How did I start to become a vegan and why?
My first contact with it was about 4 or 5 years ago when a friend of mine came to visit me.
We were discussing what to have for dinner and she told me that she's vegan. So I asked a little bit about it and, at the time, I was more impressed by her dedication to live this way than about her choice food.
Funnily enough, shortly after that my high school love, who now lives in Hawaii, came to visit me in Austria. I hadn't seen him for over ten years and guess what: he is vegan too. And he told me a lot about the philosophy and why to be vegan and about all the environmental benefits. Although being more convinced about this choice of living, I still wasn't fully convinced. My friend can get quite intense and this, initially, put me off. So I had learned a lot about the vegan lifestyle but, as quickly as he left for Hawaii, I forget about it again.
The third incident was, when I got a present in the form of a book from my dad for Christmas. This is special in itself, because the last book my dad gave me for a present, was about 20 years ago. And on this very occasion I got not one, but TWO books for Christmas. I was very happy, as you can imagine, and was thinking – this MUST be a good book!
I started reading as soon as possible and it turned out to be a nutrition guide and how to live on a healthy diet written by an Austrian TCM doctor. It is very detailed, and every suggestion made is proven by a lot of numbers and case studies.
The sentence which burnt itself into my brain was the author claiming that, in all his years of experience, patients living on a vegetarian diet are generally healthier then people eating meat and fish, AND patients living on a vegan diet are by far the most healthy and vital ones.
Something changed within me, and, from then on, I started to slowly change my nutrition step by step, cutting back on animal products, changing to a plant-based butter, drinking black coffee.
In autumn 2019 I finally decided to take the step. The first day without having any animal products in my fridge was the 19th of October 2019. Since then I have been a fully committed vegan.
I have not looked back since then and, at the moment, I cannot imagine I will. The fact is that I have never felt as healthy, fit and vital as I do now. No more tiredness or heaviness after food, no more stomach pains.
In the first couple of weeks I felt a fresh clearness in my body and mind and talking to other vegans they have confirmed the same effect. I thought it was surprising given the fact that I had been living almost vegan (except cheese and milk chocolate!) for a while already. However I felt a lot more hungry in the beginning, and I almost doubled the amount of what I used to eat.
My high school love from Hawaii is back in town and it turns out that he and his girlfriend founded a vegan food company. They are experimenting with creating cheese substitutes and were finding out what kind of vegan food we have here in Vienna. I got to try a couple of their newest cheese products and they were really good. Sadly they are rather far away BUT if you feel like visiting Hawaii and are looking for really good vegan food I am sure they would be happy to meet you. Drop me a message and I can connect you.