What’s a vegan?

A few months ago I had a date with a guy who asked me a question I hear often, “Vegan? What’s that?” After I explain it means I eat no animal products, he asked the second most common question, “So what do you eat?Vegetables?” He seemed surprised when I answered yes.

Since I encounter these and other similar questions about veganism often, I thought I would make a blog where I can post recipes to show people exactly what vegans eat. I have been a vegetarian for 5 years, and a vegan for a year now. I went vegetarian for animal rights. I always felt guilty about eating meat growing up but I never really said anything about it. And to be honest, I never liked the taste of it, I just ate it because mom told me to eat it. But I went vegan—in addition to wanting to stop the exploitation of animals–for health reasons. My uncle died of a heart attack last year and it scared me. He was fairly young but did not take care of himself. He was a very sweet man, and although I did not known him very well, I really do miss him. I have a horrible health history on both sides of my family–heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. But I do not have to follow the same path my relatives took.

Before I made the official decision, I researched veganism, which lead me ultimately learn more about the food industry. I was horrified, but I will spare you the details.  I knew that I could learn from my family’s mistakes, and take proactive steps to counteract my terrible genes. I went vegan because I want to live to be 100. I want my great-grandchildren to sing to me on my 100th birthday.

However, I know that I have no right to tell people what they can and can’t do—just like no one has the right to tell me what to do either. So I am not preaching that everyone should become a vegan right this minute. In fact, to be honest, I don’t care. I believe everyone should do what is right for them. I believe eating an all plant-based diet is what is right for me.

This blog is just to help people understand that being vegan does not mean all you eat is bland salad. In fact, we eat some insanely delicious things. And if you see something you like, give it a try, you might be surprised. And feel free to alter to your tastes, even if your tastes aren’t vegan.

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