Never Say Never: Why I’m Against Boycotting Non-Vegan Businesses That Offer Vegan Options (and a Few Cases When I’m For It)

When it comes to spending money at non-vegan businesses, the vegan community seems to be divided on whether or not those businesses are worth supporting. To clarify my point, I’m talking about restaurants, stores, and companies that are not vegan overall but list vegan-friendly options as a part of their menu or product offering. Every now and then some of these companies get called out for selling something  made with a certain degree of cruelty, and various animal welfare organizations plea the average vegan shoppers like you and me to boycott them. Overall, I agree that the calls for boycotting can be beneficial: even if a store or a restaurant doesn’t lose all of its business, the outcry of animal rights advocates raises awareness about the cruelty that animals in food supply chains of those businesses have to go through. There are plenty of success stories too: The Humane League … Read the rest of the post

Why I’m Saying No to Diet & Exercise-Related New Year’s Resolutions, and What I’m Going to Do Instead

Happy New Year everyone! ‘Tis the season for getting bombarded with messages about setting our New Year’s resolutions, particularly the ones that focus on getting healthier. And if you’ve ever watched TV or browsed the internet around this time of the year, it seems like our health aspirations will never be complete if we’re not aiming for weight loss. Crash diets and intense 4-week ‘full body transformation’ fitness programs have stuffed the pockets of various health gurus way before we realized that something fishy was going on – that is, those methods didn’t seem to work long-term, or made things even worse for us in the future, both physically and emotionally. To break the vicious cycle of mass media telling you that you’re not good enough unless you’re trying to reshape yourself via drastic diet and exercise routines, I’m inviting you to say no to setting diet and weight loss-related New Year’s resolutions! And since I don’t want to leave … Read the rest of the post

Fat Shaming is Never Cool, Even Coming from a Famous Plant-Based Blogger.

I recently had to stop following a popular female blogger (I’ll call her The Blogger here) who was a big inspiration to me since the beginning of my vegan journey. Here’s what happened. The Blogger (who will remain unnamed because I still have respect for her and her privacy) was one of the very first plant-based writers and cookbook authors who showed me through her work that cooking tasty, oil-free plant-based meals was easy and fun. I own almost all of her cookbooks, and have recommended those on multiple occasions to people reaching out to me for advice on transitioning to veganism. I stood by this girl when she was fighting off bullies accusing her of focusing too much on the food and not nearly enough on the plight of animals, and respected her decision when she announced that she was no longer calling herself ‘vegan’, going entirely with ‘plant-based’ … Read the rest of the post

I’ve Decided to Stay Vegan – and Here Are 10 Reasons Why

Believe it or not, I don’t have a lot of vegan friends on my personal Facebook page. Whenever I happen to meet a cool vegan person, I sometimes get too lazy to look them up and send them a friend request. So when a vegan Facebook friend of mine recently announced that he was getting off the vegan grid after advocating for it for many years, I felt a familiar tinge of disappointment. “Oh man, now all of his non-vegan friends will be convinced that being vegan is unsustainable…” Eventually, I managed to overcome my initial judgmental thoughts and wished him the best of luck. At the same time, I asked myself, “Why is it that I never feel like I don’t want to be vegan anymore?” The ex-vegan movement seems to be on the rise these days. In the past couple years, some big-name vegan bloggers have announced that … Read the rest of the post

Ten Changes in My Mindset I’ve Had Since Going Vegan – Part 2 of My Veganniversary Celebration

(This post is part two of a 2-part series celebrating my Veganniversary. See part 1 here.) As you remember, in my previous post I summed up a few changes in my health since I went vegan a little over a year ago. Today’s post is about the changes that I believe to be even more important than the physical ones – the changes in my mindset. Why do I think that the mindset changes are so important? Because they show how far we’ve gone in our personal growth, and ultimately they can influence our decision to stick with something we chose to do, or abandon it. I am sure that everyone who’s ever decided to go vegan has experienced some changes in their mindset, but since they are not as noticeable as, say, the improvement in our energy levels or, ahem, better bowel  movement frequency, we tend not to compare them with … Read the rest of the post

My First Vegan Anniversary Celebration! 5 Physical Improvements I’ve Had Since Going Vegan

(This post is part one of a two-post series celebrating my Veganniversary. See part 2 here.) You know how sometimes we get caught in a whirlwind of things suddenly happening to us, and we forget something important? Well, that recently happened to me: last month I started a new job, got lots of new opportunities for this blog (the new Everyday Heroes series taking off was awesome!), continued to explore our new surroundings in the Northwest Washington and almost got used to this new rhythm of life – and in the meantime, completely forgot that May marked a year since I ditched all animal-derived foods and went vegan! All is not lost, so I’m going to celebrate my belated Veganniversary (yes, that’s a real word) today! And what’s a better way to do this than to count all my blessings and see how my life and wellbeing have changed since … Read the rest of the post