I was first introduced to veganism, the abstention of eating food products that harm all animals, when I met my friend "S." I have other friends who are vegetarians, but at that point, I thought veganism and vegetarianism were the same thing but clearly they are not. 

The First Time

We went to Freshii, a fast food restaurant that makes healthy food, and I instantly felt extremely out of place. I love vegetables (I am the occasional vegetarian), but I'm a proud believer that meat is essential to our daily diets. I can't seem to give up juicy beef or mouthwatering seafood. Something felt wrong about going to a restaurant to buy raw vegetables in a burrito wrap. I ended up eating a salad and sipped on my water to fill my discomfort. 

The Next Time

We went to a plant-based pizza and ice cream place, Virtuous Pie, and I started to realize that vegans don't just eat rabbit food; they eat normal food prepared in different ways. The pizza was warm and tasted so fresh with all the different vegetables on top, some of which I didn't know existed.

After this outing, I started to realize that it was less of the belief and more of the eating veganism culture that struck me. There was a certain type of beauty in whatever foods were prepared to fit veganism, as if there were extra care and creativity put in the cooking of these dishes. I started seeing veganism as an art, especially from my past two eating experiences and the others that would come. I was hooked. 

One More Time

One of my favourite times was when we went to MeeTand it felt like casual dining but in an extremely fancy and buzzing atmosphere. S and I shared something called "The Macro," which was a colourful and filling bowl of goodness. Another friend tried their infamous "Mac & Cheese," which isn't made of any bit of cheese at all. The 30-minute wait was worth everything.

I think it's important to try new things or even new eating lifestyles. Every time I go to a vegan restaurant, it feels like I'm cleansing my palette and re-energizing my body. I'm so excited to try more vegan places in Vancouver (we have such a diverse vegan culture here). This is just the "veganning."