Hilarious Jokester: How do you know if someone is a vegan?
Unassuming Bad Joke Victim: I don’t know, how?
HJ: Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.
UBJV: . . .
“Hi! My name is Megan and I’m a vegan!”
Classic joke. So funny.
Actually, because of this joke, there is nothing about my veganism that I’m more self-conscious about than when and how I tell a new acquaintance I’m vegan and how often I remind my coworkers, neighbors, friends, and family members that I’m vegan just because I want to tell a story that wouldn’t be the same without qualifying “because I’m vegan…” or “I was at an awesome vegan event this weekend…” (and, let’s be honest here, all vegan events are awesome).
But the truth is, if I’m telling a story about a vegan festival, and the story has to do with all the vegany things I did at said festival, I can’t really leave out the fact that I’m vegan, now can I?
Also, it’s not like I’m not constantly reminded by everyone else around me how they’re clearly not vegan…so why does this failure to be secretive in my veganism bother me so much? Even more, I really don’t understand this reserve of mine because, in all actuality, I want the world to know that I’m vegan! So vegan vegans vegany veganism vegan vegan! Hey, I’m a vegan!
Anyway, let me begin this introduction over. My name is Megan, I’m a 28 year old gal living in Baltimore, Maryland. I’m the author of an old blog which I rarely post on anymore, Tree-hugging Urbanism (treehuggingurbanism.wordpress.com) and I’ve had interest recently in starting a vegan blog. Why? I’m not quite sure. Because it’s not like I am a great chef—I barely even cook—so I won’t be sharing amazing recipes. I’m also not the wisest when it comes to plant-based nutrition. So I hope you’re not looking for tips on getting your nutrients because my response will be, “hey, I just eat what I want and, well, it’s worked for me so far!” And I really don’t travel often enough to share about finding the vegan gems across the globe. So, good luck with that.
Yea, as much as I wish it were true, I’m really not the most vegany vegan to ever vegan. Sooooo, yeah. Please don’t go?
I guess my main motivation behind this blog is just to share my vegan story, and to help others cultivate their interest in veganism and find solidarity among the community. I see this as being a platform to welcome friends and family into veganism, and to share the wonders of the vegan lifestyle (veganism is NOT a diet!). So, if you stick around, we may just figure out what this blog really is all about. Won’t that be exciting!?
So, now that I’ve provided a brief intro to the blog, I’ll provide a brief intro into my life. Allow me to interview myself…
What’s your name? Dude, were you not paying attention? I’ve said it twice now. My name is Megan…
What do vegans look like? Like human beings? Ugh, I don’t know, here:
How long have you been vegan? I’ve been vegan for 4.5 years now, but I was vegetarian for almost 10 years prior to that. So in like 2 weeks, I will have been veg for 14 years.
When and why did you go veg*n? I went vegetarian in high school, at the age of 15 (I think? I’ll have to do the math). I’ve always loved animals but, like most of us, I was raised to be mentally separated from the animals I consumed. Part of me knew that eating animals was wrong. And I wanted to acknowledge that sooner, but I found myself actually a few years before my transition, while in middle school, telling the one weirdo vegan in class that “I could never be a vegetarian, I love chicken nuggets too much.” What an asshat I was. Yea, I liked chicken nuggets, but I liked actual chickens more. Anyway, ironically, a few years later, I saw the movie Chicken Run (yes, you read that correctly; we didn’t have Forks Over Knives back then)—and it wasn’t even the first time I’d seen the movie either—and I felt empathy towards the chickens. I felt bad for claymation chickens. So I thought, maybe I’d try a week of not eating meat—you know, for the real chickens.
I would like to think that one week would have turned into longer no matter what happened, but I always attribute my sticking with it to a friend who, upon learning of my intention, scoffed, “You won’t last.” Challenge accepted. Megan: one. Doubting Friends: zero.
I was also vegan for a short period in high school, but only because my nutritionist wanted to see if my headaches were the result of some dairy intolerance. But my headaches persisted (though, I’ll admit, they went away not long after eating a vegetarian diet and I have not had a headache in years, especially not since going vegan).
I didn’t finally go vegan (cheese, tho) until reading a VegNews article about Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi and their motivations to go vegan. I started to doubt my addiction to milk—and it honestly is an addiction—and I finally watched Forks Over Knives in 2011. I slowly transitioned to veganism; but it really took about 2 years to be fully committed. Now, I’ll never go back.
Side note: thanks, vegan weirdo (she’s not actually weird), Augusta, and doubting friend, Summer, for putting me on the path to become the gal I am today.
Was going veg*n hard? Yes. No lie, it was very difficult. Vegetarianism was actually easy for me; and I am so fortunate to have a supportive mother who did whatever she could to sustain my vegetarianism. Total enabler, right there. (But actually, that quality of hers has worked to my benefit sometimes. Okay, most times.)
Now, veganism was a challenging transition. Unlike meat, which (aside from my beloved chicken nuggets) I really didn’t have a huge taste for, I honestly really enjoyed dairy-based foods. And it didn’t help that my husband is an omnivore and I’m anti-throw-food-away. Leftover cheese pizza? Don’t throw that in the trash! The day that I picked the box of cheese pizza out of the trash to eat a slice was the day I realized shit was upside down. (I literally did that once.) Ain’t nobody need cheese that much. I finally reaffirmed my commitment to veganism, went on a solo vegan vacation on a vegan cruise, and I haven’t looked back.
My lovely husband has since agreed to keeping a vegetarian home!!! Yes! This is indeed as big of a deal as it sounds. He is amazing for many reasons, but for this reason first and foremost. Seriously. Go him.
He will still occasionally bring in a cheese pizza (that I will not scavenge out of the trash, mind you), but no longer do I have to open the fridge and see carcasses.
Do you have any vegan tattoos? Good question, Megan! Actually, I have one tattoo that was to benefit rescue animals (Tats for Cats). But I don’t have a specifically vegan tattoo…yet.
Yet? Yes! I have a consultation scheduled in a few weeks with my artist to prepare for a full on, biggest tattoo on my skin to-date, vegan tattoo. I’m pumped UP.
Are you any particular kind of vegan? Um. no? Okay, so vegans come in many shapes and sizes…and diets. If I had to put myself in a box, it would be a box filled with vegan doughnuts, mac and cheese and root beer floats, some cookies, and nachos, definitely nachos. I’m a junk food vegan, for sure. But I’m striving to be more healthful. And I’d love to be “raw until four” because, who am I kidding—I’d never give up vegan chick’n nuggets 24/7. (No, really. I know I’ve said similar things before [you don’t know me!], but I’m serious.) Soooo, the goal is to be a HCLF (high carb, low fat) raw vegan during the day and continue living out my vegan #anythingyoucaneatIcaneatvegan dream. But, for now, I’m just a straight up junk food vegan…to the core. Check out this amazing veggie burger I got at the very vegan-friendly, Lost City Diner:
Are you a happy vegan? One recent blog post might suggest otherwise—I got sick of hearing, “You’re great, Megan! You’re not like those militant vegans,” from family members/friends as they bit into a dead cow…But I tend to be happy and forgiving. After all, I was the little dirtbag mocking the vegan back when, too. I’ve been there…
Do you have any real life vegan friends? I have not yet been successful in convincing my friends or family to go vegan. But I’ve made a ton of really amazing vegan friends in the past year. After my vegan cruise, where I met another vegan from my area, I started more regularly attending Baltimore Vegan Drinks events and have since grown a circle of….10+, I think, vegan friends! They’re terrific!
Where can people find you on social media? Well, I currently have a vegan instagram account: @crunchyvegangal
What can people expect from this blog? I really don’t think you were paying attention earlier. I don’t even know the answer to this.