Dear lovely people,
Yep. You read that right. I can imagine your surprised and curious faces as you clicked on the post, eager to know what could’ve possibly made me stop being a hardcore vegan. Or maybe you don’t really care and you’re just relieved that I’ve stopped this ‘vegan nonesense’. Well, regardless, here you are.
So yes, I’ve officially stopped being vegan since I left uni mid-June. It was a tough decision to make, and it was preceded by 6 to 8 months of doubt and overthinking. I was vegan for a total of three years, so it was very difficult to stop. I felt like stopping meant that I was going backwards, that I was a somewhat bad person and that I would be heavily judged for this decision. When I first became vegan, I received quite a lot of mean comments and abuse from the people around me, and I guess I was concerned something similar would happen again. Thankfully, though, I am now much more confident, and people have grown and evolved: they aren’t as ignorant and silly anymore (for the most part, let’s say). I’ve also been introduced as ‘the vegan friend’ for the past three years, or ‘oh she’s the vegan I was telling you about’; it made me feel pressured to stick to the vegan label as much as possible, by fear of being a disappointment. But, considering my aim is not to live for other people, I decided to just do what I want. And here we are.
So – here’s what you really want to know. Why did I stop being vegan?
It’s a mixture of a lot of things, really. I’ll say the main reasons were for my health, and the fact that I wasn’t enjoying it anymore. This past year has been quite difficult and overwhelming, and it really took a toll on my mental health. I was extremely stressed and anxious. That in addition to the long hours in the library meant that I started eating less and irregularly: and whenever I would get home late, I just wanted to eat the quickest and easiest thing. Little by little I just lost my love for food: I didn’t want to spend the free time I had by cooking and being in the kitchen. Once I finished my exams and handed in my dissertation, I still felt the same: completely drained and in no way wanting to take the time to eat properly. A month went by and I didn’t feel any better, so I decided to slowly reintroduce some foods into my diet, and to become vegetarian. I think it was a good decision: I’ve been eating more and better, and I think I’m slowly getting my strength back!
I realised that being vegan and a student wasn’t working for me. It’s either quite expensive, or time consuming. Foods such as snacks are so much more expensive when they are vegan (at least the ones I’ve found). I think the cheapest way to be vegan is to make your food yourself from scratch, but I really don’t enjoy that. As I mentioned previously, I don’t want to spend my spare time cooking or baking: it’s not very enjoyable or relaxing for me. And since I spent a lot of time in the library – mainly living off of snacks – it became quite expensive quite fast. I don’t want the same to happen this year during my master’s.
I do think that veganism is something that I’ll go back to in the future, maybe once I’ve stopped studying, and I have regular working hours. In any case I know that I’ll mainly cook vegan food when I go back to uni in September, but I want to be able to eat other things if I feel the need to. Going vegan was honestly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and it changed me for the better in so many ways! But right now, it’s time for a much needed break.
Anyways, thank you for reading!
Lots of love,