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How a Southern Girl Went from Meat Lover to Animal Lover

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People from home skeptically ask me, “So, is it easy not eating meat?” My answer is no. I realize this is just the opinion of one person, but I want to be honest. I have seen others go vegan or vegetarian overnight without ever looking back. Good for them! I wish I was the same way, but I have had my struggles, primarily whenever I go back home to the South or am stuck in a situation where I am hungry and have no control over my food. These I see as challenges and each day is a new day. I am someone who is choosing to eat a plant-based diet, but I still like meat. I like the texture and taste and miss it. Others may not, but this is my perspective There are certain steps that I take to help me stick to a meat-free diet.

I like soy-based meat products such as the ones you can find from Gardein or any other company that makes vegan meat. Here, you can find “chicken”, “beef” or “fish”. During the holidays, there is even soy “turkey”!
I also pack a snack in the car wherever I go so I’m not tempted to grab something out of hunger, and I’m constantly on the lookout for new, great products. I have found hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken cutlets, and even Chinese sweet and sour pork that are all 100% vegan. I’ll never forget one of the first vegan meals I ate. VIVA GLAM photographer, Deja Jordan, made me a vegan hot dog with soy cheese, Veganaise and avocado. It was better than a meat hot dog for sure! I don’t feel like I’m missing much of anything anymore, but I do still miss my Southern favorites. Soy chicken fried steak, anyone?

People also ask if I have made mistakes along the way. Yes, but I think that is probably par for the course and I’m not going to beat myself up over it. Rather, I think of each day as a new one. In life on the whole, I try to adapt this attitude. Moving forward it the best thing you can do in life, upwards and onwards.



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