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A new veganing

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Emilee Wentland

More stories from Emilee Wentland

Just because the semester is coming to end doesn’t mean my veganism will be, too

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I have bad news, friends: This is my last edition of “A new veganing.” It hurts me to part with the column, but I have no intentions of parting with my vegan diet.

Before I started writing this, I thought that after this semester, I’d go back to just being vegetarian because I figured this transition would be harder and I’d be miserable.

But now I’m not so sure.

I think I’m too obsessed with veganism to give it up so easily. Sure, I can see myself enjoying a cheese pizza (or four) every now and then, but I won’t go back to regularly consuming dairy and eggs.

Since vegan alternatives exist, this transition was easier than I originally expected. This also makes it simpler for me to remain vegan for longer than a few months.

I’m not struggling, I’m pretty sure I’m not dying and I don’t feel like crap after I eat anymore. I’ve experienced positive changes these past months and it’d be silly for me to give those up.

There aren’t any harsh physical drawbacks for when vegans stop being vegan. Some stomach problems, maybe, from the dairy, but that’s pretty much it. Of course, you’d lose all the health benefits from initially changing your diet, like reducing the risk of colon cancer or preventing heart disease.

Aside from the Oreo fiasco last month, I’ve been eating fairly well. It’s been mostly vegetables, carbs and soy — you know, the essentials.

Over the course of the semester, I did a lot of research on veganism, but I also did my fair share of research on cruelty-free products, too. When I ran out of things like makeup or dry shampoo, I made sure to buy from brands like Batiste or NYX that don’t test on animals. This is a habit I’d been trying to get into for a while, so I’m glad this has finally stuck with me.

I’ll never be the person to tell you being vegan is the “perfect lifestyle,” because it isn’t. Not everyone can be vegan for health reasons and depending on what you eat, some foods might not be environmentally conscious, but I’m okay with that. In some cases, it’s the effort that counts, and this is one of those cases.

As far as cheating, I haven’t really since the pancake incidents I mentioned in October. I ate a pizza roll last week, but only because my roommate dropped it on the floor and it was either going into my stomach or the garbage. I chose my stomach, which was definitely questionable, but I’m still alive so it couldn’t have been that bad.

Last but definitely not least, my roommates and I exchanged Christmas gifts this weekend and the presents I received were vegan-centric. One of my roommates got me a pin that says ‘vegan’ in block letters which I plan to wear everywhere. My other roommate got me a vegan cookbook, which was immediately met with my reaction of “Are you ready for me to cook you random vegan stuff during break?” She is pumped, pals (and so am I).

I’m proud of myself for lasting as long as I have, and it’s only going to get easier from here on out. No matter how I choose to live in the future, I know deep down I’ll always be a preachy vegan, and I’d like to think maybe I influenced someone else to do the same.

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A new veganing