Getting Started

When you are considering moving toward a vegetarian &/or vegan diet, keep in mind that this is your choice, and you must only move as quickly as you feel comfortable with and committed to. People often ask me, "Are you allowed to eat ____?" The fact is, I am allowed to eat anything I please! There are no vegan police who will appear out of thin air and bust me if I decide to eat a piece of cheese pizza.

The only restrictions I experience are the ones that I have chosen for myself, because of my compassion for animals and because of my concern for their treatment. If I am at a birthday party where everyone is eating cake and ice cream, this way of thinking reminds me about my love for all creatures (including everyone at the party!). Instead of feeling mopey that I have chosen not to eat any of the cake, I feel uplifted that I have the desire to stick with my convictions. For this reason, it is important to understand why you are wanting to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Knowing your conviction will help you stick with it.

There are different degrees of dietary limitations, and there are different means of getting there. Some people prefer to go "whole hog" and stop eating meat all at once. Some people prefer to gradually eliminate different foods as they learn more and so that the shock will not be as great. Both methods have created people who eventually return to eating meat as well as people who have become life -long vegetarians or vegans. Through the years, my understanding of a veganism has broadened to include the issue of fair trade - how the (human) workers are treated and compensated for their labors.

Ultimately for me, veganism is about doing what I can to reduce the amount of suffering on the planet.



Next: Being Healthy
Back to the Vegetarianism Page

Updated January 6, 2013