Recently, my food choices have been challenged, both voluntarily as I've reconsidered different aspects and viewpoints of the food system, sustainability and nutrition, and involuntarily through criticism and teasing. I never get offended and never bring up anything about my food choice unless others ask me about it.
I enjoy hearing others' viewpoints and respect what they know or think and find works best for themselves. I don't engage in activism, though understand its purpose with vegan being a social justice movement, but understand too others don't view the same.
I grew up eating a traditional mix of animal and plant products and was quite healthy, with the exception of acne and digestive issues. But self-experimenting led me to other options that could work for me too. Not once before did I consider a vegetarian or vegan eating pattern, because from a young age it was ingrained in me that meat is required.
4 years ago after randomly clicking on a YouTube video, I was introduced to vegan and plant-based eating and was curious. I have not eaten meat or seafood and rarely any other animal products since then. It wasn’t just an emotional response, as I really informed myself on every possible thing. I continue to base my choice on how my body responds, aligning with personal health and moral views, and not on outside influences.
I don't see myself eating meat again at this point. But I’ve decided to remove barriers to allow myself to adjust as needed in situations going forward. That means being okay with consuming some egg or dairy if I'm traveling or out with friends or family and there are no other options. It is not that I am deficient in nutrients or feeling bad, but a way of keeping things mentally sustainable in the long run for myself.
The recipes and meal ideas I share will still be fully plant-based. I just don't want to base recommendations for everyone on what works or doesn't work for me. I don’t want to promote just one 100% way of eating and want to encourage others to “listen to their body” too. So I've shifted my focus to active individuals with more plant-based eating preferences, which may or may not include animal products.