Hi! My name is Caroline Silver and I am currently a sophomore at Scarsdale High School. I have been a vegan for over four months now and I am taking it upon myself to share my journey with you. I know what you are thinking. OMG EW you’re a VEGAN?! What is a vegan? How do you even survive? Do you eat lettuce all day? Why would you do that to yourself?! To be honest, just a few months ago I was in the exact same position that you are in. I was convinced that a high animal protein diet was the healthiest way to live. I remember at a young age being perplexed by someone cutting out animal products from their diet. I was convinced they were good for you, and like most people, I labeled vegans as gross-hippy-animal-lovers. Like so many others, I absorbed society’s point of view before I could even gather enough information to create my own opinion. My goal is to change that for you. Many of you are just like I was, blinded by the stereotypes, uneducated on the subject, and thus, unable to see the TREMENDOUS benefits of a plant-based diet. My intentions for this blog are not to force or intimidate you into becoming a vegan, but rather to educate you and provide you with the tools and information you need in order to make the right decision on what lifestyle you choose to follow.
WHAT IS A VEGAN?
Some people may look at veganism and view it as a fad diet much like the “Paleo Diet” or the “Scarsdale Diet”. A vegan diet, however, is not a diet, but a LIFESTYLE. We chose to eliminate animal products not just to get the “perfect body”, but to help save the environment, help prevent diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s, and express compassion for animals. Unlike vegetarians, vegans not only avoid eating meat, but in addition do not consume any animal bi-products (ie. dairy, eggs, honey, ect.). Vegans follow a 100% “cruelty free” lifestyle, therefore nothing they consume is harming animals in any way. Many people ask me “Why aren’t you just a vegetarian? You don’t have to kill animals to eat dairy?” My answer to this is simple. Most of the animals used in the dairy industry later get transported to the meat industry once they cease producing milk. They also are kept in disgusting, dark dairy barns and have minimal exposure to the outdoors their entire lives. We treat animals as if they are slaves and we deprive them of their basic rights by locking them up and exploiting them so we can have a glass of milk. The cruelty of the meat industry is apparent to most, but it is harder for people to make the connection and understand how the dairy industry is no better. Many people tell me “I could be a vegan, but I could never give up fish” or “I’m basically a vegan except I eat yogurt”. I am totally supportive of people making an effort to eliminate some animal products, but they should not label themselves as being vegan. Any effort against animal cruelty makes a difference, even if you are just cutting out red meat from your diet, but this would not classify you as vegan. And no, a vegan does not just eat lettuce all day. Our diet consists of high amounts of carbohydrates, and no animal products whatsoever. This may sound INCREDIBLY difficult, but the recipes I will post on this blog will show you how easy it is to be a vegan! Society has fooled us into thinking carbs are bad for us and that they are the “devil” in your diet. If you think about it though, carbohydrates are ENERGY! They are what fuels your body to perform at its best. Yes! Finally a diet where you can eat as much pasta, fruit, rice, etc. as you desire! High amounts of carbs lead to a SURGE in your energy levels! No need for coffee anymore! Every day as a vegan you will wake up feeling happier, healthier, and more alert than ever before.
MY EXPERIENCE SO FAR
As I said before, I have been a vegan for almost four months now and I have never felt better. Once I learned the heart-breaking truth about the animal agriculture industry, I simply could not eat ANY animal products any more. After making the connection, I felt too much guilt to continue with my carnivorous lifestyle. I went cold-turkey, cut out all animal products, and have never felt better. I realized I was able to save innocent animals while eating as much food as I wanted AND feeling completely guilt-free! Wait, what? You can eat as much as you want?! Yes! As a matter of fact, most vegans eat 3000+ calories a day and still maintain a healthy weight. As long as you are eating plant-based whole foods, your body will most likely thrive on this lifestyle. I know what you are thinking… “Vegan food is gross. Plant-based whole food… that makes me sick just thinking about it.” Contrary to popular belief, vegan food is AMAZING. Below are pictures of a few of my recent breakfasts, including banana ice cream and salted caramel oats. On what other diet can you eat ice cream for breakfast? Lmk.
Not only do these foods give me an insane amount of energy, but I no longer suffer from bloating or sluggishness after eating a meal. Eating as much as you want and feeling amazing while saving innocent animals’ lives… it’s a WIN WIN!
HOW YOU CAN JOIN US
“Veganuary” is hosting a one month challenge, encouraging YOU to try veganism throughout January in an effort to decrease animal cruelty. This challenge has reached a sky-rocketing 12,800 participants, more than it has ever had before! And check this out: 71% felt an improvement in their health, 65% discovered new, eye-opening information on the animal agriculture industry, and 51% are STAYING VEGAN! That is truly amazing. It’s not too late to join. I highly encourage you to go to http://www.veganuary.com and seek out more information, recipes, and connect with others hoping to take charge just like you. If you have any questions about veganism or are interested in joining me on this journey, facebook message me anytime or stop me in the halls to chat! I hope to see that this inspires you to join the movement against animal cruelty TODAY!
by: Caroline Silver