I became a vegan in December 2015 for the main reasons that mirror why most people become vegan.
First, I realized it was morally wrong for me to subsidize industries and individuals who exploit, harm, and kill animals.
I love animals, and finally after many years of “trying” to give up eating animal-derived foods, my conscience won, and I gave up all animal-derived foods.
Part of the Vegan Samurai code of honor is to refuse to give one penny of my money, or my dietary complicity, to those who produce animal-derived food.
As a deep ecologist who wants a beautiful earth replete with healthy biodiversity and biosphere, I oppose “animal agriculture” because it greatly harms the environment.
I also became vegan because my vegetarian diet hurt me.
Obviously being vegetarian was not as harmful to me as when I was an omnivore, but my vegetarian diet included dairy and eggs that made me fat, and impeded my digestive process, and were produced via animal exploitation.
I went vegan and so far I’ve shed nearly 40 pounds while saving lots of money on food and avoiding the moral wrong of being an animal-derived food industry customer.
But there are things I as a newbie vegan wish I’d known ahead of time.
Number one is I experience cravings for animal-derived foods.
These cravings are so strong physically and emotionally that I realize I was addicted to foods like milk, cheese, and ice cream.
One reason I developed the Vegan Samurai concept is that being vegan means I’m engaged in spiritual warfare with my food addictions.
The good news is that wholesome organic vegan foods now taste way better than any of the processed and animal-derived foods I used to eat.
The cravings are still present and probably always will be, but they’re receding.
Another thing I as a newbie vegan wish I’d have known is that it’s hard if not sometimes impossible to find vegan food when traveling by highway or airplane.
Because I’ve long been dedicated to eating organic food so I can avoid poisoning myself and subsidizing toxic agriculture, I realized as I became vegan that what passes for “vegan menu options” at places like Chipotle and airport restaurants are perhaps free of animal products, but definitely not free of processed, chemicalized ingredients.
I’ve learned the joys of fasting, which in a culture like ours where overeating is rampant was as hard to learn as being vegan.
Indeed, I’d never experienced true hunger until I fasted.
Fasting is a part of many spiritual traditions, and I see why. You choose to sacrifice to be true to your principles.
As a newbie vegan, I had to fast during business travel because I hadn’t brought vegan food with me and couldn’t find any to purchase.
What’s really cool is that hunger, being digestively empty and light, feels natural and energetic.
I love it, and I plan to fast more often!
The other thing a newbie vegan should know is that not all friends, family, partners, co-workers, and society are all that supportive of you being a vegan.
I hope you have people in your life who are sincerely, genuinely glad you’re a vegan and totally support you in it.
But be aware that some people may say they support you, but if they themselves are omnivores or even vegetarians, your newbie vegan status could well be making them nervous and somewhat resentful.
Because you being a newbie vegan covertly challenges the cruel immorality of their dietary choices.
Your veganism exposes their complicity with industries that commit moral wrongs against innocent animals.
It’s not that you’re preaching at them, trying to convince them to also become a newbie vegan, although many vegans do feel a need to tell the truth to non-vegans.
Just the fact that you exist in their lives is perceived by them as a silent condemnation.
It’s not your fault they feel guilty. It’s that they are guilty, and deep down, they know it.
But they’ll try to turn it around on you.
You’ll likely find that some harass you about being a newbie vegan, trying to bait you into arguments, accusing you of being “self-righteous,” judgmental, too radical, weird, or otherwise annoying.
But you’ll stand strong. It’s all part of being a moral person– a Vegan Samurai.
When Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights protestors demanded that society stop exploiting and abusing people based on race, the racists responded with hostility and violence, as if people pointing out a societal wrong were wrong to do so.
The strange fact is, whenever anyone challenges the human herd by pointing out its moral failings, the person doing the challenging faces pushback.
But take heart… as you read articles on this website and watch the embedded videos, you’ll learn why and how to stay strong as a Vegan Samurai so your veganism is lifelong and you never again participate as a customer and/or consumer of foods derived from harming animals.