Here is the most common question I’ve received after going Vegan: “Why?”
And honestly, I have to resist the urge to not to bombard the person asking with all the reasons.
The reasons to go Vegan (besides the obvious love for animals) are plentiful and it’s time people are informed. But the reality is that most are simply not ready to hear, not ready to digest all the information. I have to stop take a moment and casually respond “Oh, y’know, for animals, the environment, health!”. That seems to be all the average person wants to hear. Most people have been understanding; supportive even. But then there have been times that I’ve felt under fire for simply stating I’m Vegan – as if somehow I’ve offended that person for choosing to live my life free of animal products and their by-products.
But when you go Vegan, you don’t do it for what people will think, and you certainly don’t do it for all the times you’ll have to tell people that yes – you CAN, in fact, get your required daily protein, vitamins, and minerals. Or when you have to answer the ridiculous questions like “Don’t plants have feelings too?”. You do it for the x, y and z reasons and you do it because you’ve been informed and you now move forward in life with a new perspective; a new hope for the future. I’ll save you all the reading, but I highly recommend the following documentaries:
Forks Over Knives
It was through watching these and of course through my own research that I finally decided to live a life in line with my values. I didn’t want to continue to feel guilty for my actions and I believe that we have a responsibility going forward to take care of the planet – quite simply, I’m ready to take on that responsibility.
Lucky for me – the city I live in is one that could very well be considered a mecca for the aspiring vegan. Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Victoria is a small and lush city located on Vancouver Island – just a short ferry away from the mainland. I’ve been here for four years now and have fallen in love with the island and the people. Here there is a strong sense of compassion, empathy, and general open-mindedness.
Victorians are also eco-conscious – at the moment we are very close to imposing an all-out ban on the use of plastic bags. We have more bike lanes and trails than any other Canadian city. Just steps from my home is a large community garden; one that I hope to be able to utilize this coming spring. It is a hopeful city and one that I feel is progressive and ready to adapt.
When it comes to restaurants, the city already has a good handful that are either vegan or plant-based, and it’s becoming increasingly easy to find vegan options everywhere you go. In the grocery stores, there are sections with meat and dairy alternatives all laid out for easy shopping. And at my favorite local ice cream shop – Kid Sister – there is always a vegan ice cream featured. At first, I thought that making this big switch in my eating would be challenging – instead, I’m having fun with it!
The idea behind this blog is to offer a resource for Vegans that are living here on the island. Whether you have already fully committed or are just starting out – there will be something here for you! I’m going to be visiting local restaurants where I will take photos and review. I’ll also be sharing recipes from my cooking and baking at home. Lastly, I’ll keep you informed on things like community events and giveaways through my Instagram and Facebook page (by the same name – A Vegan In Victoria – please follow and share!).
Excited to be a part of this movement and looking forward to seeing the Vegan community grow!