My Four-Year Vegan Anniversary
* I went vegan the day I returned to college for the spring semester. I had planned everything out: I didn't want to throw out and waste nonvegan food in my refrigerator during the previous semester, so I went vegan when I felt I could have a "fresh start."
* My first meal as a vegan was at a Chinese restaurant that has the wonderful slogan "Think Globally. Act Locally. Eat Noodles."
* January 11, 2003, was also the first time I drank alcohol outside religious contexts. I was at a college party ... yada yada yada. I had considered myself straight-edge up until that point (and I screamed my brains out singing Minor Threat's "Straight Edge" eight days earlier), but for some reason, I felt liberated and chose to drink that night--although it certainly wasn't a lot, and I still don't like to drink too much. One of my friends said going vegan instead of being straight-edge was the best tradeoff I could possibly make, and another joked that I'd wind up on crack if I ever went kosher. (I essentially am kosher "by default," but that's another story for another time.)
* I adhered to a vegan diet strictly for about three months, until late April. For about a year after that, I avoided milk and eggs but ate foods that had those animal products as ingredients. I was embarrassed to admit this to other animal rights activists at the time, but now I see things differently. I highly encourage people to transition to a vegetarian or vegan diet if they think that's how they'll be able to stick with it. After being vegan for a while, I really don't miss animal products, and I think being vegan is easy. If transitioning is what can help get people to that point, then I think it's a good thing.
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