My Decision to Be Vegan Has Nothing to Do With Food—Here, I'll Explain

Amanda Montell

I am not a hippie.

I do not enjoy yoga, and I do not wear flowy clothing. I do not appreciate the smell of patchouli, journal, or use words like "journey," "aura," and "vibes." (At least not without irony.) I do not care if my food is organic. I barely even care if my food is healthy. In fact, my all-time favorite meal is pizza, beer, and chocolate chip cookies.

But, I am vegan. I am fiercely, passionately, unapologetically vegan. Eating a plant-based diet is probably the most important thing in my life. And it has nothing to do with living a "natural" lifestyle or eating "clean."

Sound like a contradiction? It's totally not. Let me explain…

To get a better understanding of why I'm vegan, I highly encourage you to watch this video of Mayim Biyalik, who follows a plant-based lifestyle for all the same reasons I do. She is rational, calm, and totally non-judgmental. I admire her so much. 

PHOTO:

Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis

Here at Byrdie, we know that beauty is way more than braid tutorials and mascara reviews. Beauty is identity. Our hair, our facial features, our bodies: They can reflect culture, sexuality, race, even politics. We needed somewhere on Byrdie to talk about this stuff, so... welcome to The Flipside (as in the flipside of beauty, of course!), a dedicated place for unique, personal, and unexpected stories that challenge our society's definition of "beauty." Here, you'll find cool interviews with LGBTQ+ celebrities, vulnerable essays about beauty standards and cultural identity, feminist meditations on everything from thigh brows to eyebrows, and more. The ideas our writers are exploring here are new, so we'd love for you, our savvy readers, to participate in the conversation, too. Be sure to comment your thoughts (and share them on social media with the hashtag #TheFlipsideOfBeauty). Because here, on The Flipside, everybody gets to be heard.

Next up: Five logical reasons veganism will completely change your life.

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