‘Veganism is extreme!’
‘Vegans will suffer from malnutrition.’
It is not too hard to come across those harsh opinions about vegans these days, especially as we witness the rise of veganism, isn’t it? Personally, I understand the demotivation of going vegan. I was once being influenced by my friends’ constant reassurance that veganism is not worthwhile, and even their smallest act of talking me out of trying a new vegan restaurant in town could make me hesitant. Hence, I think it is safe to say that such assumptions usually shed a false light on the vegan community, discouraging some vegan-curious individuals from going vegan. But let me tell you something, there is much more that a life of veganism can offer than plainly “eating bland vegetables”. The only static element in veganism is respect for animal ethics and the sustainable lifestyle, while all remaining parts of being vegan are quite flexible variables. In other words, you are the only game-changing factor to your vegan life, guaranteeing that it wouldn’t be as “bland” as you fear. There is no plant-based recipe that cannot be enjoyable and/or nutritious if you have your creativity and maybe some Internet guidelines.
Suppose you decide to be a part of the vegan community at any point in your life. In that case, you might find yourself following these general steps of development: doing elaborated research on nutrition and diets, learning new recipes with plant-based ingredients, setting up your personal goal during the transition, etc. Thankfully, the vegan path is well-laid in this information age, hence you can easily find useful sources for beginners, from expert books to regular podcasts online. Therefore, I will spare the details of this beginning phase since I expect that you also wouldn’t want me to repeat all the basics in this blogpost, would you?
Instead, I have a recommendation to make, one from my experiences as a vegan-curious individual myself: reaching out and connecting with other vegan-minded peers! Specifically, as students in Rotterdam, you might want to consider going for the Vegan Student Association (VSA) Rotterdam, which works closely with the VSAs network among the Netherlands. Although VSA Rotterdam itself was recently founded, the team definitely did an impressive job in presenting their creative, original content to promote not just a vegan but a better health-conscious lifestyle. This includes not only academic-based activities such as workshops, online seminars, and podcasts but also some casual daily sharings on their social media (Instagram!). With just a few swipes into their digital channels, you might be able to learn some new interesting insights about vegan life. One of VSA’s main highlights is their dedication to sharing vegan recipes regularly, which you can actively participate in by signing up to their offline cooking workshops or simply turn on their IGTV channels for new cooking inspirations. At least I know that I can always count on their content for new vegan pastry dishes.
As my final remark, veganism is a choice. It is not an extreme choice but a positive choice since all vegans are striving to avoid consuming animal products practically instead of irrationally. In case you are the individual who remains in two minds about going vegan, I hope that you’ll see there are valid reasons to drop your current concerns.
Author: Rachel Nguyen
Editor: Gwendolyne Cheung
Illustrator: Ira Lizenko
In collaboration with: Vegan Student Association (VSA)