Latasia // Photographer, Designer, Visual Artist
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Herbivorous: January

After barely any consideration, I've decided to make the slow journey to being fully vegan. I've been dabbling for some time now with recipes and replacements – trying to get a grip on the essentials of vegan living, but tailored to my preferences. It's been a bit daunting, but I figured what better time to dive in than the new year, right?

It seems as though I ate out more than I planned in January. Okay – I ate out at ever chance I got. You'd think that eating out would be more difficult than eating in when you're vegan. Low and behold, Madison is more vegan-friendly than I thought!

Breakfast potatoes and tacos from Tex Tubb's Taco Palace and tofu Thai curry from Cosí made it easier than ever to go out. I mean, just look at this deliciousness!

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I don't think I've ever been as dedicated to anything as I was to eating vegan this month. I made mad smoothies and filled my time with factory farming documentaries and vegan YouTube videos. Every time I watch things like these, it renews my commitment to veganism. The easiest way to stay vegan is to remind yourself of what the animals are experiencing and being mindful when making food decisions.

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Those 3 a.m. cravings for junk food don't stop just because you're eating better though. I prepared myself with dates and organic peanut butter – which make for the perfect snack! Countless times, this little combination saved my ass from defaulting to Taco Bell or another murderous drive thru.

I think I'm learning that preparation is key to becoming vegan. I knew this wouldn't happen overnight – ya know, waking up one morning and just "be a vegan from now on" – but I didn't realize how simple it would be to prepare myself. Just have tons of snacks readily available, like I normally do. Just different snacks!

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All in all, this has been a victorious month. I've eaten vegan for a full month! I know there will be slip-ups to come, especially not knowing full-well what ingredients are vegan or not (animal products are sneakily hidden in those ingredient listings). Obviously they're not meant to be understandable – what with the hidden GMO's and whatnot, but I thought it might be a little more clear and defined.

There will be times that I don't know about a certain food coloring that contains animal bits and pieces, but as long as I'm learning and eating mostly vegan, I'm doing all I can do. People think of the term vegan negatively almost instantaneously because some people don't spread the vegan message in a friendly way. This scared the absolute shit out of me right away because I was afraid to share this. I've come to the realization that I don't give a fuck. I'm putting it all out there and swearing up a storm on my way – because honestly, if I eat even just one less animal, it's a life saved.

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I will be checking in every month on my progress, setbacks, and small victories! I'm attributing this month's perfection to vegan docs and obsessive thinking, planning, and feeling. I'm expecting some setbacks in the next month or so just because you never know what's going to come up and I probably won't be prepared for everything right away.

Can't wait to see what next month holds. Stay tuned!