Why I Went Vegan: Collectively Caitlin www.collectivelycaitlin.com I often get asked about why I went Vegan. Especially living in the south. My mother is convinced it’s easier to be gay in the Bible belt than vegan. Although I don’t think it’s that difficult I certainly do understand that the Bible belt is also the bacon and fried foods belt. Haha! So I get her point.


Let me start by saying this post isn’t here to convince you to go vegan. I’m not a vegan who talks about being vegan. My hubs isn’t vegan and so I still cook meat and dairy products for him and when he cooks he keeps the meat and dairy products separate so I can eat it! We’ve all met those vegans that talk about being vegan all the freaking time. I’m not one of those. I promise. Other than my recipes this will probably be my one and only vegan post. I’m not gonna tell you you’re a terrible person for eating meat or cheese or whatever. I get it. It’s food. Eat! I mean up until about 6 months ago I was eating the same stuff. Actually probably a worse diet than what you’re eating. I mean I don’t even know you but I feel pretty confident in saying that I ate terribly and worse than you.


So let me start by explaining my diet in the past. When I lived at home in high school and community college I ate so very little. I remember a couple of occasions where I only let myself eat one handful of goldfish a day. I remember going to bed with my stomach in pain from hunger and I literally remember telling myself “no pain no gain” looking back that is so F’ed up. Seriously. Also I have no idea why goldfish was an allowed food. I don’t get it. But no one knew this was going on. I remember being 14 and wearing a swimsuit in front of two friends for the first time and they gasped when I walked into the room. I always wore baggy t-shirts so they never saw the shape my body was in. They were in shock to see that my stomached caved in bellow my ribs at that point. But then I would go through phases where I would make myself eat three meals a day and everything was fine for a while. Then back to some sort of weird self-restriction. If I passed out and was asked what I had eaten that day I would lie and say meals and snacks that were never consumed. For a while I used coffee as an appetite suppressant. I was never happy with my body but I also wasn’t happy with life in general. Looking back, I think the self-deprivation had to do with a need for control in my hectic whirlwind of teenage years. These instilled habits and basically destroyed my insides. I had actually forgotten what it feels like to feel hungry. I could go all day without eating out of simple forgetfulness and not feel even a slight hunger or desire for food.

When I first moved to college I used my lack of need for food and my ability to use a cup of coffee as a meal as a way to save money. Once I got my first pay check from my first job in Charleston I would make myself eat at least one full and balanced meal a day. Or at least on days I worked. Because hello! Discount! But even that would ebb and flow as I got bored with eating the same restaurant food all the time. My last year of college I basically sustained myself off of Starbucks and fries. And I was still occasionally passing out. My boyfriend at the time, now hubs, couldn’t understand how I didn’t even understand what hunger felt like. I had actually at this point grown to accept my body more. I wasn’t hyperventilating if I felt like I gained a pound. I was actually confident in swim wear and I got a tattoo on my ribs I wanted to show off. It was great! But those habits were deeply ingrained and ruining my health.

Why I Went Vegan: Collectively Caitlin www.collectivelycaitlin.com

So when we got married and my life stress levels dropped by like a thousand then I knew I had the time to start making a change. I also knew that small changes were not going to work. I had done too much damage to expect that just saying I’d eat healthier or more often would work. I needed to do something drastic that would make me really think about my food and eating habits. So I went vegan. At first I didn’t tell anyone until I hit the 2-month mark to make sure this was something could really stick to. Plus, I am from the south so I knew people would find it weird.


Now that I’ve gone vegan I can’t just eat whatever whenever. I have to plan to make sure I’m getting the proteins and vitamins I need. And I will admit, I do eat meat about once a month. Because I am terrified of having to get B-12 shots. It’s probably not the best way to avoid them. But it makes me feel like I am at least trying. I know it’s faulty logic. Besides: I never want someone to feel like they have to make a different meal for me or anything. If they’ve taken the time to cook, then that animal is already gone. I’m goanna eat it. But I just won’t make those things at home or order them when going out to eat.


Since I went vegan I have felt so much better. I actually feel hungry sometimes and I eat meals that make my body feel great! I have more energy and I haven’t passed out in months! It has been the best thing imaginable for my body. And it has actually lowered our monthly grocery bill! So to anyone that says it’s too expensive to be vegan: they’re wrong.


Also: As a Christian I know God commanded mankind to be good stewards of the earth and animals. And the agriculture industry today isn’t doing that. Feed lots are now how God’s creation should be treated. These mass dairy farms where cows are living in filth. Chicken farms where Chickens never see the light of day. These are things that I don’t think are right. And they for sure are not sustainable. And even outside of the meat industry there are vegetables being shipped into our American grocery stores from farms in other countries that are not paying their workers fair wages and/or are working in unsafe environments full of pesticides that are in the air the workers are breathing. The food industry is not what it should be and as a Christian I don’t think I should be supporting it. That’s my personal opinion.


So do you think you’d ever go vegan? Does this change your opinion on the vegan movement?