I now live in the San Francisco Bay Area, but I lived in Denver for 15+ years and was there when I started this blog. I didn’t assume I would be moving to California at the time. However, I am still very connected to Colorado and keep up to date with the vegan movement there. I’m also getting to know my new home-state of California. I’m not exclusive to any one (or two) states, most of my writing applies to anyone who is vegan or is curious about being vegan.
Being vegan is one of the largest identifying factors in my life – it crosses all borders of my life: food, clothes, cleaning solutions, cosmetics, pets, child rearing, etc. The things I decide to do or not do depend on many factors regarding animals and how they are treated. Being vegan is an entire lifestyle, it’s not only about what I eat, it’s about what I care about and what I’m willing to promote with my spending habits.
In addition to eating vegan, I also do not use products tested on animals, I voraciously recycle everything I can, I conserve water and electricity, I buy organic foods, I watch out for toxic chemicals in beauty products and cleaners, I write letters to companies asking them to use less packaging and adopt wind energy or carbon offsets. I vote with my dollars and I financially support organizations that protect animals.
I find, for me, being a vegan is also about being an environmentalist in a whole and complete way. Respecting the entire animal world, not letting animals be injured for my consumption or testing for “product safety” and not sticking my head in the sand to pretend I don’t know about what really happens to the animals. It’s all too easy to ignore the things one cannot see! It’s also easy to “go with the flow” and do what everyone else is doing. I see other people not recycling, eating meat, using toxic chemicals in their homes, not considering ingredients, etc. and sometimes think, “Oh, I wish I could blindly go along with the general population and use those toxic products and throw everything into the trash. I wish I didn’t have to read product labels and wonder about GMOs and pesticides!” But I do know and I have to care, I cannot go along with an uncaring society!
I was vegan for a couple of years in my late 20’s but I had little support and there weren’t the delicious meat alternatives to devour, nor were there the plethora of awesome vegan cookbooks (Isa Chandra Moskowitz, where were you all my life?). I also ended up taking the path of the righteous holier-than-thou vegan. Being angry with meat eaters was very stressful and exhausting! This time around I’m much more lax about what others choose to do, I can inform them and nudge them, but getting angry with them won’t help the cause. I’ve now been completely vegan since my son was born on December 17th, 2009.
Having been raised on meat, I can’t say that it always tastes bad and it often smells good coming from someone else’s grill. It does gross me out and makes me very sad, but it can taste good. While I no longer prefer to taste it I do remember why those zombies lean over the meat case at the grocery. In the past, I had struggled with cheating a little here or there, to make dining out easier or to “go with the flow,” but I kept the images and facts in the conscious part of my mind and that is what kept me from “cheating.” Plus, doesn’t the meat department always seem to smell really bad. These days I’m no longer tempted with meat, all sights and scents of it turn my stomach. It’s all too connected to the reality of abusing and killing animals.
When I was younger I would cheat. If I was not “creating a demand” for more dead animals I felt it was okay to eat it. If someone had a few extra pieces on their plate or if someone bought a Whopper for me (and promised not to tell anyone) I would eat it. Now I don’t want to cheat, I don’t want it in my mouth, I don’t want to chew it, and I probably couldn’t swallow it if I tried.
People often have different reasons for changing their eating habits. Mine are the following and in this order: Animal Rights, the Environment, Health. They are all very important to me, that’s just their technical order…though health and the environment may switch back and forth in their order – it depends on the day.
In addition to being an awesome vegan I’m also a mother of a 3-year-old cute-as-a-button boy, I’m a photographer, an artist, and an adventurer of the planet Earth. I’ll try to stay on topic but as life often happens to get in the way and ends up weaving itself up with other things I will also be chatting about other related things! Besides, don’t our eating habits have something to do with nearly everything we do?
Colorado Vegan was created to cultivate and encourage a community of vegans, vegetarians, curious, socially conscious, and like-minded people to find information, inspiration, and a community. I will contribute delicious recipes, restaurant reviews, tantalizing bits of news, and ideas for living lighter. My goal is to share things that I have learned on my journey, and I want you to share your experiences with me as well. Let’s inspire each other to live healthier and more mindful lives!
I look forward to your comments and/or emails. Please let me know you’re here and keep in touch often! Christine@ColoradoVegan.com