Vegan. No animal products. It’s a lot harder than I ever would have expected. Now let me back up a little bit and tell you about myself. I come from a midwestern family, I grew up learning the cattle business from my grandparents and butter was an essential in our household. I had many vegetarian friends who would make jokes that the day I went vegetarian was the day the meat industry would go out of business. Then I started getting sick a lot, I had stomach problems, I never really seemed to have energy, and I finally went to the doctor to find out I was lactose intolerant. This was hard for me to accept at first no ice cream, no chocolate milk, no cheese. Being vegan or any varient of veganism was the furthest thing from my life style. And that’s why I did it, It was going to be a challenge, something far out of my comfort zone. Now don’t get me wrong I love animals and animal cruelty did have an impact on me switching to veganism but there were various factors. I couldn’t have prepared myself for the amount of work it took to be a vegan. I had to make sure I was still living a healthy life style, getting my vitamins and nutrients without eating meat or dairy products. And it’s not just that you don’t eat animal products but you don’t eat anything with animal products in it. No more cookies or cereals or noodles unless they were vegan. It was exhausting the constant search for foods, checking ingredients on everything I ate, trying to find stores that carried vegan friendly products, finding substitutes for foods that used to be staples in my diet (milk, butter, cheese ect). I finally learned some of the symbols on boxes like the little “u” that was symbol for dairy and some products were nice and had the word vegan next to the ingredients. But its tiresome I constantly find myself craving foods and thinking how bad it would be to go back to what I used to eat, or just being vegetarian. And then I remember all the reasons I am vegan. I’m healthier, way healthier than I have ever been in my entire life, and I’m not being a supporter of animal cruelty which is important to me. At the end of the day I’m usually happy with my switch to veganism but sometimes it’s diffcult and I wonder how bad it would be if I went back to my old ways.