I remember distinctly going to Nicaragua on the ISA Junior team, and I know fish is very prevalent in Nicaragua, so I decided to do it. I was sick of people having things to say about me being vegetarian, I just wanted to fit in. It’s funny when I think about it, because I never liked fish. I literally ate it because I just wanted to fit in and not be the picky vegetarian who can’t find anything to order or everyone is concerned about, so now that I think about it it’s funny that I caved in because I was afraid of judgment. But you live and you learn.
While I was eating fish, I stumbled across Behind Glass Walls, a brutal video showing what goes on inside of a slaughterhouse, and I could not handle it. I remember just balling my eyes out for hours, then doing more research, and I couldn’t believe that billions of animals die every single year, when we as humans don’t need animal protein to flourish and thrive. So I just thought it was something that didn’t align with what I wanted to support.
Honestly, the hardest part about being vegan is everyone’s judgment. Everybody is so skeptical about the lifestyle and I don’t know how many times people ask me where I get my protein. I guess the hardest part is everybody hating on it. I believe the backlash about eating plant-based comes from a lot of denial from people, so my biggest advice would be to do your own research and get educated. There are a lot of misconceptions out there, and it’s pretty easy to set people straight with the facts. Watch What the Health, Cowspiracy, and Game Changers. My biggest advice before stepping into the lifestyle is to get educated so you know exactly what to say to relatives or friends who doubt you.
I went vegan before it became a trend and people were very unfamiliar with this diet. I remember even when I was looking for a manager I talked to a few, and certain people were like, “Oh, no. You don’t want to step into that field, because it’s very controversial.” I found my manager, and he said, “Stay true to what you believe in. Be you, and people will be drawn to that.” From the beginning, I’ve been very transparent with my beliefs and not everyone is going to agree with me and that’s okay. I’ve been living my truth and what I believe. I just stay true to who I am.