Carlee was a vegetarian for 6 months prior to going vegan. She is also an environmentalist studying Environmental Science at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. She’s super cool, has ginger hairs, and loves polar bears. She is also my rockin roommate where we reside in our current house in Peterborough.
Q: So November 1st was your one month of going vegan. How do you feel so far?
Um, I don’t really feel that different physically. I have lost a bit of weight; my pants feel a bit looser. I look at other people and I look at what they’re eating and I feel better about what I’m eating in the sense that I am no longer contributing to the murder of animals and no longer increasing my carbon footprint.
Q: What made you initially decide to go vegan?
For a few weeks I had been learning more and more about veganism. I was already a vegetarian for 6 months prior to this, but the final turning point for me is when I watch the documentary Cowspiracy (with Katrina) and learned all about the dangers of animal agriculture/factory farming, how many innocent animals die a year, and how bad it is for our environment.
Q: What did your family and friends think of your decision to switch?
My parents were really supportive of my decision and even make me my own little separate dinner from theirs. My dad was really concerned about the proper nutrients at first but he said as long as I was happy and healthy then that’s all that mattered. After a month he’s still not 100% beside me on it but in the end it’s my decision and they’re proud of me and support me either way. My mom also sends me little vegan recipes on Facebook; she loves it. Also, both of them are now starting to eat healthier than they did before.
As for friends, they were really surprised at first but very supportive. I still get comments such as “vegan?? Why!?” but although they don’t really understand, they’re still happy for me.
Q: What are some positive outcomes of going vegan?
I don’t have to worry about eating shitty foods and I’m not tempted by them at the grocery store. I know that they’re there and I know that I could eat them, but I also know I’m not going to because I don’t want to harm any living beings. I also feel healthier and more positive.
Q: Any negatives?
Having to answer the question “why are you a vegan” every single time I meet someone or talk to someone. Also, not being able to go get pizza with the girls (that we live with) or being able to eat food with the girls when they get food. And not being able to attend ice-cream sundae parties. But that’s not really a negative because, who even has ice cream sundae parties anymore.
Q: Before this, did you ever think that you would/could go vegan?
A while ago when I was eating turkey, fish and chicken, I thought it would be easy to go vegetarian. But when I thought about veganism.. I thought, no way. I love my eggs and milk and cheese too much. The thought never really even occurred to me when I was a vegetarian until I realized how important it was to cut out all of those things because it may not seem like the animals are being harmed for those things, but in reality, they are and I knew I couldn’t let that happen.
Q: What kinds of foods do you eat now and how do they differ from the foods you ate before?
I love cereal with almond milk (which is basically the same as before except with almond milk), fake chicken, Tofurky turkey slices, chocolate banana smoothies, fake cheese to make grilled cheese, pasta and tomato sauce, soba noodles, superfood salads, lots of berries, and for sweets I buy vegan chocolate bars and vegan chocolate chips that I eat straight from the bag. (They taste exactly like regular choco chips)
The foods I eat now are basically the same things I ate before except vegan-ified 🙂 Not that hard!
Q: Why do you think other people should give this lifestyle a try?
I think people don’t understand that animals are just like us and that they have feelings and emotions and like to play and do things and people become so disconnected from it. People should attempt to be vegan to save lives that are important. And also to clean out your insides and get rid of all the bad things in your body.
Q: As you know, I support going vegan for health, the animals, and the planet. What was the #1 reason for you going vegan?
I think the main reason behind me going vegan was that I knew I couldn’t be a true environmentalist and save the planet, which is my dream, and change the planet without being a vegan because factory farming is the #1 contributor to Global Warming, Climate Change, and so many other things. I don’t think I could be true to what I believe in without making that change to vegan.
Um, probably the whole not getting enough protein thing. People don’t understand that chicken is not the only source of protein in the world. And also, the animals you are eating are literally vegan themselves. Cows eat grass and corn, and then YOU eat THEM. So the only reason you’re getting protein from them is because they got protein from plants.
(The same thing works if you were to eat a meat eating human. – Katrina)
Honestly, I realized it’s not that big of a change because I can still have ‘chicken’ but it’s not from an animal. And I can have ‘cheese’, but it didn’t come from an animal. And I understand it’s not exactly like the real thing, but it’s pretty darn close and I’m not that picky of a person so it’s good enough for me. If you have faith in yourself and truly want to make a change, then you will realize it’s actually easy and that you can actually do it; that’s what worked for me.