I found a cool illustration the other day from Vegan Mainstream with six veg-centric prompts. Since we are just about halfway through November (and November is World Vegan Month), I thought it would be fitting to answer my own Vegan Musings:
1) What’s your favorite vegan store?
I’m a student and my little college town doesn’t have luxuries like Target and Whole Foods. HyVee — a grocery store here — has a great selection of organic and vegan-friendly foods in its own little section that I frequent. If geography was no object, I’d have to pick Whole Foods Market. Going to Whole Foods is like a sport and you can always find things there that surprise you. I think Whole Foods is a place where lost things go to be found and I am never without a handful of options when I go there.
2) What caused you to go vegan?
Well, as those of you who have stuck around with me since the creation of this blog would know, I originally went vegan as a 30 day challenge to myself to improve my life, increase my happiness and reconnect with my ten years of vegetarianism because I felt as though I was missing something. I threw myself into piles of research materials and learned — with a heavy heart — about all of the atrocities that occur in the dairy industry and how dairy consumption directly supported the meat industry to which I was (and still am) so violently opposed to. I consider myself to be an ethical vegan because I don’t agree with the way animals in the factory farming industry are treated and I, personally, believe humans don’t need animal products to live a happy, healthy life. Just as my love for animals caused me to go vegetarian 10 years ago, it was the catalyst for my switch to vegan.
3) Who inspires you in the vegan community?
It might sound cliché, but I admire anyone who has the courage to go vegan, thus finding everyone to be inspirational in some way or another. One thing I have learned as a vegan is I am never without good company of those who have learned and experienced veganism before me. I am always growing as a vegan with the help of the rest of the vegan community. I have some fantastic role models.
4) What’s your favorite farm animal sanctuary?
I have actually never visited one, therefore I can’t answer this question. I don’t, however, visit zoos or aquariums because I don’t think animals should be kept in captivity.
5) Favorite vegan meals?
I love to eat. I’d say two longtime favorites, however are chana masala (curried chickpeas) and aloo gobi (spiced potatoes and cauliflower) are at the top of the list of favorite meals. Both are Indian dishes and one of the many things that I find fantastic about Indian food is the abundance of vegetarian options. It just so happens these two meals are vegan-friendly. Pro tip: one of the best ways to my heart is by getting spicy Indian food with me.
6) What keeps you vegan?
To me, veganism is not a diet or even a lifestyle. I believe veganism is a promise. A promise to myself that I will respect and love myself, and also a promise to the world and all of its beings that I will live a life of love, generosity, kindness and regard for all living creatures. Veganism inspires me to be the best version of myself possible and encourages me to keep my mind open to change, embracing it as it comes along. My personal belief that all beings are sentient and capable of love and pain keep me steadfast in my veganism. Being a vegan feels like home to me — it just fits. Thus, my love of the Earth, of all beings and my love of self keep me vegan.