Every week, I am amazed at how many people think that being vegan in Wyoming is hard. A lot of people will tell me that they don’t know how I do it, or that they are really struggling. We don’t have a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, nor do we have a completely vegan restaurant in the entire state, but I never felt like it was something that was difficult. I honestly don’t know how the transition was so easy for me. I was only 14 years old. I knew nobody that was doing what I was doing. I had no idea how to cook. I had a lot of things going against me, but I knew it was something that I had to do.
At first, I lived off of tofu with marinara sauce and spinach. It wasn’t good, but I ate it because I didn’t know what else to eat. After I discovered that rice and most pastas were vegan, I figured that I’d be alright. Once I tasted the magic of roasted veggies, I would just raid the produce section at my local grocery store and eat a lot of vegetables with pasta or some other grain. Long story short, I kept it really simple. This was really important, especially in the early days of my veganism. As long as I stuck to whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, I knew that I was obeying the “rules”. I ate mostly whole foods when I first went vegan, because I had no idea that veggie burgers existed. It was actually easier that way. I learned to cook, and I learned that it really wasn’t that hard. It wasn’t a matter of will power. It was about eating simply, and educating myself.
I think the biggest thing is that people tend to over complicate things. Everyone is concerned with finding an alternative to something that isn’t vegan, or making it sound incredibly restrictive. A lot of people get into a place where over thinking and the fear of not being satisfied with what is available take over. I just had to accept the fact that I wasn’t going to be eating certain foods anymore, and before I knew it, a whole new side of food opened up before me.
If nothing else, I hope people see how easy it is to be vegan here in Wyoming. That’s really my mission for Vegan in Wyoming. I just want to show people that the simpler they keep it, the easier it is!