A better understanding of veganism


Lily Raysby

A typical vegan dinner for Lily Raysby is rice, veggies and tofu.

Vanessa Timat, Staff Writer

Many people have probably wondered what it is really like to live a vegan lifestyle. Knowing that foods in a regular diet would be prohibited from your palette could be quite tough, especially with basic ingredients such as eggs, milk and meat. 

Vegans do not consume any animal based food, they also avoid the use of any animal based products. Most of the vegan community enjoy this lifestyle for environmental or health reasons. This diet could be tough for some people, but for others, it could be a very beneficial and even a better lifestyle. 

LHS junior Lily Raysby has had a great experience being a vegan and knows about easy ways to substitute these foods. She has been vegan for almost the last two years and has seen overall improvements in this newer lifestyle.

“My mom first started being vegan, she’s been vegetarian all my life, so I haven’t eaten meat that much my whole life so it wasn’t a thing that I craved or needed to have,” said Raysby. “She started going vegan a couple years ago and then I just started to transition into that lifestyle a little bit more. Right now I’m doing it for ethical and environmental reasons.”

Raysby, for the most part, has had an effective transition to veganism, but that does not mean that it is always easy when it comes to plans with friends and family. Sometimes, different places do not offer completely vegan options and this can potentially be a struggle. 

“I usually look up online if [a restaurant] offers anything that’s vegan or else I usually eat pretty early compared to [the people I’m with],” said Raysby. “Especially in the midwest, there’s a lot of people that aren’t vegan so there’s not a lot of things catered to us right now.”

However, Raysby has found many different substitutes and easy, healthy and delicious meals that she enjoys just like any other person. 

“I usually use tofu for protein and right now I have oat milk and almond milk for milk and I sometimes use meat replacement,” said Raysby. “[Some meals I eat in a day include] oats for breakfast, a black bean burger for lunch and a vegan buffalo ‘chicken’ sandwich with fries for dinner. Then some biscoff cookies and fruit snacks for dessert or snack.” 

Overall, Raysby’s involvement in this lifestyle has been significant and she continues to live accordingly in the future. In fact, there have been many benefits she has noticed in the last two years from this way of living. 

“I feel that my face has definitely cleared up from no dairy. Overall I just feel better and cleaner,” said Raysby. 

From what Raysby has experienced, going vegan is definitely worth a try. In most cases, vegan options are not any more expensive than non-vegan products. It is all about how one chooses to live.

“I think [expenses] really just depend on what you buy, like if you buy expensive meat substitutes it will obviously be more expensive but it really just depends on how you decide to live the lifestyle,” said Raysby. “I focus mainly on food but I try to incorporate it in other aspects of my life also if I’m able to.”