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1 Year of Being Vegan - the Pros and Cons of Being Vegan



I've been vegan for over a year now, and sooo much has changed. Most of it's been good, some of it's been bad and some of it has been downright ugly - check it out:

Pros of being vegan

Before I start, I want to say that all of the good stuff below sounds super showey-offey. Sorry, but it's all true and whilst I'm obviously not a doctor, I know my own body better than anyone, and veganism is solely, or at least partially, responsible for curing my acne, ibs, painful periods, brittle hair, constant cold anddd hypochondria. 

Part of my degree involved studying medical statistics, so I know some of these things have been influenced by other external factors, and I'll try to make sure I mention the ones I'm aware of. 

Also there's a high chance of over-share on this post... Soz

Skin 

One of the things that made me become vegan in the first place, was to try and improve my awful adult-acne skin. Within one week of quitting dairy my skin felt better - no longer tight or oily. After a few weeks my chin and nose had cleared up. 

Whilst veganism didn't clear up my skin completely, it most definitely helped improve it by at least 70%, which I took for a gigantic win because nothing else had ever even slightly improved it. (The nothing elses being: getting more sun, cutting out fatty foods, exercising more, quitting make up, washing more, washing less, drinking more water, facials, popping, pretending I didn't have bad skin and of course applying: olive oil, lemon, aloe vera, peroxide, toothpaste and a whole range of over the counter products.) 

Anyway, it makes sense - acne comes from hormones, and even if the milk you're drinking hasn't been pumped full of hormones (which it probably has), there are still the natural hormones that mummy cows give their baby cows. Plus you are what you eat - and legally minute amounts of pus are allowed to be in cow milk. Perhaps I'm even lactose intolerant - apparently around 65% of adult humans are, all I know is, if you struggle with acne, try going vegan, it helped me and I hope it helps you too.  


Body Odour 

How quickly can I go into over-share? Vegans smell and taste better - ask my bf. 


Digestion 

When I was at sixth form and university I had the worst IBS. My stomach hurt all the time and it made me super unhappy - especially because all the doctors I saw were very quick to sweep it under the rug "we don't have a cure for that", "it's not even that bad". 

To be honest, it mostly cleared up after I left university and started bumming my way around Australia stress-free (and of course stopped wearing clothes that were uncomfortable). 

But I would still get IBS if I was stressed out, if I ate too much, if I was eating with people I didn't know that well or if I was wearing tight clothes. 

It's 100% stopped now I'm vegan. I personally think non-vegan diets are super bad for your digestive system. I know people like to say our ancestors ate meat, dairy and eggs, but they definitely had it a lot less than people do nowadays. 

I know people also like to say that vegan diets give you the shits... but I think non-vegan diets bung you up. I'm not saying vegan shit doesn't smell.. I'm just saying it smells less than others. hahahahahah. ew. 

Face fat 

I lost a bunch (still not all) of my chubby face chub. Bye bye baby-fat (baby-fat bye). 

So much stronger 

But I'm not too fussed about looking/being fat. I'm much more into being strong. I cannot get over how much stronger I am as a vegan - my endurance is through the roof! I love boxing, and I go to a super hardcore club. After 1.5 hours, I'm exhilarated, and amazed that a lot of the 'tough' guys can't keep up. And I can finally do push ups. Yey. 

Stronger nails and hair

It's not just my muscles, my nails and hair are stronger too. I don't really care about that but like, a bonus is a bonus. (Plus I can pretend to be Wolverine.)

Better periods

Before I became vegan I had the worst, most painful period cramps - and I had heavy days for seven days, but my cycle was only 21 days (so one week on, two weeks off, instead of the usual one week on three weeks off).

Now, I have zero cramps. I'll still get the odd twinge, but it's absolutely nothing compared with what I used to have. I still have heavy days, but only for the first two days instead of the whole seven. PLUSSS it's now one week on, three weeks off. Yey.

I don't really know why this is a thing, but I'll take it, there's definitely no other reason this could be happening though other than my diet. 

I do know that periods can stop if you're malnourished... I promise I'm not malnourished haha, like I said I still get periods and to me, going from agonising periods to pain-free period can never be a bad thing. 



I learnt how to cook


It's not all physical things either, being vegan meant that I finally learnt how to cook. When I ate meat I was the world's worst cook and hated cooking. Veganism in a way forced me to learn how to cook - it taught me how to adapt recipes, and quite frankly I think vegan cooking is easier - or rather it's harder to ruin vegan meals. IMO.


I started eating out more

Whilst simultaneously cooking more at home, I found myself eating out more too... (so to clarify, before we would eat almost always at home, but it would be like sandwiches or shitty pasta, nothing special.)

Anyway,  I travel quite a bit, but BV (before vegan), I wouldn't always eat out in a new country - it depended how expensive eating out was, or rather, how good I thought the correlation of price and quality was - aka if it was expensive but divine I'd go for it, if it was expensive and not worth it, I wouldn't. 

Since I became vegan, I always eat out in a new country, at least twice - I want to actively support vegan restaurants and cafes. 

Plus I'm always curious to try new vegan meals and cuisines because, quite frankly, if you've had beef in Australia, you've had beef in Hungary too, it's the same shit - but vegan food is different in each different restaurant. 

I didn't get food poisoning 

In correlation with eating out, the first time I went to South East Asia (as a meat and dairy eater) I got food poisoning a lot - once really badly, and the rest of the time just "my tummy wasn't 100% right".

The second time I went to South East Asia (this time as a vegan), I didn't get sick - not once. Not even "my tummy feels slightly off".

Well it could be that I was just more aware of where to eat/ not eat the second time?? - Trust me, I really wasn't, if anything the first time round I was way more cautious.

I will be 100% fair though and say this - yes you can get super bad food poisoning from undercooked meat and eggs in South East Asia, but you can also get super bad food poisoning from unwashed salad and reheated rice... So who knows. Maybe veganism made my stomach stronger, maybe it was already stronger from having been there in the past. 



Cons of being vegan

I could honestly go on about the pros of being vegan forever (hence this website), I'm sure there's loads I've missed out - if you're vegan, please let me know your pros so I can write them in if they apply to me too ;)

But it's not all sunshines and rainbows over here in vegan-land, there are of course some negatives, and I'm going to go into them now: 

Alcohol

My alcohol tolerance is lower than ever - as anyone who has ever met me will tell you - it couldn't get much lower. But hey, at least I can go out for cheap. 

So do vegans get worse hangovers?


I also found that my hangovers are worse as a vegan. I used to be able to drink and just feel kind of cosy-ill the next day - like I wouldn't be running marathons, but I'd have a great time eating fatty foods and watching shit films. Now I feel soo sick the next day, and sometimes even the day after too!! Boohoo, poor me. 

Despite my friends insisting I need a full (meaty) English to cure a hangover, it might not be vegan related, my newfound hangover weakness might just be because I'm getting old. Waaa. 


I get fewer colds as a vegan

How is that a negative, Laura? Well speaking of 'cosy-ill', I was always a sucker for secretly enjoying having a cold - you get to have a duvet day and watch more shitty films, what's not to love?!

Since becoming a vegan I think I've had one cold - I flew Dubai to Bulgaria (flights are always a great place to pick up colds), spent the night in a cold airport, and then flew Bulgaria to Budapest.. so yea. I blame WizzAir for that one. Before I was vegan I used to get at least six colds a year.


Vegan food is more expensive - or is it?!?

Okay I need to do a whole blog post about this, ostensibly I think vegan food is cheaper than non-vegan food, but it depends what you're buying - if you go for fruit, veg, rice, potatoes, lentils, tofu (in most countries), then your weekly shop will be way cheaper than mr and mrs beef, pork and cheese. 

Similarly, in a restaurant that's mainly meat centric, with the odd vegan or vegetarian-that-can-be-turned-into-vegan option, the vegan option will alwaysss be cheaper... 

BUT there is this annoying trend of start-ups that think vegan food is a commodity and thus they can charge more for it - lots of vegan restaurants are expensive. Personally, I don't mind because I think the quality is better, and I want to support veganism. But when there aren't many places for you to eat, and the only ones are expensive.. I get that that's annoying. 

ANYYWAYY all that aside, my weekly food is definitely more expensive, but it's not really because it's vegan. It's more expensive because when I went vegan, I then started thinking about all the other shit I was putting in my body that wasn't serving it - like pesticides, and I started shopping organically where possibly. Now that's definitely more expensive. 

But like, if you're not going to pay a little bit more to not be poisoned, where are your priorities? I think your health should be your top concern. But that's just me. Being vegan definitely doesn't mean you have to be organic and being vegan doesn't have to mean your food costs more.  


More 'woke'

Following from above and thinking about organic food, I'm now way more into 'issues' - it's true what they say about opening Pandora's box. Suddenly I'm not just thinking about whether it hurt an animal to create it, I'm checking for palm oil, I want it to be organic, I'm trying to avoid plastic, bla bla bla. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, I'm just saying it's well annoying. Things were so much easier when I didn't give af. Oh to be so young and naive. 


Everyone becomes a doctor

Veganism has almost cured my hypochondriasis, almost, I will have the occasional relapse and find something 'wrong' but when I tell my mum, my dad or my best friend they will always find a way to link it back to veganism. It makes it hard to share if you actually think something is wrong. Like I'm kind of stubborn, I'd rather die of lack of protein than admit I'm wrong... 

And it's not just the stuff I mention, they constantly bring me stuff I should be thinking about, which they never did when I was a student living off pizza, vodka and weed. Lol. 

But I know they do it from a place of love, and it is important to think about your health as a vegan (just like it's important to think about your health when you're not a vegan). 


Worst things about being vegan:


The cons of being vegan aren't too bad, but there are a couple of things that have been down-right ugly to being vegan. Let's explore these shall we.

I've lost friends

So, whilst most of my friends/family have been downright troopers about my 'transition' - especially considering I have no chill and probably didn't handle the whole thing in the best way (I'm conscious that I'm now very much a stereotypical asshole vegan). But yea, most people ran with it or even jumped on board. 

But not all people, I lost two really good friends because we could no longer see eye-to-eye about things. I think ultimately they thought I judged them for not being vegan, which at the time wasn't true at all, when I first became vegan I didn't judge anyone for not being vegan (now of course, I do ;) lol). 

I feel bad about the way I handled things and sad we're not friends anymore- BUT, and this is a big but, I am far from taking the entire blame. They pulled two really big horrible stunts on me and my boyf, including: trying to trick us into eating a cheese salad, and, worse, letting us order a pasta in a restaurant that they knew came with meat. Uncool. 

I've had other people say they don't feel like they're allowed to eat meat in front of me*, or insist that they respect me for my food choices (which is then followed by a nice big awkward pause, where they wait for me to reply that I respect them for theirs. I'm not going to lie babes, stop trying to get me to make you feel better). 

*they're not

Anyway, losing friends isn't cool, but you've got to ask - if you lose friends over what you eat (or don't eat), where they really true friends in the first place? 

Conscience 

Following on sort of from my 'being more woke' point, dealing with my conscience was horrible. As much as I want people to become vegan, I don't wish the realisation of what you did on anyone. I used to think veganism was a form of brainwashing, but now I think it's the other way round, we're brought up thinking eating and torturing animals is normal, and when we face it it feels so shit. I cried for like three days when I finally faced how many pigs I'd eaten (and I'm not a crier) and how many animals I'd 'inadvertently' harmed. 

I honestly think that meat and dairy products should come with a little sticker, like cigarettes do, showing you the damage you're doing to your body, or rather their bodies, by purchasing that crap. 


Nightmares 


Continuing on from conscience, I get nightmares about slaughterhouses, zoos and dairy farms. It's not cool, again something I'd never wish on anyone, and again ignorance is blissful. 

I just realised I'll never eat an oyster 

Man I always wanted to try oysters... now I never will. Sad times. hahaha 

Conclusion

Thank you for reading this entire ramble about the pros and cons of being vegan (in my opinion) or even if you just scrolled to the bottom for some reason, thank you, you're awesome!!! 

If you're vegan, let me know in the comments below what you think the pros and cons are. If you're wanting to become vegan and need a few sharp pushes in that direct, please message me any time. I love pushing. I'm a pusher. 

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