3 Years Of Veganism // My Biggest Lessons

The same day I celebrate my birthday, I also celebrate my veganniversary. I have now been vegan for three years and that has brought a lot of lessons during the years as well as opening new doors for more growth, healing and compassion. It has been an incredible journey and I cannot wait to see what it will bring in the future. If you are interested in veganism then I would highly recommend checking out my beginner's guide with lots of tips for starting your own journey - part one and part two here.

Here are my biggest lessons from my journey:

Veganism has opened many new doors
Looking back, going vegan was the first step on my journey towards a more sustainable and minimalistic lifestyle. Through veganism I learned that I want to do the best and the most I can for the animals, humans and the planet. This life change has opened my mind to even more possibilities of a caring and compassionate life and I am so happy I decided to open the door three years ago because it has truly been an incredible journey. Veganism led me to being more conscious of the choices I made which lead me to minimalism, low waste and the power of now.  

It is so much more than veganism
As mentioned above, veganism has opened a lot of new doors for me that I am so incredibly happy to have opened. Because to me, veganism is not 'the end' of my journey, it goes way past that to being compassionate all around in any area of life. One of my favorite quotes is:

“Veganism isn't a goal to attain. It's the means by which we can attain our goals. Compassion is the goal. Veganism is a way to get there." - Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

And it is so true. The goal I have is to live compassionately towards all the sentient beings and the planet. This means things like reducing my waste, stop buying fast fashion and overall being more mindful with what I bring into my life.

Being an example has the biggest impact
Ditching animal products is a very huge thing for many people and something that they don't find themselves wanting to do - that is a hard pill to swallow because surely the majority of them are against animal cruelty? But you cannot force anyone to make changes in their lives. They have to be open to it and willing to actively do something. I have found that leading by example is the best thing you can do, not only for yourself but also for others. Be open if someone has questions but pushing beliefs will not go down well.

It gets easier and easier
Going vegan is a life change. It is kind of like taking everything you know, throwing it out and starting again building new habits. Breaking old habits and replacing them with new ones can be very hard and there is so much to learn - but it gets easier. What seems impossible and hard at first becomes your new normal. Over time the temptations of non vegan treats and foods will be less and less attractive. How to deal with different situations and people's judgments also gets easier. What to eat also gets easier when you dive more into the wonders of vegan food. It gets easier.

You cannot be perfect
As the massive perfectionist I am, the hard truth stings a little. There is not way, in this day and age I can be the perfect vegan and doing absolutely no harm. This can be off putting to some, like, if you can't go all the way why even take the first step? But one person can do huge changes and just because I can't be perfect doesn't mean that what I do choose to do is not good enough. Because it is! Not achieving perfection should never hold us back from doing anything. 

It is a process - still
I still discover new ways we use animals like they are nothing but tools for us to use. And I think I always will. Animal are so ingrained in almost everything on this planet. They are everywhere in products, foods and activities that you constantly take a step, and then another and then another step towards a cruelty free life. Thoughts such as "wow they use animals?", "wow that contain animals?" and "I thought that was safe from animals" are still thoughts I have when encountering new cruelty. Definitely less than when I started but still there from time to time.

Going against the norm taught me a lot
Veganism, especially when it comes to food, is far from the normal diet most people eat. Therefore going vegan is very much going against the norm and you will learn a lot! About your strength, your values, overall about yourself but also the people around you and society. You will learn a lot about everything really. Going vegan you will stick out from almost everyone else and that can feel strange but if you have a strong 'why' and embrace the difference it is very empowering!

So, these are some of the biggest lessons I have learned on my journey towards veganism and I am so grateful for everything the process has brought me. If you ever feel, in the slightest, that you want to give veganism a go, do it. And even if it doesn't stick completely, you might just learn something about yourself.