst…being vegan isn’t just a diet, it’s sooo much more. But we can talk more about that another time).
6. You wonder why global warming is such a big deal
If you haven’t taken the time to investigate what this whole global warming conversation is about, you’re probably sitting here reading this thinking…how far fetched is this girl going to get with her pre-vegan theories? Don’t worry; I’ve got a point.
Global warming, at the rate it’s occurring, will destroy this planet in our lifetime.
It’s no longer just the idea that we’re leaving a legacy for our children to suffer from; WE are going to feel the effects of it if you haven’t already.
Before going vegan, I never considered myself a die-hard environmentalist. I didn’t need to and I didn’t know why it was important.
Before the Flood was the first doc that sparked my curiosity about the environment and subsequently veganism. From there it was a domino effect.
If you’re wondering about global warming, but haven’t sat down to learn about it. Now is the time, my dear friend.
7. You apologize too much
Random one, hey!? It’ll make sense in a second. I promise.
If you apologize too much, you’re naturally prone to feeling guilty about things even if it’s not your fault. Someone bumps into you and you say, “Sorry.” Someone cuts you off in a conversation, they apologize and so do you. You may not feel total agony in your heart every time you say, “I’m sorry,” but you do have tendencies for feel bad about more than you have to.
Saying you’re sorry when you don’t have to may indicate that you feel bad when other people feel pain or are negatively impacted by something.
Apologizing is a sign that you want them to know you feel guilty that they’ve experienced an affliction of some kind.
See where I’m going with this?
If you feel bad about everything or apologize all the time, I have this theory that you may go vegan one day. If you don’t want another human to feel the negative impacts of an intentional or unintentional mishap then that could one day extend to animals.
You’re probably not going to be okay with seeing someone kick his/her dog or step on a cat’s tail. You may feel awful when you accidentally hit a bird with your car when there was absolutely nothing you could have done about it.
You have an empathetic capacity in you and I believe that could extend to the animals you currently eat.
Just a theory…
8. You’ve said, “I could never give up cheese”
Oh the words of every vegan before they went vegan. Legitimately, I bet every single vegan, who wasn’t raised vegan from birth, has said that. You could replace the word “cheese” for “ice cream” or “butter” or “milkshakes,” but at one point or another, we believe we can’t live without one of our favorite tasting foods. I mean, why would we want to?
Chicken wings or a wine & cheese platter were staples to my favorites list for most of my life. You’re probably thinking about yours right now. I’m not judging, I have 100% been there. Damn you Ben & Jerry’s for being so freakin’ delicious!
I’ll tell you a secret, though. Giving up chicken wings, cheese, and ice cream was actually not as hard as I thought.
Once I made the connection and realized what each thing I was eating actually was, I saw it differently. I couldn’t look at a chicken wing with the same finger-licking gaze I used to. I saw a cheese platter and pictured where it came from.
Things changed and so did my favorites.
Yeah, vegan cheese tastes different, but my taste buds have also changed since adopting veganism. If you don’t believe me, ask another vegan if they’ve had the same experience. I know you may be sitting there thinking skeptically, but the vegan options these days are only getting better. Plus, I can eat them all without feeling the guilt or the stomach aches I used to.
If you’ve never tried a vegan alternative like cashew cheese, almond milk, or egg-free aioli, I dare you to try one this week. Keep your mind open, you may like it more than you think!
9. You either love to cook or
you always cook the same thing(s) on repeat, nothing in between
Do you make the same grilled chicken and pasta every night? Is it eggs for breakfast every single day…maybe you change up the style of eggs? How often do you whip out a cookbook and actually experiment with flavors and spices? If you’re like me before I went vegan, it’s a never.
I had the most basic cooking skills of any human out there before I went vegan. I had never chopped up an onion; I didn’t even know how to peel garlic. I was embarrassingly basic in the kitchen-skill department. But, I didn’t need to know anything more. I survived just fine on my chicken breast over a spinach salad.
After I went vegan, I had to get creative. I had to learn more about the culinary world if I didn’t want to just remove that piece of chicken and eat the bed of spinach beneath it. I started testing out new spices and meddled with vegetables I had never tried before.
That’s when things got interesting…and a crap ton more delicious.
On the flip side…
If you’re a master chef and know what’s up with herbs and crazy food combinations, then you’ve already got the passion for food behind you. You aren’t afraid to try new recipes or experiment with things you can’t even pronounce. I bet you can already make a vegan dish that’ll turn heads without much practice.
My theory is that if you’re on one side of the foodie spectrum or the other, not in the middle, you’re going to be a champ at being vegan one day. Being clueless in the kitchen means your cooking skills can be shaped around a plant-based diet and being an expert means you’ve already got the talent, you just have to change up the ingredients.
This one may seem far-fetched, but I’m willing to bet most vegans would’ve considered themselves either below average chefs before they made the change or really good at cooking that took ingredient swapping.
10. You think eating chicken off the bone is weird
Last but not least, the bone-a-phobe! Do you cut the little bits of chicken on a chicken wing off the bone instead of eating it with your hands because eating off a bone makes you feel weird?
If you’re not a caveman from tens of thousands of years ago or a cannibal, it’s understandable that you think eating meat off a bone is weird. It’s eating the flesh off of another living being’s body.
Sexy advertisements know how to make eating meat off a bone much less weird, but the inherent weirdness still remains.
Before I was vegan, cutting steak off a bone reminded me that the flesh came from an animal, but I was still desensitized from what that actually meant. Plus, the taste of steak is a sure fire way to distract you from feeling that denial.
I know; I’ve been there, too.
However, once that connection is made, I mean for real, you can’t un-see your meal as a living cow that was once roaming the pastures (ideally) hanging out with its other moo-happy friends.
You’ll either read this article and think, “Yeah, this girl is off her rocker,” or it’ll sit funny with you for a while.
I can tell you truthfully, I was all of those things before I went vegan. Every single one (except the expert chef) and I never in a million years thought I would go vegan…until I did. All it took was a spark of curiosity and an open mind. Once I started learning, I couldn’t go back.
My life has improved ten fold since I’ve gone vegan. I’m not shitting you. I know the label can be scary and the idea that you won’t be able to enjoy your mom’s favorite stew is daunting, but as you grow up, you realize sometimes it’s worth letting some things go.
If you make peace with the past and make room for the new, the changes you’ll experience will inevitably sculpt you into a better person you ever thought you could be. Plus, it’s pretty cool seeing the world with a new set of eyes and knowing you’re on a kick ass side of humanity.
Did any of these things on the list resonate with you? Tell me in the comments below! If you fit at least four of the things on the list, I bet you’re going to go vegan one day. ;)