All the Times I Leveled up as a New Vegan

If you’re just starting on this journey and feeling overwhelmed, have no fear: New skills will be unlocked soon

Laura Vincent
Dec 4 · 4 min read
Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

If my being vegan comes up in conversation, I will usually add that I’m still very much a newcomer to this way of life. I’m well aware that I’ve come to it in a time of relative abundance in terms of products, technology, and access to countless online recipes. I didn’t have to spend the 1980s walking barefoot through the snow for miles just to find a can of TVP.

Nevertheless, eighteen months in I am feeling comfortably settled in my decision, and have even occasionally noticed moments of what I call “leveling up.” If you are also a recent vegan, you might know what I mean. It’s those times where I’m suddenly aware of my being vegan in ways I hadn’t been previously — where it felt like a metaphorical box had been ticked, or like I was a plucky Sonic the Hedgehog gathering a new Chaos Emerald.

To illustrate, here are some examples.

Level One: Baby’s first mock chicken

Level Two: No longer haunted by the thought of cheese

Level Three: A nightmare about eating meat

When I awoke for real I was flooded with relief that I hadn’t actually transgressed. I also realised that this was the first time I’d had a bad dream about eating meat. Truly a new achievement unlocked — thank you subconscious!

Level Four: Enraged by “good” meat industry social media

Recently an image from one such “happy pig” pork company was retweeted into my Twitter feed. It portrayed a beautiful, fully grown pig, lying happily in the sun, and the caption described his gentle personality. I was suddenly enraged. How utterly galling. Using the image of this innocent pig enjoying his life for social media popularity when the pig’s sole purpose for this company is to be killed for its meat. Another image from this same company showed a mother pig with her baby pigs nuzzling her, and it made me feel queasy. Yes they’re adorable and bonding as a family — and in six months they’ll probably all be slaughtered. Why is this company showing us these beautiful images if they’re just going to kill them? Why are they acting as though what they’re doing is actually good? How can they not see this appalling disconnect?

Days later I’m still mad about it, but honestly, I’m disappointed at myself for also having had that disconnect for so long. Nevertheless, a definite moment of leveling up.

The Final Boss, still undefeated: White chocolate

Till then, I guess there’s always Level Five to aspire to:

Tenderly

A friendly + radical vegan magazine dedicated to living well with kindness towards animals, care for the planet, and justice for all.

Laura Vincent

Written by

Food blogger and author from New Zealand. Writing at hungryandfrozen.com; Twitter at @hungryandfrozen; and exclusive stuff at Patreon.com/hungryandfrozen.

Tenderly

Tenderly

A friendly + radical vegan magazine dedicated to living well with kindness towards animals, care for the planet, and justice for all.

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