‘The best change being a vegan I think is most worth it is I no longer feel like I contribute to animal suffering’– B.A. Durham on being vegan.
I am glad to welcome you to the first episode of ‘My Euphoric Talks’ series. In this series, We talk and have discussions with personalities from different niches and have a deeper look in their vision!
In this episode, We have Mr. B.A Durham to share his expertise on ‘Veganism’. He is also a freelance writer. You can find him on twitter and if you want to have more look at his work, you can visit on Medium/@B_A_Durham. If you want to contact him for any freelance work, visit his website here.
Now, For the conversation with our first-ever guest on this series, I would like to welcome him on this show:
1. Can you please explain ‘Veganism’ to anyone who has no idea what it is?
Veganism is part diet, part philosophy, and part lifestyle. The diet part is probably what people are most familiar with. Vegetarians don’t eat meat, but may still eat cheese and dairy, eggs, or even fish. On the other hand, vegans don’t eat anything that comes from an animal or that contains ingredients with animal origins. Even honey is considered a non-vegan food.
The philosophy is pretty broad, but I think it’s summed up by saying that vegans are often very passionate about animal rights. We don’t believe that animals should be raised for food or slaughtered for food. A balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, and other plant-based ingredients contains all of the nutrients a human needs to survive, so there is no reason to harm or cage an animal for us to eat. Veganism is also an environmentally-conscious choice. The meat industry consumes enormous amounts of water, land, crops, and petroleum-based fuel. Eating vegan produces less waste, consumes less energy, and requires less land.
2. How long have you been vegan for and what made you start this?
I was a vegetarian for about ten years before going vegan. I became a vegetarian when a girl I was dating turned me onto it. However, my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer several years ago. His doctor suggested a plant-based diet and pointed out that studies show plant-based diets are effective at slowing or stopping the spread of certain cancers. I had read similar things in The China Study, by Dr. T.Colin Campbell. So, I made the leap to veganism partly in solidarity with my father and because it was something I had wanted to do for a while. My vegetarian diet still led to animal suffering because the dairy and eggs come from animals forced to live in horrific conditions.
3. How has life changed after being a vegan?
I wish I could say that I noticed some major changes (more energy, better sleep, etc.). However, the truth is I feel much the same. The biggest physical difference I have noticed is that my stomach feels better. I never realized how upset my stomach often was until I went vegan. I also had some adult acne that cleared up right away. I now think the acne was from the cheese I was eating daily. However, the best change and the one I think is most worth it is I no longer feel like I contribute to animal suffering. A lot of guilt has been lifted from my shoulders.
4. How do you manage to prepare your meal or going to restaurants?
In just the last few years, more restaurants in the US offer clearly labeled vegan options. However, I have found that many non-western restaurants (Thai, Ethiopian, Indian, etc.) have amazing dishes that are already vegan. When you force a non-vegan dish to be prepared as a vegan one, it is always disappointing. But there are so many meals that are already vegan and have been perfected over centuries. So, I aim for restaurants like that serve dishes that just happen to be vegan already.
5. Have you ever regretted the decisions of going vegan? and what food do you miss the most?
I have never regretted going vegan. Never. I do miss certain foods. Pizza is probably what I miss the most. But what I have found is that if you focus on what you can’t have, you are just torturing yourself. There are so many amazing meals that are vegan that I enjoy immensely. I find it’s better to focus on what I can have vs. what I can’t have.
6. How do you manage to get all the essential nutrients for eating vegan?
When people think about nutrients lacking in vegan dishes, protein is probably the first thing that comes to mind. However, protein isn’t that big of a problem. It’s in everything. If you eat a well-balanced meal of veggies, you will get all of the amino acids you need to form your proteins. The only thing you can’t get easily is vitamin b-12. This is an essential vitamin, which means you need it to live, and your body doesn’t make it on its own. Luckily, many vegan products are supplemented with b-12. I also take multi-vitamins every day to ensure I’m getting enough.
7. People consider veganism very costly. Is it possible to be vegan on a budget?
It’s very cheap to eat vegan. If you want to buy processed vegan foods, like veggie burgers, it can get pricey. However, with rice, beans, peppers, onions, and a tortilla, you can make a fajita or burrito that will fill you up and only costs about $2. If you’re willing to cook your own meals, eating vegan is exceptionally inexpensive.
8. Do you think everyone in this world should be vegan?
I think people should make their own choices with the information they have. I would certainly be happy if everyone in the world were vegan. However, I like to think of it as a personal choice that I have made, and that’s about as far as it goes. I don’t judge people for having different opinions. I bet many people feel guilty about eating meat, and I think they would love being vegan if they gave it a shot. It’s not for me to tell people what they should or shouldn’t do. I am happy to share with them the information I have if anyone is interested in learning more.
9. Any pro tip for new vegans or those who want to go vegan?
Don’t fall for substitute meats and cheese. Some are good, but many are disappointing. When you want a hotdog, and you get a rubbery tube that tastes like a sock, it’s hard not to be disappointed. Instead, try to find delicious meals that are already vegan. I once had a Lebanese moussaka that I think is the best dish I have ever had. I crave that dish often, and it just happens to be naturally vegan. That’s the kind of food you want to keep an eye out for. \
It was amazing having a conversation with you, Mr. Durham. Thank you! It was lovely having you in this series!
I hope that more and more people get to know about what it’s really like to be a vegan, and hopefully make their decision regarding it.
Did you liked my first ever episode of this series? Let me know down in the comments. Also, I love getting feedback! Drop some if you have any feedback 😁