In an effort to build a community of environmentally conscious citizens we’ve created Community Leeks as a platform for people to share thoughts, stories, recipes and resources. Our third entry is a personal story of an inspiring young woman who has used her passion for cooking and philosophical views to shape her professional path. Thank you Samantha for sharing your journey with us. Your compassionate and wholehearted approach to life are a refreshing reminder of true altruism.
By: Samantha Segeleski
Like many people, veganism was a foreign concept to me a few years back. It’s not something I ever imagined that I would become or how much nutrition would have an impact on my life. I grew up eating moderately healthy but never really considering the foods that I put in my body or how they affected me. Ingredient lists were never something that I looked at to see how nutritious a food could be or how bad it could be for your body.
My passion for a plant-based lifestyle only surfaced about 6 years ago when my mom decided to become a vegetarian. She had read a book by Alicia Silverstone called “The Kind Diet” and made the decision after that to start by cutting out red meat. I soon followed in her footsteps and started by cutting out red meat also. From there on, my curiosity about vegetarianism grew and as I got more informed, my eating habits began to change as well. One year later, I cut out chicken and six months after that I went completely vegan and haven’t looked back since. Throughout the past several years, my knowledge about veganism and leading a cruelty free life grew as well and my interest in nutrition also grew. As it turns out, this has become one of my biggest passions. Baking has also become something that I love doing and one of the reasons that I started a food Instagram page and a food blog.
My passion for leading a healthy holistic lifestyle has led me to pursue a profession within the field of holistic nutrition. Two years ago, I was attending university with the goal of obtaining a degree in International Business but found myself unmotivated in what I was studying and looking for something that I would be excited about learning. That was when I found The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. I quickly realized that becoming a holistic nutritionist was what I really wanted to be and made the decision to enrol and leave the program that I was in. This has been by far the best decision that I have made for myself. I have loved every single moment of my studies and I can’t wait for the day that I get to put into practice what I have learnt.
Being vegan goes far beyond just not eating meat. It’s about making conscious decisions about what you eat and its impact on your body and the world around you. It’s also about being well informed about where your food comes from, what it consists of and the benefits that it can have towards your body and the planet. A lot of people tell me that they would love to make changes to their diet but don’t think they would ever be able to stick to it because a) they would miss meat too much b) they can’t give up cheese or ice cream c) they don’t know what to eat or d) it’s just too hard. Sure any change in the beginning is hard but if you take it one step at a time this lifestyle change is one of the easiest and best things that you can do for yourself.
When I first went vegetarian my main reason was for health reasons but soon after, it was hard to ignore all the other reasons that a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle may be adopted. Growing up you never really stop and think of where the food on your plate comes from or the fact that the piece of meat that you’re eating used to be a living, breathing creature. After I did the change, my reasons for being vegan quickly changed. It wasn’t just about health reasons anymore but how my eating habits affected the world around me. I couldn’t think of myself as an animal lover but who still ate animal products on a daily basis. It just didn’t make sense. I couldn’t associate animals as food anymore and I think once you make that connection giving up meat becomes much easier. When you really stop and really think about if for a second, how crazy is it that we eat certain LIVING creatures in their dead form but not others? There are so many people who believe that every life is important, but if that is the truth and ALL lives matter, then all animals should be part of that equation no? It shouldn’t be a pick and choose situation. For me, that is one of my main reasons for being a vegan today. Forget about the fact that it makes you feel amazing and that there are so many delicious foods to choose from, my number one reason for this lifestyle has derived from the fact that ALL lives do matter, and that’s important to me.
“You can change the world. You must change the world” Howard Lyman, Cowspiracy
Interested in leading a cruelty free lifestyle? Check these out for tips and inspiration:
Instagram: Naturally Samantha
About the Author
Samantha is an inspiring and driven young woman who pursues her passion with joy. She is in the process of completing her degree at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, working part-time at a health food store and food-blogging. Samantha is an avid reader, and an exercise and outdoors enthusiast. She also loves traveling and discovering new vegan/vegetarian restaurants. Samantha lives her life with such a clear sense of purpose and direction that we are confident she will continue to engender positive change in this world.