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Veganism

I’ve always loved animals, so I was horrified when I became old enough to understand that the Babe I loved from the movie was the very same Babe engulfed in my ham sandwich.  Thus, at the ripe old age of seven and a half, I became a vegetarian.

This lasted about a week!

But my love of animals remained, and once I learned about factory farming (in other words, when I discovered that my hamburgers did not come from Old McDonald’s Family Farm, but rather his torture chamber), I couldn’t fathom contributing another dollar to support such horrific practices. (The book, Food Revolution, by John Robbins, was a real eye-opener.)  So, at fourteen, I became a vegetarian for real.

Veganism, however, was a whole different ball of… umm tofu.

No way would you ever see this Ben and Jerry’s card-carrying member giving up her beloved cheese and ice cream.  Sorry animals; it just wasn’t going to happen.

Until China…

My family moved to China when I was a freshman in high school.  Very little dairy is consumed in Asian cultures, so without even realizing it, I cut my dairy-product intake drastically.  And when I finally did realize it, I also realized that I felt a TON better.  Not to say I was a sickly child—far from it—but before China, I’d been getting recurring stomachaches that I now associate with all the cheese and ice cream in my diet.  (My allergies also cleared up, but I don’t want to assume that this was thanks to my diet change; it may have just been due to the change in location. Same thing with my clear skin: One of my friends is adamant that eschewing dairy gives one a greater chance of not having any acne. But I really have no idea if my clear skin is due to a lack of eating dairy or if it’s just a coincidence.)

Suddenly, Veganism didn’t seem so daunting.  I was barely eating cheese anyway; why not give it up completely?

Best decision I ever made!

If you’re interested in trying out Veganism, see the Omnivores & Veganism post
(even if you only want to try it for a day).

Reader Interactions

102 Comments

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  1. laci says

    It IS the best decision I ever made too Katie! I think it’s SO cool you have lived in SO many different places, does it ever get tiring or hard to leave/start all over? 😀

  2. laci says

    It IS the best decision I ever made too Katie! I think it’s SO cool you have lived in SO many different places, does it ever get tiring or hard to leave/start all over? 😀

  3. xanabioticx says

    i was a sick child. i became a vegetarian and it lasted for two weeks, then i became a vegan. up til now. it was, like yours, the best decision i have ever made! i am much much healthier (i have only been sick once eversince veganisme). and i am now living a guilt free life. i wouldn’t eat my pets, so why would i want to consume anything that has intelligent life?

    have you watched fast food nation?

  4. xanabioticx says

    i was a sick child. i became a vegetarian and it lasted for two weeks, then i became a vegan. up til now. it was, like yours, the best decision i have ever made! i am much much healthier (i have only been sick once eversince veganisme). and i am now living a guilt free life. i wouldn’t eat my pets, so why would i want to consume anything that has intelligent life?

    have you watched fast food nation?

    • brittany says

      My husband says the same thing. My solution? I am the one that cooks, so what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him! He doesn’t realize that his cheese is actually vegan imitations. Sometimes he even gives me a hard time about “cheating”. hahaha!

    • brittany says

      My husband says the same thing. My solution? I am the one that cooks, so what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him! He doesn’t realize that his cheese is actually vegan imitations. Sometimes he even gives me a hard time about “cheating”. hahaha!

  5. Pepper says

    Hi Katie,
    I’m new to your blog, and I ablsolutely love it. You are so funny. I’ve been vegan for 6 months. I love what you wrote about becoming vegan. I have a 12 year old niece who desperately wants to become vegan. (she is semi-vegetarian now) but she’s struggling with peer pressure. (A school friend called her mom a stupid, psycho vegan freak) How did you deal with other kids at age 14? Your story is inspiring and I am going to point her to your site.

  6. Pepper says

    Hi Katie,
    I’m new to your blog, and I ablsolutely love it. You are so funny. I’ve been vegan for 6 months. I love what you wrote about becoming vegan. I have a 12 year old niece who desperately wants to become vegan. (she is semi-vegetarian now) but she’s struggling with peer pressure. (A school friend called her mom a stupid, psycho vegan freak) How did you deal with other kids at age 14? Your story is inspiring and I am going to point her to your site.

  7. The voracious Vegan says

    I love reading how people made the transition to veganism! I’m so glad you did, you are a great inspiration to so many other people.

    Isn’t dairy so gross??? Not only is the dairy industry absolutely violent, brutal and abhorrent in its treatment of animals (every glass of milk has a chunk of veal in it) but it pushes the lie that everyone needs to eat dairy products to get calcium! You couldn’t find a worse source of calcium if you tried thanks to the high animal protein content creating an acidity imbalance in your body that actually causes calcium to leech from your bones in an effort to rebalance our ph levels.

    Hah, listen to me preaching to the choir! Anyway, lovely post Katie!

  8. The voracious Vegan says

    I love reading how people made the transition to veganism! I’m so glad you did, you are a great inspiration to so many other people.

    Isn’t dairy so gross??? Not only is the dairy industry absolutely violent, brutal and abhorrent in its treatment of animals (every glass of milk has a chunk of veal in it) but it pushes the lie that everyone needs to eat dairy products to get calcium! You couldn’t find a worse source of calcium if you tried thanks to the high animal protein content creating an acidity imbalance in your body that actually causes calcium to leech from your bones in an effort to rebalance our ph levels.

    Hah, listen to me preaching to the choir! Anyway, lovely post Katie!

  9. Jessica says

    Katie,

    I’m by no means vegan, but our rude awakening was when we watched the Rave Diet…

    So nieve…I didn’t realize that animals were raised and treated like that until my late 20’s…and I’m so embarassed to admit to that because I grew up on the farm and just naturally assumed animals were all blessed with that life of freedom I knew and loved. So sad, and such a horrific treatment that WE created…I can’t even blame the factories…WE allowed it to get like this by the diets we push and accept…and the lack of knowledge we agree to when we go to the store and don’t care where the meat came from…just as long as we have it. Unfortunately supply must meet demand… 🙁

  10. Jessica says

    Katie,

    I’m by no means vegan, but our rude awakening was when we watched the Rave Diet…

    So nieve…I didn’t realize that animals were raised and treated like that until my late 20’s…and I’m so embarassed to admit to that because I grew up on the farm and just naturally assumed animals were all blessed with that life of freedom I knew and loved. So sad, and such a horrific treatment that WE created…I can’t even blame the factories…WE allowed it to get like this by the diets we push and accept…and the lack of knowledge we agree to when we go to the store and don’t care where the meat came from…just as long as we have it. Unfortunately supply must meet demand… 🙁

  11. Simply T says

    I already commented on one of your other post, but I read this section from your FAQ and I wanted to comment again – My journey into vegetarianism/veganism is similar in a lot of ways to yours – I knew on some level that the meat I’d been eating my whole life was causing pain and suffering for animals. And I am an animal lover as well, but I chose to put that thought out of my mind thinking it was “too hard” to become vegetarian/vegan.

    I guess you can thank Dwight Schrute and insomnia for my final push toward going veg – I saw the Jim and Pam get married episode and Dwight gives them 2 Red Eared Slider turtles, 2 bibs and a “turtle hammer” so they can cook and eat the turtles.

    I turned to my boyfriend and said, “People don’t really eat turtles, do they?” He told me that yes, yes they do.

    This totally broke my heart because I used to have a pet Red Eared Slider named Donatello (like the Ninja turtle). During that time I’d been suffering from chronic insomnia, so late that night I decided to look it up. Learning about people eating turtles lead to reading about factory farming and my fate was sealed. I knew I couldn’t eat meat anymore. But I had no intention of going vegan.

    Until I read “The Skinny Bitch Diet.” It had excerpts from Gail Eisnitz’s “Slaughterhouse,” which I read as well as Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Eating Animals.” After reading those, I was convinced to go vegan. And like I said in my other comment, I’ve successfully eliminated all animal food-products except for cheese (which I am working on). I’ve also started purging my closet of my clothes that are made from animal products as well. Eventually all my clothes, shoes, and furniture will be vegan, but it will take a while to get there.

    So, in short, thanks for writing about your experiences, it definitely helps to read about others with the same belief systems!

  12. Simply T says

    I already commented on one of your other post, but I read this section from your FAQ and I wanted to comment again – My journey into vegetarianism/veganism is similar in a lot of ways to yours – I knew on some level that the meat I’d been eating my whole life was causing pain and suffering for animals. And I am an animal lover as well, but I chose to put that thought out of my mind thinking it was “too hard” to become vegetarian/vegan.

    I guess you can thank Dwight Schrute and insomnia for my final push toward going veg – I saw the Jim and Pam get married episode and Dwight gives them 2 Red Eared Slider turtles, 2 bibs and a “turtle hammer” so they can cook and eat the turtles.

    I turned to my boyfriend and said, “People don’t really eat turtles, do they?” He told me that yes, yes they do.

    This totally broke my heart because I used to have a pet Red Eared Slider named Donatello (like the Ninja turtle). During that time I’d been suffering from chronic insomnia, so late that night I decided to look it up. Learning about people eating turtles lead to reading about factory farming and my fate was sealed. I knew I couldn’t eat meat anymore. But I had no intention of going vegan.

    Until I read “The Skinny Bitch Diet.” It had excerpts from Gail Eisnitz’s “Slaughterhouse,” which I read as well as Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Eating Animals.” After reading those, I was convinced to go vegan. And like I said in my other comment, I’ve successfully eliminated all animal food-products except for cheese (which I am working on). I’ve also started purging my closet of my clothes that are made from animal products as well. Eventually all my clothes, shoes, and furniture will be vegan, but it will take a while to get there.

    So, in short, thanks for writing about your experiences, it definitely helps to read about others with the same belief systems!

  13. Vegan Valerie says

    Diet For A New America was the book that convinced me to go vegan too! Cool! 🙂

    The choice to live vegan is such a blessing–I wish that everyone could understand that…

    • Menna says

      I love these testimonials! I grew up loving animals and wanting to spend as much time with them as possible – so I joined FFA and raised goats. I will never forget the look on my goat Houdini’s face when I sold him to be killed. He was scared and betrayed and just wanted to be with me! At that moment I had difficulty seeing the difference between goats and chickens versus dogs and cats. I felt conflicted and foolish for being so sad following that experience… Only later at 18, when I went vegan for a week on a whim, did it all start coming together for me. I felt great, so I decided to read up and see if this was for real. John Robbins changed my life too via his book “May All Be Fed” and his argument for feeding the nations! It brought veganism full circle for me as a Christian. The practice of loving animals and abstaining from animal products is a form of loving all of God’s people too. Animals are a beautiful opportunity for us to practice compassion and mercy.

      I am 23 years old and so happy that I was guided to veganism when I was. Thank you for sharing your story, and thank you to the other commenters for sharing theirs!

    • Menna says

      I love these testimonials! I grew up loving animals and wanting to spend as much time with them as possible – so I joined FFA and raised goats. I will never forget the look on my goat Houdini’s face when I sold him to be killed. He was scared and betrayed and just wanted to be with me! At that moment I had difficulty seeing the difference between goats and chickens versus dogs and cats. I felt conflicted and foolish for being so sad following that experience… Only later at 18, when I went vegan for a week on a whim, did it all start coming together for me. I felt great, so I decided to read up and see if this was for real. John Robbins changed my life too via his book “May All Be Fed” and his argument for feeding the nations! It brought veganism full circle for me as a Christian. The practice of loving animals and abstaining from animal products is a form of loving all of God’s people too. Animals are a beautiful opportunity for us to practice compassion and mercy.

      I am 23 years old and so happy that I was guided to veganism when I was. Thank you for sharing your story, and thank you to the other commenters for sharing theirs!

  14. Vegan Valerie says

    Diet For A New America was the book that convinced me to go vegan too! Cool! 🙂

    The choice to live vegan is such a blessing–I wish that everyone could understand that…

  15. Sarah says

    wow! that is really an eye opener. I always thought (please don’t take offense) that vegans were sorta, well, weird. I mean God said that all was created for us to eat, so i didn,t see a problem. also, i though they were all abunch of enviromentalists. I don’t think ill be vegan or even vegetarian any time soon, but i respect you all!

    1

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Hi Sarah,
      No offense taken! Honestly, I have probably made fun of people on “different” diets in my lifetime, too. One instance that comes to mind is in the movie Notting Hill. I laughed along with everyone else when they poked fun at the raw foodist. It’s probably because I just didn’t understand the lifestyle. (I still wouldn’t want to be a raw foodist, but I definitely respect them now!)

      I think, as veganism becomes more mainstream, it’s being perceived as less and less “weird.” I mean, even Ellen DeGeneres is a vegan now ;).

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Hi Sarah,
      No offense taken! Honestly, I have probably made fun of people on “different” diets in my lifetime, too. One instance that comes to mind is in the movie Notting Hill. I laughed along with everyone else when they poked fun at the raw foodist. It’s probably because I just didn’t understand the lifestyle. (I still wouldn’t want to be a raw foodist, but I definitely respect them now!)

      I think, as veganism becomes more mainstream, it’s being perceived as less and less “weird.” I mean, even Ellen DeGeneres is a vegan now ;).

    • Mark says

      So, Sarah, you think that vegans are weird to respect ALL animals like you do a cat or dog and not kill/eat them? Have you murdered an animal with your own hands or spent your life shielding yourself from the sight of it by paying some low IQ’ed reprobate to do it for you? (Please, take no offense to this.)
      Search YouTube for Meet Your Meat. It’s a short video revealing the mistreatment of animals raised in factory farms. 90% of the meat, dairy and eggs you purchase from the grocery store or restaurants come from these facilities. If people didn’t purchase these products, these breeding/slaughter facilities wouldn’t exist. You can either choose to live by your conscience and feel proud by it or stick your head in the dirt like the comatose masses while the poor animals continue to suffer in silence. –Mark P.

      • Mary says

        I realize this is a few months old, and I’m not Sarah, but I do wish to point out that NOT all us omnivores support factory farms, and it’s 100% wrong to assume such. Bully tactics do nothing toward sweetening reluctant omnivores toward sympathy for vegetarians/vegans – I know, I was a vegetarian with occasional periods of veganism for several years and was all-too-often a real jerk about it to omnivores. I’m honestly surprised, in retrospect, that no one belted me one. It did lose me friends, which I later regretted.

        Some of us omnis – more of us every year – are very conscious of the food chain and that we take life to feed life. I HAVE looked my meat in the face before I took its life – I decided that if I was going to eat meat, I had to kill a land-based creature (it was a chicken) with my own two hands, and if I could not do it I could not allow myself to eat meat. (I had already fished quite a lot and pulled lobster traps, although I get so seasick I probably fed a lot more lobsters than I EVER ate!) Whenever I eat meat, I eat it mindfully; I thank the spirit of that animal for nourishing me and consciously take it into myself. I don’t eat conventionally-produced meat or eggs or farmed fish/seafood, period, and maybe 1% of my dairy intake comes from conventional sources (I’d prefer 0%, certainly, and that IS my target). I purchase meat, dairy, and eggs from local farmers who raise their animals the way cows and sheep and goats and pigs and chickens are supposed to live, outside in the sunshine and rain and fresh air, eating the things that are right for their bodies without steroids, pesticides, or unnecessary antibiotics, reproducing naturally (no artificial insemination), with enough space to be active and healthy. At a few of the farms I buy from, I have had the opportunity to meet and touch and talk to an animal I would later eat, and the cows, goats, and chickens that my milk, cheese, and eggs came from. The people who raise my animal-source food for me are not “low IQ’ed reprobates” by a long shot.

        Would I like to see every factory farm on this planet razed, even if that meant meat would cost more and be less readily available? Heck yeah. Do I think that’s going to happen in 21st century USA? Highly unlikely, I don’t see McDonald’s, Domino’s, or Applebee’s going to organic, pasture-raised meat anytime soon – but I CAN choose to not patronize those companies. (I do also realize that I am quite privileged in that I can choose to eat this way.)

        BTW – the doctor who suggested that I seriously consider re-integrating some meat (I eat it about 3 times a week) into my diet was actually vegetarian (and mostly vegan) himself, but thankfully open-minded enough to know that what worked great for him wasn’t necessarily going to work for everyone.

      • Mary says

        I realize this is a few months old, and I’m not Sarah, but I do wish to point out that NOT all us omnivores support factory farms, and it’s 100% wrong to assume such. Bully tactics do nothing toward sweetening reluctant omnivores toward sympathy for vegetarians/vegans – I know, I was a vegetarian with occasional periods of veganism for several years and was all-too-often a real jerk about it to omnivores. I’m honestly surprised, in retrospect, that no one belted me one. It did lose me friends, which I later regretted.

        Some of us omnis – more of us every year – are very conscious of the food chain and that we take life to feed life. I HAVE looked my meat in the face before I took its life – I decided that if I was going to eat meat, I had to kill a land-based creature (it was a chicken) with my own two hands, and if I could not do it I could not allow myself to eat meat. (I had already fished quite a lot and pulled lobster traps, although I get so seasick I probably fed a lot more lobsters than I EVER ate!) Whenever I eat meat, I eat it mindfully; I thank the spirit of that animal for nourishing me and consciously take it into myself. I don’t eat conventionally-produced meat or eggs or farmed fish/seafood, period, and maybe 1% of my dairy intake comes from conventional sources (I’d prefer 0%, certainly, and that IS my target). I purchase meat, dairy, and eggs from local farmers who raise their animals the way cows and sheep and goats and pigs and chickens are supposed to live, outside in the sunshine and rain and fresh air, eating the things that are right for their bodies without steroids, pesticides, or unnecessary antibiotics, reproducing naturally (no artificial insemination), with enough space to be active and healthy. At a few of the farms I buy from, I have had the opportunity to meet and touch and talk to an animal I would later eat, and the cows, goats, and chickens that my milk, cheese, and eggs came from. The people who raise my animal-source food for me are not “low IQ’ed reprobates” by a long shot.

        Would I like to see every factory farm on this planet razed, even if that meant meat would cost more and be less readily available? Heck yeah. Do I think that’s going to happen in 21st century USA? Highly unlikely, I don’t see McDonald’s, Domino’s, or Applebee’s going to organic, pasture-raised meat anytime soon – but I CAN choose to not patronize those companies. (I do also realize that I am quite privileged in that I can choose to eat this way.)

        BTW – the doctor who suggested that I seriously consider re-integrating some meat (I eat it about 3 times a week) into my diet was actually vegetarian (and mostly vegan) himself, but thankfully open-minded enough to know that what worked great for him wasn’t necessarily going to work for everyone.

    • Mark says

      So, Sarah, you think that vegans are weird to respect ALL animals like you do a cat or dog and not kill/eat them? Have you murdered an animal with your own hands or spent your life shielding yourself from the sight of it by paying some low IQ’ed reprobate to do it for you? (Please, take no offense to this.)
      Search YouTube for Meet Your Meat. It’s a short video revealing the mistreatment of animals raised in factory farms. 90% of the meat, dairy and eggs you purchase from the grocery store or restaurants come from these facilities. If people didn’t purchase these products, these breeding/slaughter facilities wouldn’t exist. You can either choose to live by your conscience and feel proud by it or stick your head in the dirt like the comatose masses while the poor animals continue to suffer in silence. –Mark P.

  16. Sarah says

    wow! that is really an eye opener. I always thought (please don’t take offense) that vegans were sorta, well, weird. I mean God said that all was created for us to eat, so i didn,t see a problem. also, i though they were all abunch of enviromentalists. I don’t think ill be vegan or even vegetarian any time soon, but i respect you all!

    1

  17. Amy says

    Love your blog. Found it on Pinterest. I’ve been going back and forth w/ the vegan idea. I really like the idea just finding it hard to find good tasting foods for my particulatr palatte. I’m certainly liking what I’m seeing on your site. I am going to try the cookie dough dip. Thank you, Amy

  18. Amy says

    Love your blog. Found it on Pinterest. I’ve been going back and forth w/ the vegan idea. I really like the idea just finding it hard to find good tasting foods for my particulatr palatte. I’m certainly liking what I’m seeing on your site. I am going to try the cookie dough dip. Thank you, Amy

  19. Anna says

    I stumbled across your blog today and am ever so glad I have. Your recipes look delicious and your outlook on life and how you approach things is refreshing. I have dabbled with the idea of vegetarianism, though I can honestly say, I’ve never considered being vegan. Much like a pp above, I’ve always felt that there is a certain level of snobbery that comes with the lifestyle. Perhaps, like most facets in life, the most vocal vegan are the ones that take the holier-than-thou route. Time and greater exposure have tempered that idea and I’ve even considered the idea of working vegetarian and vegan elements into my diet. If not letting one or the other take over completely.

    My issue comes solely from my family. My boyfriend is practically a carnivore and I have a one-year old daughter. I’ve long held that, much like ones religion, the choice to be vegetarian, vegan, or raw should be a conscious decision and not one that is forced or manipulated. And I can’t exactly afford to cook two different meals a day. 🙂

    But what better day to expose them to the lifestyle than with desserts?

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Hey Amanda!

      Yeah I definitely agree that there can be some “vegan police” type people who seem holier-than-thou… but then again, I guess there are those types of people for any diet. (LOL like my friends who tell me their carnivorous diet is the BEST and that veganism is just weird!)

      Personally I think it’s up to every individual person to decide how to live… People shouldn’t try to force a diet on another person, especially since the tactic usually backfires anyway! If someone tells you that you HAVE to live a certain way, it’s just human nature to want to rebel!

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Hey Amanda!

      Yeah I definitely agree that there can be some “vegan police” type people who seem holier-than-thou… but then again, I guess there are those types of people for any diet. (LOL like my friends who tell me their carnivorous diet is the BEST and that veganism is just weird!)

      Personally I think it’s up to every individual person to decide how to live… People shouldn’t try to force a diet on another person, especially since the tactic usually backfires anyway! If someone tells you that you HAVE to live a certain way, it’s just human nature to want to rebel!

  20. Anna says

    I stumbled across your blog today and am ever so glad I have. Your recipes look delicious and your outlook on life and how you approach things is refreshing. I have dabbled with the idea of vegetarianism, though I can honestly say, I’ve never considered being vegan. Much like a pp above, I’ve always felt that there is a certain level of snobbery that comes with the lifestyle. Perhaps, like most facets in life, the most vocal vegan are the ones that take the holier-than-thou route. Time and greater exposure have tempered that idea and I’ve even considered the idea of working vegetarian and vegan elements into my diet. If not letting one or the other take over completely.

    My issue comes solely from my family. My boyfriend is practically a carnivore and I have a one-year old daughter. I’ve long held that, much like ones religion, the choice to be vegetarian, vegan, or raw should be a conscious decision and not one that is forced or manipulated. And I can’t exactly afford to cook two different meals a day. 🙂

    But what better day to expose them to the lifestyle than with desserts?

  21. Hayley says

    I have been vegan for a year now (and vegetarian my whole life, as my family is) and it is one of the best decisions I have made! I am a junk food fiend, but now I can’t help but enjoy healthier snacks like fruit leather and raw fudge balls. Before I would have gone crazy over a candy store, but now my friends get annoyed when I drag them to our local organic food shop, because I could stay in there comparing products and finding ideas for hours! My latest favourite snack is organic vegan gluten free gingernuts, and of course, as always, fruit leather. Becoming vegan wasn’t actually for a good reason to begin with – it was to cut out more foods due to an eating disorder. But I soon came to see all the ways eating dairy and eggs hurt animals. I didn’t know before that they killed the boy calves when they bred cows to milk, same for male chicks. And I didn’t know all of the environmental problems caused by all this. Veganism is cool, it’s a choice to live in the most selfless way possible, you don’t have to just eat tofu (although it’s super yum!) and it isn’t as difficult as it sounds – you stop craving things after a short amount of time. Just try it out!

  22. Hayley says

    I have been vegan for a year now (and vegetarian my whole life, as my family is) and it is one of the best decisions I have made! I am a junk food fiend, but now I can’t help but enjoy healthier snacks like fruit leather and raw fudge balls. Before I would have gone crazy over a candy store, but now my friends get annoyed when I drag them to our local organic food shop, because I could stay in there comparing products and finding ideas for hours! My latest favourite snack is organic vegan gluten free gingernuts, and of course, as always, fruit leather. Becoming vegan wasn’t actually for a good reason to begin with – it was to cut out more foods due to an eating disorder. But I soon came to see all the ways eating dairy and eggs hurt animals. I didn’t know before that they killed the boy calves when they bred cows to milk, same for male chicks. And I didn’t know all of the environmental problems caused by all this. Veganism is cool, it’s a choice to live in the most selfless way possible, you don’t have to just eat tofu (although it’s super yum!) and it isn’t as difficult as it sounds – you stop craving things after a short amount of time. Just try it out!

  23. Tanya says

    Katie- I LOVE LOVE LOVE your site!!! I became vegan a couple months ago (for both health and ethical reasons), and I’m loving finding new recipes from you!!! I also love that you live in TX (I’m in OK), because I don’t think our way of eating is nearly as mainstream where we live, and it’s not as easy to find healthier options as other more metropolitan parts of the country.
    My cholesterol and high blood pressure were/are a problem, so I’m hoping that by eliminating all animal products I can regain better health and avoid the sadness of an early death (my father died in his early 50’s from heart disease).
    Thank you for making veganism delicious!!! And thank you for giving me recipes that I can share with my omnivore husband- who, BTW, rarely notices something isn’t the unhealthy, full-fat, animal-laden desserts he is used to eating. LOVE it all!!

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Aww I am so so glad I can help in any way… I so agree with you that it can be HARD to be a vegan when you’re not in Portland or Cali or NYC, and all your friends think you’re crazy and the restaurants think steak is an acceptable food for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert!
      Thank goodness things are changing. Even Dallas now is getting more and more vegan-friendly. I can only hope the rest of the so-called “middle of nowhere” cities will be improving too :).

        • Tanya says

          You’re right- we’re getting there! In cattle country it seems VERY odd to not want to eat meat. OKC is getting much better. We FINALLY got a Whole Foods in November ’11, so we are coming right along with healthier options. Gotta love it!

          Oh, and I also commute to work by bike. So not only am I a dietary outcast, I’m a vehicular one as well. 🙂 And 98% of my clothing is thrifted or from vintage clothing stores. Cheers to being different and living life on our own terms!

          Again- thanks so much for sharing your story and for inspiring so many of us to try new things. You help my severely lacking chef’ing skills!

        • Tanya says

          You’re right- we’re getting there! In cattle country it seems VERY odd to not want to eat meat. OKC is getting much better. We FINALLY got a Whole Foods in November ’11, so we are coming right along with healthier options. Gotta love it!

          Oh, and I also commute to work by bike. So not only am I a dietary outcast, I’m a vehicular one as well. 🙂 And 98% of my clothing is thrifted or from vintage clothing stores. Cheers to being different and living life on our own terms!

          Again- thanks so much for sharing your story and for inspiring so many of us to try new things. You help my severely lacking chef’ing skills!

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Aww I am so so glad I can help in any way… I so agree with you that it can be HARD to be a vegan when you’re not in Portland or Cali or NYC, and all your friends think you’re crazy and the restaurants think steak is an acceptable food for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert!
      Thank goodness things are changing. Even Dallas now is getting more and more vegan-friendly. I can only hope the rest of the so-called “middle of nowhere” cities will be improving too :).

  24. Tanya says

    Katie- I LOVE LOVE LOVE your site!!! I became vegan a couple months ago (for both health and ethical reasons), and I’m loving finding new recipes from you!!! I also love that you live in TX (I’m in OK), because I don’t think our way of eating is nearly as mainstream where we live, and it’s not as easy to find healthier options as other more metropolitan parts of the country.
    My cholesterol and high blood pressure were/are a problem, so I’m hoping that by eliminating all animal products I can regain better health and avoid the sadness of an early death (my father died in his early 50’s from heart disease).
    Thank you for making veganism delicious!!! And thank you for giving me recipes that I can share with my omnivore husband- who, BTW, rarely notices something isn’t the unhealthy, full-fat, animal-laden desserts he is used to eating. LOVE it all!!

  25. Monica says

    I recently have gone gluten/dairy free and have noticed changes in literally every aspect of my life! Less groggy, less stomach upset, more energy, sleep better, better focus… I love it. I am considering going vegetarian since I rarely eat meat just because I really don’t want to, I’m basically a raw foods kind of girl most of the time. My question is the big one about veganism- what about protein? Without eggs I don’t know what I would do. See I don’t particularly LOVE eggs, but nearly every headache or groggy/tired feeling I get is when I haven’t been taking in much protein. Are there any tips, tricks, or insight you have?
    Your blog is new to me and I absolutely love it! I’m glad you’re doing what you love and you get to help other people in the process!

  26. Monica says

    I recently have gone gluten/dairy free and have noticed changes in literally every aspect of my life! Less groggy, less stomach upset, more energy, sleep better, better focus… I love it. I am considering going vegetarian since I rarely eat meat just because I really don’t want to, I’m basically a raw foods kind of girl most of the time. My question is the big one about veganism- what about protein? Without eggs I don’t know what I would do. See I don’t particularly LOVE eggs, but nearly every headache or groggy/tired feeling I get is when I haven’t been taking in much protein. Are there any tips, tricks, or insight you have?
    Your blog is new to me and I absolutely love it! I’m glad you’re doing what you love and you get to help other people in the process!

  27. Sara Dane says

    A big part of me really wants to go vegan. I don’t eat dairy or red meat or poultry. However, I do eat eggs and fish daily. I’m scared that I wouldn’t get the protein I need (I workout a lot!). My body is at its best when I’m on a high protein / low carb diet….lots of fish, nuts, veggies but no grains/starches/fruits. Will becoming a vegan make me fat? Will I loose my muscle tone?

  28. Sara Dane says

    A big part of me really wants to go vegan. I don’t eat dairy or red meat or poultry. However, I do eat eggs and fish daily. I’m scared that I wouldn’t get the protein I need (I workout a lot!). My body is at its best when I’m on a high protein / low carb diet….lots of fish, nuts, veggies but no grains/starches/fruits. Will becoming a vegan make me fat? Will I loose my muscle tone?

  29. Tanya says

    Sara- I’m an athlete who runs marathons regulary and does an Ironman triathlon every year. I totally get enough protein in my diet. The best sources for protein on a vegan diet are leafy green vegetables, legumes, pseudograins, seeds and tofu. It’s true that most Americans get far too much protein (read The China Study). If you are interested in finding out more, read Brendan Brazier’s books (Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide is a good place to start). He’s a pro Ironman triathlete and has been vegan for years. There’s lot of pro athletes that do well on this diet. I bought his books when I became vegan to make sure that I was getting enough nutrition to maintain my workout intensity. I also drink a soy protein shake after really long, intense workouts. I’ve only been vegan 4 months, but I think that not only have my workouts not suffered, my recovery time has sped up and I feel I’m getting stronger.

    • Sara Dane says

      Thank you so much for the encouragement and advice! I heard about the China Study in the film Forks Over Knives…amazing stuff. I find tofu gives me digestive problems and have been using a soy free vegan protein powder made from pea protein. I’ll check out Thrive tonight, thanks again!

    • Sara Dane says

      Thank you so much for the encouragement and advice! I heard about the China Study in the film Forks Over Knives…amazing stuff. I find tofu gives me digestive problems and have been using a soy free vegan protein powder made from pea protein. I’ll check out Thrive tonight, thanks again!

  30. Tanya says

    Sara- I’m an athlete who runs marathons regulary and does an Ironman triathlon every year. I totally get enough protein in my diet. The best sources for protein on a vegan diet are leafy green vegetables, legumes, pseudograins, seeds and tofu. It’s true that most Americans get far too much protein (read The China Study). If you are interested in finding out more, read Brendan Brazier’s books (Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide is a good place to start). He’s a pro Ironman triathlete and has been vegan for years. There’s lot of pro athletes that do well on this diet. I bought his books when I became vegan to make sure that I was getting enough nutrition to maintain my workout intensity. I also drink a soy protein shake after really long, intense workouts. I’ve only been vegan 4 months, but I think that not only have my workouts not suffered, my recovery time has sped up and I feel I’m getting stronger.

  31. Paige says

    Hi Katie!

    Love the blog and I was exploring it today and stumbled on to this post. It is so exciting to me that you lived in China! I have to ask (and I totally respect if you don’t want to answer), but why did your family move to China?

    I’m moving there myself this fall to Hengyang in the Hunan providence. (So excited!) Anyway, I’m really curious, where did your family live and what was it like cooking and grocery shopping over there? Where you able to find familiar products or did you guys have to adapt to a new food lifestyle? I guess you did in a way because you didn’t eat dairy. I’ve been weaning myself of dairy products for the past few months so I don’t think giving it up completely will be too difficult, especially if it’s not available to me.

    I love your posts. I ate your chocolate and banana oatmeal for breakfast and had some naughty girl vegan fudge for snack. mmmmmmm. Thanks for allowing me to not feel guilty about my love/obsession for chocolate!

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Hi Paige 🙂

      My dad works in international insurance, so it’s taken us all over the world. We were in Shanghai, and so we were able to find familiar products… but they were expensive! Cheerios were $11! So we ate a lot of whole foods and made a lot of recipes from cookbooks. Veggies were very cheap over there :).

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Hi Paige 🙂

      My dad works in international insurance, so it’s taken us all over the world. We were in Shanghai, and so we were able to find familiar products… but they were expensive! Cheerios were $11! So we ate a lot of whole foods and made a lot of recipes from cookbooks. Veggies were very cheap over there :).

  32. Paige says

    Hi Katie!

    Love the blog and I was exploring it today and stumbled on to this post. It is so exciting to me that you lived in China! I have to ask (and I totally respect if you don’t want to answer), but why did your family move to China?

    I’m moving there myself this fall to Hengyang in the Hunan providence. (So excited!) Anyway, I’m really curious, where did your family live and what was it like cooking and grocery shopping over there? Where you able to find familiar products or did you guys have to adapt to a new food lifestyle? I guess you did in a way because you didn’t eat dairy. I’ve been weaning myself of dairy products for the past few months so I don’t think giving it up completely will be too difficult, especially if it’s not available to me.

    I love your posts. I ate your chocolate and banana oatmeal for breakfast and had some naughty girl vegan fudge for snack. mmmmmmm. Thanks for allowing me to not feel guilty about my love/obsession for chocolate!

  33. Amberley says

    Wow, it was great to find your site! I was especially glad to find this page about your path to veganism. I went vegetarian four years ago, at the beginning of high school. For my final semester of college, I went abroad to do a language program in Beijing. I had the same experience, basically unintentionally cutting out all animal products entirely. (I had health issues with the way they cooked (so much oil!) and with the different food bacteria, but that’s a different story…) I also had the same experience with decreased allergies! After I returned from China, I recently made the decision to go fully vegan. I agree, the hardest part for most people is giving up meat. If people look at tofu, tempeh, etc as a meat substitute, they’ll of course be unhappy, but I totally agree that other vegan substitutes are at this point so good, that there’s no reason to ever miss the dairy!! (Just take your blog as a giant example.) Sorry for the mini-novel, I just thought it was really cool! Cheers.

  34. Amberley says

    Wow, it was great to find your site! I was especially glad to find this page about your path to veganism. I went vegetarian four years ago, at the beginning of high school. For my final semester of college, I went abroad to do a language program in Beijing. I had the same experience, basically unintentionally cutting out all animal products entirely. (I had health issues with the way they cooked (so much oil!) and with the different food bacteria, but that’s a different story…) I also had the same experience with decreased allergies! After I returned from China, I recently made the decision to go fully vegan. I agree, the hardest part for most people is giving up meat. If people look at tofu, tempeh, etc as a meat substitute, they’ll of course be unhappy, but I totally agree that other vegan substitutes are at this point so good, that there’s no reason to ever miss the dairy!! (Just take your blog as a giant example.) Sorry for the mini-novel, I just thought it was really cool! Cheers.

  35. Claire says

    I eat vegan most of the time, except sometimes I eat meat from a small family farm where the animals are humanely raised out on pasture. I personally don’t have a problem with eating meat, just with factory farming. Cheese was the hardest thing to give up, but thinking about all the gross puss, blood, and GM bacteria in it, and being able to make your delicious fudge baby recipes sure helped!

  36. Claire says

    I eat vegan most of the time, except sometimes I eat meat from a small family farm where the animals are humanely raised out on pasture. I personally don’t have a problem with eating meat, just with factory farming. Cheese was the hardest thing to give up, but thinking about all the gross puss, blood, and GM bacteria in it, and being able to make your delicious fudge baby recipes sure helped!

  37. Anonymous says

    this makes me so sad because when i was 10 i decided to become vegatarian for animal rights but then i got very sick and lost alot weight (i dont think it was because i was a vegatarian) and then the hospital said i had to eat meat again. taking that first bite of chicken was probaly the hardest most terrible thing ive ever done, i couldnt even swallow and then i felt sooo guilty for practiclly killing an animal.

  38. Anonymous says

    this makes me so sad because when i was 10 i decided to become vegatarian for animal rights but then i got very sick and lost alot weight (i dont think it was because i was a vegatarian) and then the hospital said i had to eat meat again. taking that first bite of chicken was probaly the hardest most terrible thing ive ever done, i couldnt even swallow and then i felt sooo guilty for practiclly killing an animal.

  39. Christine says

    Let me start by saying I love your website!!! 🙂 my question is…I go back and forth with vegetarianism. You can call me a flexatarian. This is my question when I don’t eat animal products for a substantial amout of time I feel lightheaded easily and my blood pressure drops low. How do you stop this from happening? I asked my DR and of course he told me to eat some meat. I’m not underweight, i’m actually at a normal weight. Thankyou

    • Jessica says

      Invest in a good vegan sourcebook that has chapters on all the nutrients and how to eat a balanced diet as a vegan :).

      Look on amazon, or at Barnes and Nobles.

    • Jessica says

      Invest in a good vegan sourcebook that has chapters on all the nutrients and how to eat a balanced diet as a vegan :).

      Look on amazon, or at Barnes and Nobles.

  40. Christine says

    Let me start by saying I love your website!!! 🙂 my question is…I go back and forth with vegetarianism. You can call me a flexatarian. This is my question when I don’t eat animal products for a substantial amout of time I feel lightheaded easily and my blood pressure drops low. How do you stop this from happening? I asked my DR and of course he told me to eat some meat. I’m not underweight, i’m actually at a normal weight. Thankyou

  41. Jana says

    Hi Katie! Love your blog and all your healthy desserts! 🙂 I am, in no way, Vegan. My husband’s family runs a cattle ranch so I think I’d be disowned! haha. I totally respect everyone’s rights about how they want to eat, so, I’m not trying to persuade you by what I’m about to say. Just wanted to let you know that not all farmers treat their animals badly. In fact, it’s not the norm for them to treat them badly. I’ve had the privilege to get to know tons of farmers from all over the U.S. and they are the best people on this earth! It’s a very well known fact in the farmer world that animals that are treated badly don’t produce as well, and, since this is their job and they want to make money, it doesn’t pay farmers to be mean to their animals–this is especially true in feed lots. I’ve watched my f(very kind) father-in-law work himself into an old man (he’s not old) to put food on people’s plates, so, it just hurts my heart to read misinformation that demonizes hard working farmers, ya know? 🙂 Anyway, just want to let you know we’re not all big bad mean farmers! 😉

  42. Jana says

    Hi Katie! Love your blog and all your healthy desserts! 🙂 I am, in no way, Vegan. My husband’s family runs a cattle ranch so I think I’d be disowned! haha. I totally respect everyone’s rights about how they want to eat, so, I’m not trying to persuade you by what I’m about to say. Just wanted to let you know that not all farmers treat their animals badly. In fact, it’s not the norm for them to treat them badly. I’ve had the privilege to get to know tons of farmers from all over the U.S. and they are the best people on this earth! It’s a very well known fact in the farmer world that animals that are treated badly don’t produce as well, and, since this is their job and they want to make money, it doesn’t pay farmers to be mean to their animals–this is especially true in feed lots. I’ve watched my f(very kind) father-in-law work himself into an old man (he’s not old) to put food on people’s plates, so, it just hurts my heart to read misinformation that demonizes hard working farmers, ya know? 🙂 Anyway, just want to let you know we’re not all big bad mean farmers! 😉

  43. Carrie says

    Hey Katie!!
    I absolutely love your blog and have been using a few of your recipes weekly (ok maybe daily… 3 ingredient choc bars) and they are a big hit with my friends!! I have a severe reaction to dairy (and gluten also) and so love your vegan recipes as they are safe for me (and my kids!!!). I recently discovered Arbonne and love it! They have protein shakes that I have for breakfast – they are vegan and just wondered if you had heard of them… wondered if you’d tried any of their stuff… and what you thought? Thanks for sharing all your great recipes 🙂

  44. Carrie says

    Hey Katie!!
    I absolutely love your blog and have been using a few of your recipes weekly (ok maybe daily… 3 ingredient choc bars) and they are a big hit with my friends!! I have a severe reaction to dairy (and gluten also) and so love your vegan recipes as they are safe for me (and my kids!!!). I recently discovered Arbonne and love it! They have protein shakes that I have for breakfast – they are vegan and just wondered if you had heard of them… wondered if you’d tried any of their stuff… and what you thought? Thanks for sharing all your great recipes 🙂

  45. Rachel @ skullandcrosstales says

    I’ve been following your website for awhile now but this is the first time I’ve read this page – now I have even more loves for you!
    I became a vegetarian when i was 7 🙂 Apart from a couple of months where I tried to eat chicken, I have been ever since. I haven’t been able to make the switch to veganism and, to be honest, I don’t think I ever will. Unfortunately in Perth, Australia it can be hard enough to be a vegetarian meal in a resturant. Many of them are getting better, but there are lots of places that still only have one vegetarian thing on the menu! Still, i do try not to eat TOO many animal products, as i know that the less of a market there is for them, the better the conditions will become. So thank you for providing lots of vegan or semi vegan options for a long time veggo 🙂

  46. Rachel @ skullandcrosstales says

    I’ve been following your website for awhile now but this is the first time I’ve read this page – now I have even more loves for you!
    I became a vegetarian when i was 7 🙂 Apart from a couple of months where I tried to eat chicken, I have been ever since. I haven’t been able to make the switch to veganism and, to be honest, I don’t think I ever will. Unfortunately in Perth, Australia it can be hard enough to be a vegetarian meal in a resturant. Many of them are getting better, but there are lots of places that still only have one vegetarian thing on the menu! Still, i do try not to eat TOO many animal products, as i know that the less of a market there is for them, the better the conditions will become. So thank you for providing lots of vegan or semi vegan options for a long time veggo 🙂

  47. [email protected] says

    I’m so glad you are out there showing people how easy it can be to add vegan food to their lives. A lot of people think it has to be all or nothing, and forget that every time they eliminate animal products from even just one meal it makes a difference!

  48. [email protected] says

    I’m so glad you are out there showing people how easy it can be to add vegan food to their lives. A lot of people think it has to be all or nothing, and forget that every time they eliminate animal products from even just one meal it makes a difference!

  49. lizzie says

    Hi! I’m 14 years old and have been a vegetarian for 3 and a half years. Like many people on this blog I love animals, dessert, cooking, friends and family. I was a vegan for about a month in January of last year until I became very sick (I had all of the symptoms that someone who is malnourished would have, even though I stuffed my face every day:*() I love this blog and am really looking forward to trying out these recipes!

  50. lizzie says

    Hi! I’m 14 years old and have been a vegetarian for 3 and a half years. Like many people on this blog I love animals, dessert, cooking, friends and family. I was a vegan for about a month in January of last year until I became very sick (I had all of the symptoms that someone who is malnourished would have, even though I stuffed my face every day:*() I love this blog and am really looking forward to trying out these recipes!

  51. Alex says

    I really want to go vegan but I’m terrified I’ll be an annoyance to my friends/family when I eat out with them or go over to their place for dinner 🙁 It’s already hard enough being pesco-vegetarian… they forget all the time and buy things for dinner with meat in it and I feel very rude when I have to reject it.

  52. Alex says

    I really want to go vegan but I’m terrified I’ll be an annoyance to my friends/family when I eat out with them or go over to their place for dinner 🙁 It’s already hard enough being pesco-vegetarian… they forget all the time and buy things for dinner with meat in it and I feel very rude when I have to reject it.

  53. Brianna Bates says

    Your the best katie! I’ve been vegetarian since I was really little and now ive been vegan for two years. I’m 14 and a animal rights activist. Your blog helps me find my everyday eats. Before your blog it was hard to expand my variety. Btw I love the confetti cupcake recipie. It’s my favorite!

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