Adopting a Vegan Diet …It’s like learning a New Language.
I worked this past summer at an establishment where a lot opinionated people worked, and as a result, I caught a lot of flak over my vegan diet. Luckily, I also worked with a lot of curious people who whole-heartedly wanted to learn about veganism. During one conversation with the latter co-workers, I likened the adoption of a vegan diet to the learning of a new language. I very much like this comparison, probably because some time ago I totally immersed myself into the learning of a new language while at the same time distancing myself from my omnivore diet.
When you learn a new language/adopt a vegan diet…
Millions of words/meals suddenly become off-limit. Many of your common verbal expressions/cooking techniques will be abandoned. You will feel out of your comfort zone. You will have a difficult time expressing yourself and as a result you may feel isolated and alone. Social situations may seem difficult; everyone at the party is speaking a different language/eating a different meal.
However, with time, millions of new words/meals will be introduced and you will forget the days when you felt like there was nothing you could say/eat. You will feel at ease in social situations as you will now know how to strike up a conversation/prepare a yummy dish to share. Yes, it will take time, but eventually you will become comfortable using these new words/foods. Speaking your new language/following your new diet can become second nature if you work hard. Remember to practice reading, and writing, and speaking… Remember to practice consulting nutrition labels, creating or veganizing recipes, and telling people about your positive experiences with veganism.
The best advice I can give: stop the comparisons. This language/diet is nothing like the one you are used to. Kick the bucket can not be translated directly. Donner un coup de pied au seau is NOT the correct translation, but the expression casser sa pipe (which means broke his pipe --much different than the English version) is the right one. Do not try to replace cow’s milk to the soy substitute; soymilk is a completely different product that has its own unique taste.
You will not succeed if you try to find replacements for all the expression/foods in your old language/diet. Rather, you need to approach the adoption of a new language/diet with an open mind ready to learn/taste new things. As long as you get your points across/nutritional needs met, you will be fine …or better!