Going vegan takes dedication, courage

Katelyn Kent

I’ve been vegetarian for six years and started eating vegan about eight months ago. However, I’ve only started considering myself truly vegan and referring to myself as so since the beginning of February. My hesitation was the fact that people are so quick to judge and analyze everything you eat as soon as you claim to be vegan. Even when I was comfortable eating something like dark chocolate that contained a small amount of milk, I knew there was always going to be that person who tried to make me feel guilty about it by calling me a “fake vegan.”

As I gained confidence with my choices, I realized there’s no right or wrong way to be vegan. Whether you’re vegan for ethical, environmental, health, or other reasons, it doesn’t matter, as long as you have good intentions and want to make a difference in the world. The same goes for behaviors and patterns in diet, and there is no reason to judge someone else for the way they contribute to solving a problem they believe in. There are so many benefits to being vegan, not just for animals but human health and the Earth as well. Even cutting out a small portion of animal products in food, or clothing, or animal tested makeup will make more of an impact than ignoring the issue. Living a fully vegan life takes time and effort, and didn’t happen for me overnight. It was definitely a challenge, but believing in what I stand for made the transition much more natural.