An inspiration to go vegan


These vegan oat milk pancakes were easy to make. Cooking my own meals have helped with the transition into a vegan lifestyle.

Last month, I turned vegan.

It was a decision that happened halfway through a documentary that ended up changing my life. “Eating Our Way to Extinction,” released in October, shows how the meat, fish and dairy industries negatively impact our health, animals, environment and, in turn, our future. 

I quit my meat-eating tendencies after witnessing the disregard for animal life in the film. The documentary brought to light the poor conditions of factory fish farms, with animals languishing in filthy pools of their own waste. It absolutely shocked me how little these corporate companies care about the well-being of animals and, in turn, humans. Society consumes foods that come out of such unsanitary conditions. “Eating Our Way to Extinction” shows viewers how corrupt the world’s food industries can be. Viewers learn how money controls these industries in making huge profits through their demoralized ways. 

According to an article in “Live Kindly,” as the meatpackers and meat became more industrial, the farms these companies bought from were pushed to become more industrial themselves. This led to a huge increase in factory farms, which created awful pollution, including dead zones in The Gulf of Mexico that can spread from 6,000 to 7,000 square miles. It also created toxic anaerobic lagoons that spew out ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and methane.


Going vegan

By going vegan, everything in my life has changed for the better. I feel better about myself and am much healthier overall. I have more energy, and I’ve even lost a bit of weight. At first, I just gave up red meat. Then I gave up white meat, then seafood, and finally, dairy. It was not easy at all. I was often tempted to quit because of how expensive vegan food is. I missed eating my favorite meat and seafood meals. My family has not been very supportive of my decision to become vegan either. They are really big meat eaters, so it is difficult for them to understand all of the benefits.

This is a vegan matcha banana bread I made out of all-vegan ingredients. Cooking and baking always put me in a good mood, so it has been fun experimenting with new recipes.

With all types of dietary lifestyles out there, understanding veganism can get really confusing at times. What is it exactly? Veganism is a dietary lifestyle that abstains from meat, fish, dairy and eggs. Basically one cannot eat anything that comes from an animal. It is extremely challenging, but by going vegan, there are so many benefits to not only one’s health but also the environment. 

By changing to a vegan diet, one can promote weight loss and reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels. This also lessens the chances of getting certain types of cancer. Vegan diets are much richer in nutrients as well. Simply put, choosing to eat better means you will feel better. 


Going vegan, from a former vegan

Ella blu Pakele, a senior at Sacred Hearts Academy, was once a dedicated vegan. 

“Veganism and vegetarianism were something within reach for a long time,” said Pakele, referring to her father’s health-conscious ways. “I first started experimenting with vegetarianism in sixth grade, mostly because my dad was (a vegetarian), then I transitioned to a vegan diet in middle school.”

I have been struggling a bit and sought out her advice on what she found most difficult. To this, she said the cravings for food she could no longer eat were definitely at the top of that list.

“Eggs were a huge motivator for staying vegetarian, so giving that up to go vegan was super difficult,” Pakele said. “I was also a little embarrassed about being vegan. I didn’t want my friends or family to think I was high-maintenance because I no longer could eat the things everyone else could eat.”

I can relate to what Pakele said. Cravings were honestly a nightmare because more times than I’d like to admit, I was always wanting to eat a nice steak. It was even more difficult because my family would eat all sorts of meat around me, leaving me feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled. 

Like Pakele, I have been cooking my own meals more often. I love to cook and have been trying new recipes; some good and some not so good. Though it does get expensive, cooking is really fun and therapeutic for me. It is an activity that always manages to put me in a good mood.


Going vegan can save the planet

Believe it or not, diet lifestyles do tie into climate change. Climate change is a change in temperature and weather over long periods of time. It affects the sea level, animal life and humans. Climate change is really bad because it leads to the decrease of plants and animals due to severe droughts and rising sea levels. ​​

An Oxford University study, published in the journal “Climatic Change,” shows that “meat-eaters are responsible for almost twice as many dietary greenhouse-gas emissions per day as vegetarians and about two and a half times as many as vegans.” So, by going vegan, you can help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere; therefore reducing the impact of climate change.

That’s one of the many unbelievable facts I have learned after watching “Eating Our Way to Extinction.” I want to be part of this change, even though there are so many temptations and days when I feel like I can’t make a difference. But that’s simply not true. As a society, everyone can take baby steps to help save our Earth and our health. 

But going fully vegan isn’t completely necessary. For me, it’s a lifestyle I’m committed to until the end of 2021. After graduating from high school in May 2022, I am enlisting in the military and want to get enough nutrients during this time. However, once I return from training, I plan to work my way back to being fully vegan.