But seriously — can we talk about where this year went? It feels like just yesterday I was ringing in the new year with family, ending my junior year of college, starting an internship, returning to school for my final year and now we have reached the second to last month of 2013. October was so busy for me that I didn’t even have time to carve a pumpkin or celebrate Halloween, so I am looking forward to the promise of a break and returning home to be with my family in just a few short weeks.
My morning routine rarely deviates from the norm: wake up, check Twitter, check the news, check my email and then ditch the duvet to get ready for the day. It was business as usual this morning but as I scrolled through Twitter, I stopped on a vegan account that announced today started the first day of World Vegan Month (NOTE: Before you click that link, be warned that there are some somewhat graphic details about animal treatment and if you are anything like me and that kind of stuff upsets you, perhaps don’t click on it).
World Vegan Month? I thought to myself. Is that really a thing? I made a mental note to myself and evidently, this is completely legitimate.
And really, it couldn’t come at a better time since it means another full month has passed that I have been a vegan — so we are going on part of August (about half of it), all of September and all of October. Every day, I fall more in love with being a vegan and think about how much it has changed me. Thus, I am going to make my own list of the 30 things I love the most about being a vegan:
- It gives me the chance to try so many delicious foods that I otherwise might not have tried.
- Going vegan has pushed me out of my comfort zone and has made me more confident.
- More energy!
- Gives me a topic to write about, which I love because I love writing.
- Inspires me to be more compassionate.
- Cleaner diet.
- Makes me feel like I am doing something good and makes me feel like I am part of something larger than myself.
- I love animals and I know my lifestyle contributes in some way to happiness for all creatures.
- Presents me with a challenge and, consequently, encourages me to grow and be more flexible.
- Veganism allows me to have meaningful discussions about the things I care about.
- Shinier hair and skin (who doesn’t love that?)
- Gives me the chance to cook for myself much more often.
- Inspires me to set large, long-term goals because I know I can achieve them.
- I have good company as a vegan — both with other vegans and non-vegans. The support and encouragement I get from my friends and family makes this experience all the more rewarding.
- More knowledge and awareness of where my food comes from.
- I feel more connected to the Earth.
- Better sleep at night.
- I don’t have to worry about weird, food-borne illnesses like salmonella or anything like that. Gross.
- Gives me a chance to reflect on my own personal growth.
- Makes me feel unique.
- Reminds me to stay humble because we all started somewhere and are always learning how to be the best versions of ourselves.
- Ever since going vegan, I feel like I have found true happiness with myself.
- Being vegan is just a heck of a lot of fun.
- Soy ice cream exists.
- Grocery shopping is much more efficient.
- It makes my kitchen colorful!
- It has shown me that sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest difference.
- I feel more in control and like I can make more informed decisions.
- Encourages me to make other changes in my life that might benefit others — as Tesla said, “Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them.”
- Has taught me more about love: self-love, the love for the Earth and the love for others. We are all different and that’s okay.
Happy Vegan Month.