I had always been that person that worries too much, puts herself under a lot of pressure and feels stressed out about the smallest things. Today, I still struggle with all of this sometimes but it got way better. I’m so much more relaxed and positive about anything and I feel a lot calmer.
I could feel this change happening as soon as I decided to go vegan about 1.5 years ago. Let me explain to you why I believe that being a vegan and not eating animal products had this effect on me:
Veganism gave me purpose: In the past, I often felt so lost in life; I questioned why I’m even here and what the purpose of my life is. Today, I feel like I have found my purpose which is to contribute to making this world a better place by trying to be a good example with living a life that harms other living beings as well as our planet, as little as possible. I don’t feel that my life is just about me anymore but about so much more than that. I don’t think “oh what difference can I as a single person actually make” anymore. I understand now that every single person can contribute to making positive changes in the world and that everyone is important when it comes to the bigger picture. All positive changes made in the past started with a few people taking the first steps and then many others following their footsteps.
Veganism is healthier for my body: With cutting out animal products from my diet, I also cut out all the unhealthy stuff that can be found in them such as growth hormones, antibiotics, cholesterol or saturated fatty acids. Animals release stress hormones when they are scared, when they get into panic and when they are abused and killed. All of this stress goes into their meat, milk and eggs as well which means that you are passively consuming it, too. This can make you feel more anxious and stressed. My body also gets a lot more beneficial vitamins, minerals and fiber instead of heavy animal fats which are harder to digest. My digestion got so much better with going vegan and when you feel better physically, it also makes you feel better mentally.
Veganism cured my unhealthy relationship with food: Struggling with my eating habits has been a part of my life for a long period of and I even had an eating disorder as a teenager. My relationship with food had never been relaxed; I either ate way too much or way too little. I was never really able to listen to my body and to eat intuitively. Then another struggle started: I was feeling bad for eating animal products, all I could think about while eating was the animal cruelty behind the food. When I finally turned vegan, all of this was gone. Today, I enjoy eating as much as I never have before. So what is the reason for this, why is food no longer a stress factor for me? First of all, I eat a very healthy vegan diet in general, so I know that what I put into my body is good for me and is not a risk for making me sick or gain weight. I don’t have disordered thoughts anymore and I don’t beat myself up when I’m eating a little too much or too unhealthy; I don’t eat any animal products and so to me, it is still so much healthier to eat unhealthy vegan food than eating unhealthy non-vegan food would be. But the main thing is: I know that I do not contribute to animal suffering and the destruction of our planet with what I eat. This automatically makes me so much happier and relaxed even when having something unhealthy as I think “ok, this may not be the best for my body but at least I’m not harming anyone else”. It just feels like eating “peaceful” food like this, even when it may not be the healthiest, is still doing something good for me mentally.
With all of these positive changes, going vegan was one of the best decisions – if not THE best decision – I ever made in my life.
Alexandra Dietrich lives in Germany and is passionate about anything related to veganism, health, travelling and creating a life you love. She studied health promotion and currently works in an office job. Her dream is to become a holistic health coach in the future and to spend more time abroad to explore this beautiful world.
Ebook: Busy Healthy Vegan