My name is Ebere, I'm Nigerian, 19, and a Biomedical Sciences major. I'm currently residing in Orlando. I went vegan about six months ago. It was something that always interested me, but like many other people, I had my excuses, with "I love meat/cheese too much" taking the cake. Initially, it started as a challenge with a friend intended to last a month, but I began to feel way more clarity both mentally and physically along with more energy, so we continued on. I'm still growing and learning as a vegan.
I watched Cowspiracy and What the Health a couple months into the journey and was so shocked to learn how much I didn't know. I can honestly say that I do not ever see myself going back to a carnivorous diet. I hope to be able to interact with other black vegans, and spread the good word to every willing person.
When I first went vegan, my friends teased me. I remember when they first found out, they said things like "I could never!" or the stereotypical salad jokes. Over time they started to accept that I wasn't giving up on the newfound lifestyle and even they started to try new dishes. I got some friends to watch What the Health, too!
My family reactions varied. The most extreme reaction came from my mother, who said that veganism is bad for you and that I should "at least eat fish", as if fish is healthy (oh, mother), and even complained about "the expenses". The most accepting people have been my sister and auntie. I also have 3 brothers, one of them has a vegan girlfriend, and all three of them looove my BBQ jackfruit sandwiches!
To my fellow black vegan prospects, just the simple interest is worthy of praise. As far as expenses go, I'm a college student and proud member of the broke life! I'm fortunate to have a mother who financially supports me. Every two weeks, she sends me money for groceries/gas/miscellaneous. She sent the SAME amount before I went vegan as she does now. If you want to make it work financially, you'll make it work! And I did so with no problem. I try to shop locally. Stores that have bulk sections are golden because it cuts down costs A LOT. My grocery bill always comes out to roughly the same, if not less, than it was before.
As for difficulty, I was able to make the switch cold turkey but as with many things, this is NOT a race. If you need to adopt vegetarianism prior to veganism, do that. If you need to start with one vegan meal a day, do that. Everybody has their own unique path and will experience this journey differently. If you have any questions, I'm always down to help to the best of my ability.