FEATURE: Carrie from So Freakin Vegan

“You’re a what!?” I asked my new graduate school roommate, demanding an explanation. “Why would anyone want to be a vegetarian,” I thought to myself. It was August 2011 and I was a whopping 22 years old. It’s amazing how far I was down the Standard American Diet rabbit hole, that I had actually never before even met a vegetarian, not to mention any vegans. After a couple months of contemplation, I decided to dabble into vegetarianism throughout my time in graduate school, and continue the dietary change for the next four years. It was interesting to me, and somewhat of a challenge. Abstaining from meat went against everything I was taught and believed about health and survival. And I’ll admit, I was one who loved to go off the beaten path.

In January of 2015, I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). I was prescribed multiple medications to help manage my horrendous symptoms. The side effects from the drugs actually caused me to feel worse. This was the lowest part of my life, as I not only felt physically ill, but also emotionally ill - struggling with the fact that I had an incurable disease. I began researching PCOS and found overwhelming information on the negative effects of dairy on women’s bodies and the healing benefits of raw fruits and veggies. Right then, I decided to go 100% raw vegan.

Within a few weeks of living on a raw vegan diet, every single PCOS symptom vanished. My energy skyrocketed. Issues were clearing up that I never even realized I had. I began learning more about how a whole foods vegan diet can prevent and even reverse many of the leading killers in our communities (heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes)! I realized that I had the power to take control of my own health.

After being vegan solely for health reasons for a few months, I came across a film called Earthlings on YouTube, which opened my eyes to the realities of how humans use and abuse animals for profit. Never before had I made the connection that as a meat eater, I was on the side of the oppressor. The animals weren’t just willingly giving their bodies to us. They were innocent beings who wanted to live, just like you and me. I became an ethical vegan, with the health benefits being an added bonus to my lifestyle.

Although no longer completely raw, I’ve maintained a whole foods vegan lifestyle for one year, and have decided to never touch animal products again. I started the So Freakin’ Vegan YouTube channel in March 2016 to bring awareness to veganism – the lifestyle that saved my life. Through parody videos, discussions, and of course food, I want people to know that veganism can be simple, healthy, satisfying, and a lot of fun! My goal is to help people help themselves, while making this world a better place for future generations

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