Going Vegan

Lessons from a failed vegan

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

When I started this blog, I wanted to document my experience transitioning to veganism. I envisioned it as a place of sincerity, where I could inspire others to live a life free of cruelty towards animals. Back then, I made two promises to myself: the first was never eating animal products again. The other was being honest and letting you know about any failures. Unfortunately, I have failed both. I abandoned my vegan diet and chose to run away from the criticism.

But I’ll stop myself before I get into any more self-loathing. Now, it’s time to remind myself why I tried to go vegan in the first place. If I want to succeed now, I need to learn the reasons why I failed to stick with the changes in my lifestyle. Perhaps this will provide valuable insights to myself and other transitioning fellows.

Likely reasons why I failed

Wrong focus

Back in April, I used to worry too much about what I couldn’t eat, drink or do. I knew I wasn’t supposed to eat meat in family gatherings, and that I would never eat regular pizza again. But forgot to focus on the possibilities of fresh greens, fruits and to explore all the novelty a vegan diet could offer.

Lesson 1: Going vegan is not about removing options from your menu. It’s about making smarter choices.

Being too harsh on myself

I have a tendency to be too unforgiving to myself. If I fail something, I just give it up altogether because I feel “I won’t make it, anyway!” And then this new endeavor adds up to this growing list of things I gave up on – okay, I don’t really keep a list, but you get it.

It all started when I decided to eat a Brazilian cheese bread, which is very traditional here. It really was what I missed the most from my omnivore diet. Well, the guilt came right after I finished it and one thing led to another. I believe that if I had already expected an occasional slip up here and there, in the beginning, I wouldn’t self-sabotage like this.

Lesson 2: Make room for mistakes. We’re all humans. As long as we keep on trying, everything will be okay.

One reason may not be enough

This confession will most likely make me look like a jerk. But I believe many of those who failed to transition, failed for the same reason as I did.

In April, the main reason I decided to stay away from meat and animal products was to not cause suffering to any other living being. This is a noble motivation, but for me, it wasn’t enough. I went back to eating dead animals anyways because it’s just too easy to rationalize it. There are plenty excuses to pick from and we all know that.

The slaughtering happens too far away from most people. When all we see is a beautifully packaged product, it may be easy to forget its gruesome path to our plate.

There was, however, another reason to go (and stay) vegan.

As you can guess from the name of this blog, I’m a dad. One of my biggest concerns ever since I became a father, was being able to stick around for as long as I can. I want to be fully present in my son’s life. At the age of 29, I already had alarming levels of cholesterol showing on my blood tests. That worried me quite a lot. This was before I tried going vegan for the first time, though.

After trying a vegan diet, I had the chance to have my blood tested again. The difference was astonishing: 40 days without animal products made my cholesterol levels drop from the high-risk zone to that of a healthy 10-year-old boy.

Is this a selfish reason to stay away from meat, dairy, and other animal products? Yes, it may be. But doing the right thing for a less noble reason doesn’t make it less right. You can still benefit animals while caring for your health.

Lesson 3: Any reason is fine when it inspires you to do the right thing.

Getting back on the vegan bandwagon

So, after quite a few months eating the standard American diet, I’m switching back to a plant-based diet again. I was cutting down on meat last week and have been 100% plant-based since yesterday. Will this be any easier than before? Most likely not, but at least I am aware of the mistakes I made during my first attempt. I will plan my meals better and work on making things more interesting for me. I hope you will join me on this journey to a cruelty-free diet.

Don’t forget to subscribe and stay tuned for the next updates. I will post more about my new strategies for a smoother shift.

Going Vegan

On cheese addiction and the need for constant reminders


Today I’m celebrating 2 weeks vegan. And although it’s a tiny little victory over old habits, I believe it’s something to celebrate. I’m pretty optimistic for getting this far but I’m well aware that this is only the beginning and that reaching the 2 weeks mark is no guaranty that I won’t fail in the future. I have to be honest and confess one thing: I had some tough cravings these days. There were times when I missed cheese so hard that I barely made it.

That got me thinking about how addictive cheese is, which in turn got me going to YouTube and  finding this pretty educational video about how cheese addiction. In a nutshell, it has a much higher concentration of casein than milk. When you ingest and process it, it’s broken into a natural opiate called casomorphin. It’s not by chance that this name is so familiar. Basically, eating one pound of cheese can be equivalent to taking a small, therapeutic dose of morphine. Not to mention the high caloric density and the amount of fat and salt, which makes the whole thing even more addictive.

Sometimes, thinking about the process of going vegan feels quite scary for me. There is something that I’m not particularly proud of and it is the fact that I tend to quit new endeavors when I’m under too much pressure. That happened countless times with diet and exercise plans, studies, spiritual practices… you name it. Going vegan is something I feared would go down the same path: try hard for a couple of weeks, only to fail not long after.

I swear that I got very close to quitting. I miss the fat, salty flavor of cheese. I miss bacon. I miss barbecue. I won’t be a hypocrite: I’m going vegan, but the effects of my old dietary habits still linger. If I concentrate hard enough, I can still feel the taste of the food I used to eat until two weeks ago and I miss it. But then I remembered something.

I’m not doing this only for myself.


The pleasure of eating is just too intense. It’s life changing, if you think about it. We get so entangled in bad eating habits that we waste our health and money doing so. In my family, for example, we had a total of four cases of heart attacks. Out of these four, three of them ended up being fatal. And why? Just because my grandfather and uncles didn’t consider choosing to eat smarter.

Well, that got me thinking … I have a son, damn it! Imagine if, just because I chose to eat barbecue every weekend, my son had to grow up without a father. Imagine if I couldn’t provide for my family just because I got too sick for that. These thoughts alone are bad enough, but they can be a little selfish. In the end, I would only be thinking about my family in a possible future that may or may not happen. However, every time I choose to eat meat, real families actually suffer. And I’m talking about the animals born and raised to be slaughtered in farms all around the globe.

Animals are brutally murdered just so I can taste that perfect, juicy, beef. Innocent calves are taken from their moms so we can steal their milk while they get butchered. Pigs are stored as trash in huge warehouses filled with waste and sickness. Chickens get debeaked so they won’t cannibalize one another as a result of the maddening environment they are kept in. Well, you get what I mean.

The bottom line is: the choices we make always affect the World. People, animals and we ourselves can suffer terribly as consequence of our choices and actions. When I remember this, it makes more sense for me to abstain from meat, dairy and eggs than to be indulgent. All I need is this constant reminder. We all need to learn how to eat and live responsibly and, for me, that’s what going vegan is about.

Going Vegan

Basic skills for vegan newbies

If you wanna go vegan, you should practice some basic skills, Daniel-san!

As of today, I’m on my 8th cruelty-free day and what a journey it has been! I must confess that yesterday I missed the freedom of an omnivore diet, like being able to just stop by the cafeteria and grab whatever appeals to me… BUT… life is all about choices and doing the right thing is often not the easiest of choices.

On the last few days, my meals have been all about trying new combinations of flavors, trying new approaches to old recipes and experimenting. Of course, I can always rely on the basics of Brazilian nutrition, which is composed mainly of rice and beans and that’s already good most of the times.

Going vegan is all about being responsible for your choices

When you decide to go vegan, one of the biggest pitfalls for a beginner like myself is that you can’t rely on the big restaurant chains, fast food, the cafeteria or even relatives when it comes to what you’ll be putting on your plate. You have to get out there, read labels, gather as much produce as you can, try new seasonings and make sure no animal was killed or hurt in the process of getting your food ready for you to eat.

This means that you’ll often need to cook for yourself.

It’s a good thing we live in an era of social media gastronomy! There are plenty YouTube channels, Instagram users and blogs full of innovative solutions that helps diversify our weekly menu. You can learn how to make your own vegetable milk and even make your own vegan cheese (I never thought it would be possible!). You can learn how to make burgers, soups, smoothies. The possibilities are practically endless and if you allow yourself to experiment, you’ll end up eating better than when you “could eat unrestricted”.

The 5 life-saving skills you should learn

Sandwiches are a quick fix for when hunger hits hard on you.

I am no cook, but I’ve been dedicating some of my time to learn these skills myself. According to this awesome guide I found here on vegan.com, you will never run out of ideas of what to eat if you learn how to make:

  1. Smoothies
  2. Stir-fries
  3. Sandwiches
  4. Soups
  5. Salads

And, indeed, if you can manage to make these, you’re set up for a smooth transition to veganism. If you can prepare your meals and freeze them for the week, if you have a busy life, then there is no excuse to eating poorly.

What about you? Still transitioning to veganism? Are you a veteran, already? Share your tips with us in the comments!


Sem categoria

Going vegan: the first 4 days.


So, today I’m officially 4 days into the vegan lifestyle, taking baby steps to alleviate the impact I have on the life of animals and repair the damage caused by 30 years of ingesting animals and their products. So far it’s been a really fascinating experience! I have already tried different dishes and combinations of food. And I won’t lie to you: there were moments when I caught myself thinking “what the hell, maybe I should cut myself a slack and indulge in some dairy consumption once in a while”. You see, I really love the taste of dairy products and have a feeling I’ll have a harder time managing my cravings for them than actual meat.

Fortunately, I was able to let go of these cravings and started noticing when they come. It’s been very manageable up until now.

In the last 4 days, though, I saw more than just cravings coming and going. I could also notice some relevant changes in life.

Changes in my body

I feel lighter. I don’t know if I’m being influenced by what I’ve been reading, but I do feel lighter. Since I ingested a considerable amount of meat, dairy and eggs on a daily basis, I was constantly full and had a feeling of constantly being aware of my stomach. Since the beginning of the week, however, I have been able to satisfy my hunger and not feel like there was a balloon inside my stomach.

I’m not sure if I already started losing body fat, but I can clearly see that I’m unswollen. My face got a tiny bit thinner already and I can already feel a difference in the fat around my waist. Besides that, I can feel my intestines function better as well.

I did encounter a side effect however: gases. I’ve heard it gets better as time passes and the body adapts to the new diet.

Friends and family

I’m lucky enough to have my wife’s support. She is not coming aboard the vegan wagon just yet, but is happily willing to assist me in my dietary needs. She is an awesome cook and very patient with me, when I get all hyped up about adopting this new way of life. I haven’t told anyone else from family and relatives that I’m going vegan, but I suspect most will react like my workmates did.

And talking about them… man, why do people get so defensive in the presence of vegans and vegetarians?! I have been on the other side once: being the meat-eating person bashing the vegan friend just because he wouldn’t eat meat. Now that I am on the vegan side of the story, I get really perplexed.

We started talking about food at work and I mentioned I was quitting meat, dairy, eggs and animal products in general. The moment I said that, some of the guys started ranting, pointing fingers and getting all hysterical until I finally said “Dude, chill out! Can I just NOT eat meat and stuff? I’m not throwing your steak away, relax.”

I guess meat eating people may feel accused of their bad choices when they see someone abstaining from meat. Well… not my problem, then, right? All we can do is do what we judge to be right.


I must say that I’m feeling a lot better about myself since I started this change. No, I don’t believe I became a better person, really. I’m still just myself whether I eat meat or not. But I really feel good about doing something for my health while stopping the demand for animals’ lives. It’s a win-win situation, I guess. =)

Well, that was it for now. I’ll come back soon with more updates and random talk.

Stay vegan, friends! And wish my luck, please.


Let’s be honest about going vegan!

Hey guys!

Well, I’m not sure how to start this out, but probably explaining why I’m here would be a good idea. And the reason I’m here is to log the process of going from meat-eating to vegan. I’m not sure where this journey will take me to, but I’m willing to start.

I come from a conservative background, being born and raised catholic and meat eater for my entire life. Cutting meat from my diet is something that would sound crazy and maybe even offensive to my parents and relatives, as eating meat is such a mundane, trivial part of everyone’s life around here.

So, why am I trying to go vegan?

  1. I’m starting to study and practice Buddhism, which encourages compassion towards all sentient beings.
  2. We are in the middle of a scandal in the meat industry in Brazil, that highlighted the extreme unhealthy practices done by those companies, so I’m doing this for myself, too.
  3. I really, really, really enjoy the taste of meat. I would be a total hypocrite if I said otherwise. I want to be honest with myself and all of you reading this blog: I love everything about the taste of meat, dairy, eggs, honey and probably something else I may be forgetting. BUT… let’s face it. It doesn’t matter how much pleasure I get from eating animals and their products, nothing justifies the suffering they go through, mainly when it comes to the industrial standards they are raised in.
  4. I’m not sure how accurate the numbers are, but I suspect the environmental impact of animal agriculture is really high. If I can help diminish it by not demanding animal products, then I’m happy about it.

But the thing is I AM CLUELESS!

Along my way to a vegan lifestyle, I’ll try to share an honest account of my experience, it doesn’t matter if it’s a success or a failure. This is not a militant blog, nor is it a propaganda blog. I’ll try to stay away from the pseudoscience commonly associated with nutrition and veganism, exposing the pros and cons about everything.

I’ll also try my hand at cooking and learn new recipes. When I do something new, I’ll try to share no matter how beautiful or ugly it looks. I’ll also share the effects of my diet on my body and mind. And if I fail, you will know, of course. As I said, this blog is supposed to be an honest account of my personal experience going vegan. I hope it inspires others.

Wish me luck!