Vegan Reflection: Rebecca Ohnona (’12)

There is no love more sincere in my life than my love for food. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I spend any free time I have watching the Food Network, reading blogs about food and even trying different diets just for the fun of it. Because I, like most people, have regarded a vegan diet as deprivation, assuming that foods without milk, eggs, or butter are simply tasteless, a vegan diet is one of the few culinary endeavors I have not attempted. Until now…

As one always up for a challenge, I decided to give the plant-based diet a try, with the sheer doubt that I would even make it through the first day. Despite my initial doubt, I have successfully made it through three weeks of the vegan lifestyle.

Throughout the first few days of my veganism, I was posed with many challenges, the hardest being a trip to my favorite restaurant, The Continental, where my friends on either side of me got my favorite meal, the Chilean sea bass, while I sat there with my tofu. To my surprise, however, I wasn’t as depressed to watch them devour the fish as I thought I would be. I found comfort in the fact that no animal had to be terrorized in order for me to enjoy my meal.

Though my family members have been anything but supportive of my endeavor, I have chosen to continue it past the three-week experiment. Realistically, I am not positive that I can be a vegan for the rest of my life, but I am going to give it a try anyway. After reading further into the vegan lifestyle, I have come to the conclusion that I no longer want to digest decomposing flesh for dinner.

This process has taught me a lot about myself, most prominently that I posses a lot more self-control than I thought I did. I would be a liar if I said that the smell of chicken coming out of the oven no longer entices me, or that watching my family eat steak doesn’t make me want to cheat even a little bit, but I have come to terms with the fact that eating something that would jump off my plate if it could it just not humane.

I truly feel that this cruelty-free lifestyle will continue to improve my health.  This plant-based diet has truly made me feel more headstrong, energized and happier as I come to terms with the fact that I don’t need to contribute to the killing and exploitation of animals in order to feed my body properly.