There are special days in your life that stick out to you. Birthday, of course, anniversaries, cat's birthdays (my Leo is also a Leo), holidays... and of course, your veganniversary! Veganniversaries are so special, because it's another year you can celebrate living a compassionate lifestyle, another year you chose your heart over your stomach, and another year of being part of the solution. Today makes 4 years I've been doing all of those things, and more. So, before this day is officially over, I wanted to do a post to share the 4 things I've learned over the past year, and how my veganniversary was.
Let's talk lessons learned:
1) Some people can't be reasoned with. You can certainly try to have a conversation, where there's no pointing fingers or insults, with an omnivore. Some people are willing to listen, and it's even better when those people are willing to try a vegan meal you made, or check out a vegan place with you. Then, there's other people, that just love to fight you, tooth and nail, front and back, on your lifestyle. It doesn't matter how many valid points you make. "We've always eaten meat, it's natural, plants have feelings too (they don't FYI), you're eating my food's food...' the list goes on. I've learned that, when it comes to those people, just let them be. Sure, I want everyone to be vegan. A compassionate lifestyle for everyone is my dream. But it won't happen, and stressing yourself out and wasting time on those types of people is wasted energy you could be using to help animals, or talk to someone more open minded.
2) The "Where do you get your protein from?" question will never ever end. Some people are just ignorant to how food works. They've been told their whole lives protein comes from animals and animal by-products, so it's impossible to get enough protein, complete protein at that, on a vegan diet. I probably get more protein than your average omnivore, and I've got blood work to prove it. Legumes, quinoa, beans, peas, nuts, protein shakes, protein bar, protein non-dairy milk... I get my protein from food, just like everyone else.
3) Organic, vegan, and gluten free are all different; but get confused constantly. If I had a nickel for every time someone tried to offer me an organic or gluten free option as a vegan option, I wouldn't have to work anymore. Again, this is just a lack of knowledge and understanding. I believe, if food's class is still a thing in schools, all of these options should be explained and offered. Knowledge is power, my friends.
4) Never stop being a voice for the voiceless. Vegans still get a bad rep for being pushy, judgey, extreme.. blah blah. I'm not saying that there aren't those types, just like there's those types within every group of people you meet. What we hear for being vegan I think justifies our attitude at times, because people can be downright mean once they hear you're a vegan. I've gotten sighs, eye rolls, rude words.. you name it. But, I don't let that take away from why I'm a vegan: I love animals. I will always stand up for animals, because animals cannot stand up for themselves. You cannot convince me that there's a reason for that burger to be on your plate. I won't be silenced. I have a voice, and I will use it for those who can't. Love it, or leave it.
As for my day itself, I had errands to run early in the AM. I went to the bank, got blood work done, picked up cards for those I think need them, WENT TO A NICK FOLES BOOK SIGNING AND TALKED TO HIM FOR A SECOND (AMAZING!), got an extra book to give to my uncle as he's recovering from surgery. It always feels good to send positive vibes back into the world, especially on a day like today.
Lastly, to celebrate, my husband and I went to a favorite spot of ours, The Greyhound Cafe, to have a delicious vegan meal. We started with guac, he got the Impossible Burger, and I got Eggplant Part, and just when I think I can't fit anything else in my belly, here comes Joe, the owner of the restaurant.
We've been going to this place since the beginning; literally we went their very first day, when they had their soft opening. Joe has been nothing but kind and friendly every time we go there; and he always goes out of his way to speak to and get to know his customers. He kindly treated me to batter and crumb's Chocolate Cake with a scoop of Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream to celebrate 4 years of veganism. I was honored and touched by his generosity. And I can't begin to put into words how good the cake was. It was sweet but slightly salty, decadent, and delicious. The ice cream you wouldn't have known it was vegan. You can ask my husband, even he thought so, and he's like an ice cream connoisseur.
4 years down, and a lifetime more to go. #teamvegan #peacebeginsonyourplate