#VeganStories: THIS Is How I Turned Vegan Overnight!
As cliché as this may sound, I found veganism when I had hit rock bottom in life; or should I say, veganism found me. I had absolutely no idea how to go about my days, no plans for the future, and, in fact, I found myself constantly dwelling over the past, questioning all the decisions I had made. I was terribly lost and had no will to find the person I used to be.
I had just dropped out of the best media institution in the country and felt clueless about what I wanted to do with my life. I was directionless; it was driving me crazy. I packed my bags and moved back home—a small town that I have only dreamed of getting out of. But there I was, back again and regretting it. Negative emotions started overtaking my life and I slowly shut everyone out; from my parents to friends to everyone who was close to me. I was getting more and more anxious during the day and restless due to sleepless nights. It was not until a few months down the line of me being in this state, that somebody spelled it out—I was struggling with depression.
Honestly, before going vegan I used to have this notion towards the concept that it was overrated, having been aware of the term for over a year, thanks to social media. I never really took the effort to look more into it.
Ironically, I was that non-vegetarian who thought vegans were just a bunch of hippies who believed that they could make a difference in the world through their eating habits. I wasn’t entirely aware of why they wanted to make such a hue and cry about it. I didn’t know that they wanted to end cruelty towards animals, which was their main agenda.
So, this one evening in hope to get myself feeling alive, I decided to watch a few TedX talks, but nothing worked. I stumbled upon a presentation called “101 Reasons to go Vegan” and I thought maybe I should keep an open mind and see what all the hype is about; not like I had anything better to do.
After I was done watching, it left me curious and wanting to know more about it. For the first time in 10 months I felt something; for the first time, which seemed like forever, I wanted more of something. And boy, when that happens you hold on to that feeling with your dear life.
I went ahead and watched “Earthlings” and “The Best Speech Ever” which with feelings like anger, guilt, hurt, and a desire to need to do something. It gave me back all of those feelings I had longed to feel for a while now. I decided to go vegan overnight. I did not want to be a part of the cruelty caused by the animal industry. But I didn’t just want to stop there. I was aware that if there is something I wanted to do for those creatures, I had to get my ass off my bed. I wanted to explore the lifestyle and know everything that one could possibly know. I actually went to a dairy farm close by and realized that those documentaries were not exaggerated!
After months of binge-eating, I had gained a lot of weight, and for some reason, learning about this new lifestyle made me want to respect my body and work at it. The transition was effortless as I didn’t even think twice before making the decision. I read about what I needed to do, watched motivating videos every day, cooked my own meals, experimented with food, and started exercising.
My face, that was covered in acne due to stressful thoughts, started clearing up. No longer was I the girl who felt helpless or wasting her days not doing anything. Every time I felt sorry for myself I’d say, “No time for this crap.” I would educate myself even more on veganism.
And the moment I started taking an effort to change my lifestyle, everything else seemed to be falling in place. A year later I got into another institute and in less than a month of being there, I found like-minded people. Nobody is even aware of something like a plant-based lifestyle and I thought this city would be no different. However I found an internship with VeganFirst! It was not so much about finding an internship as it was about getting an opportunity to do something about it; to find a home away from home, and that too a plant-based one! This was something I hadn’t expected at all. I met individuals who shared the same ideologies as me and who wanted to work for the same cause was exhilarating! This made me believe in one thing for sure—if you stand-up for what you believe in and put in honest efforts, the universe will always help you find a way to make things happen.
Neither am I saying that veganism cures depression nor that it will take away all your pain and struggles, but for some reason it gave me an assurance that I am making a difference and that I matter. This one time I stood up for myself and felt that I might just be doing the right thing, and I did not want to let that go. I didn’t let it go when my family fought with me about it, when my friends made fun of me, or when others shamed me. That just seemed like nothing when one has been through worse. I learned to take a stand for myself and follow my instincts. And that turned out pretty well, while thriving on this lifestyle and finally getting in the course and college of my choice.
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