Food, Lifestyle

Why I Stopped Being Vegan

Why I Stopped Being Vegan

Oh my days. This post has been long overdue, it’s been sitting in my drafts folder for nearly 2 months now. For most people, the reason behind this may come off a little bit silly, but truth is I was sort of afraid to share this on the blog as many of my readers follow a vegan lifestyle. This wasn’t because I feel guilty about my personal choices but because unfortunately, there’s so much hatred in the world that I deliberately chose to delay any possible backlashing.

Both me and my husband were vegan for 2.5 years. We wholeheartedly committed to the lifestyle, so much that we even opened a vegan business. We learned a lot about where our food comes from, health, animals, the environment and read a awful lot of dietary labels. We loved being vegan until it didn’t make as much sense as it once did. Here’s why we decided to transition away from it…

This autumn brought along so many changes

I started believing less in labels and more in listening to my body. When I ditched dairy and eggs and all their derivatives, I was overflowing with energy and my body felt nourished, it felt like a much needed cleanse. Everything in the free from aisle of the supermarket was a novelty to me, and making new food discoveries truly gave me an emotional high. I felt content because there were so many dairy and egg replacements available in the market, I truly thought I could live off these niche products forever. But after the first year and a half, it all started to become a little dull.
See, I’m a foodie, I love eating and cooking and trying out new things. I truly felt I was restricting myself by always having to check the damn labels and putting everything back in the shelf. If my stomach could speak, it would probably tell you about how depressed it was. I felt trapped in a bubble of restriction and it no longer made me happy.

I felt frustrated and emotionally defeated, which in some sort aggravated my anxiety disorder. I even avoided bringing this up in conversations, which made me feel worse as I never keep secrets from Pete. Turns out he actually felt the same way. We discussed this issue as a future possibility, having in mind where each other’s ethical boundaries lied. A couple of months ago, we took the leap (more like a backward leap?) and started introducing eggs and cheese back into our diet.

It’s not that everything has dramatically changed in our household. Two years and a half of being vegan definitely changed the way I eat and we’re definitely healthier vegetarians now because of that. We only buy organic free-range eggs from happy laying hens, even though they cost a whopping £4. We still prefer buying Alpro yogurts and milk. All vegetables and fruit we buy are organic, and they’re oh so delicious. Funny thing is, even though we’ve broadened our food spectrum, most of our go-to home-cooked meals are still plant-based. I’d say what has mostly changed for us is when we’re eating out or go to other people’s houses. It’s hard for other people to cater for your weird diet, especially when I don’t feel okay with bringing that sort of inconvenience to their table.

In regards to beauty and household products, I still buy cruelty-free and favour vegan products, but don’t have any problem in using a product that contains honey, for instance. I will never support animal testing and refuse buying anything made out of leather or fur. I also agree that the use of animals for pure entertainment, such as zoos, circuses or bullfighting, should be banned.

Enjoying an amazing vegetarian meal at The Gate

Among other things, being vegan taught me that balance means everything. I truly believe we should do whatever feels right for our body and soul, while still living up to our beliefs and being the best you can be as an individual. I praise everyone that can lead a vegan lifestyle and I still consider it to be the best choice and the answer to many problems. I’m sorry my personal choices disappoint lots of people who visit my website or who knew me through The Mighty Fork, but, unfortunately, it just wasn’t working for me.

As food was always a big part of this blog, I’ll continue sharing both vegan and vegetarian recipes as well as reviews of places that I visit.

Rita Correia's signature

7 comments

  1. You’re totally right – if it doesn’t fit, then there’s no point in doing it. At the moment I’m embarking on a ‘fair-trade, ethically sourced, UK-made’ only rule for clothing, and I’m really hoping that I can make it work. But if it doesn’t, at least I know I tried and can recognise that you can only do so much, within the limits of life.

    1. Thanks Christina! You have no idea how much it means to me. It’s weird but I felt somewhat guilty for coming to the conclusion that veganism wasn’t really working out for me, I’m now more acceptive of myself and listening to what my body tells me. Funny thing is I’m now getting back into eating more vegan cheese again, Violife for the win.
      I also agree on buying fair-trade and ethically-sourced clothing, even if it means paying a whole lot more. Quality is definitely visible so it might pay off in the end.

  2. Fogo..Eu sou vegetariana há 6 anos e não consigo imaginar ser vegan, é mesmo isso, temos de agir de acordo com o nosso corpo, necessidades… talvez um dia consiga abdicar mesmo de laticínios… adoro leite de soja, o primeiro passo não seria difícil…Mas a nível social seria cmpltmnt marginalizada…Então cá… terrível! :/ Não há quase opções!!
    still… veggies ruleeee

    1. Obrigado pelo apoio! Apesar de tudo, deu-me uma perspectiva completamente diferente da que tinha anteriormente e agora consigo incorporar alimentos muito mais saudaveis, e igualmente saborosos, na minha dieta. Imagino que ser vegan em Portugal deva ser bastante dificil tambem! Veggie power x

  3. Hey Rita!

    I finally got around to reading this post after a busy few weeks. I have to be completely balls out honest with you and say that I completely and wholeheartedly respect your decision. I have found (especially as I’ve only been officially vegan for 11 months) that whilst there is a lovely vegan e-community out there, there is also a lot of self righteous judgment. We all have choices and it’s never going to be the case that all will agree all of the time. That’s life, right?! I’ve often been frustrated at the folk that are so quick to pounce on anyone that dare live as they choose and believe. I can’t say that I’ll be vegan forever.. I honestly don’t think anyone has the ability to predict that about themselves, but I’m loving it at the moment. I wish you and Pete all the best for your future and you should both know that embracing what and who you are should never be muted or dumbed down. I have a truck load of respect for you and for taking the courage to follow your heart. But, I really do miss your beyond awesome ‘dogs!!! 😉
    Lots of love,
    Sal (wifeofavegan)

    1. Hi Sally!

      Thank you ever so much for your support, I’m genuinely glad that you’ve posted this 🙂 I have to admit I wasn’t expecting some members of the vegan community to be hateful towards people that didn’t follow the same ideal. Unfortunately, that was also one of the things that put me off saying I was vegan in first place.
      I like to think I’m vegan friendly as the backbone of my diet is still plant-based, but I won’t ever use that term again simply because of that. To each their own, but I believe people should be what they feel most comfortable with whilst doing the best they can, and along the way try to understand (or at least respect) other people’s opinions. Difference is what makes us humans, a very interesting bunch, with all our quirks.

      Wishing you all the best to you guys as well, much respect for what you’re doing and what you believe. There should be more people like you both! 🙂 xx

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