I already eat a healthy diet, and if I lose any more weight, people will start to get worried about me. Because of these reasons, my New Year’s resolutions aren’t the typical “go to the gym more” and “eat more vegetables.” Instead, I’m looking to push my New Year’s resolutions a bit further than others—because life is all about progress, and what I did in 2016 just won’t cut it in 2017. Besides, I want to have the best vegan year ever, and the only way to do that is to get outside of my comfort zone. To accomplish this, here are five resolutions to which I am committed … and I’m starting right now. The good news? You can do these, too.
1. Visit a farmed animal sanctuary
Please don’t get mad, but I’ve been vegan for at least 14 years, and I’ve never visited a farmed animal sanctuary. I blame this on many things, but mostly on the fact that I am lazy. That is going to change in 2017, as recently I’ve taken three road trips in which all I wanted to do was pull over and take pictures with cows. If that isn’t the most vegan thing ever, I don’t know what is. Thankfully, there are a few sanctuaries not far from my home, so this one is totally doable. My fear, however, is that I love it so much I decide to quit my job and spend the rest of my life helping animals. Not gonna lie: I wouldn’t mind if this happened. My guess? One visit with Gary, a rescued calf currently living at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY, and you might put in your two week’s notice as well.
2. Date a vegan girl (again)
Being single isn’t that bad … but yes it is. To remedy this, 2017 is the year when I once again date a vegan girl. And I don’t just mean going to dinner twice—I mean finding someone with whom I can vacation and introduce to my parents. Not only does going out to eat become even more awesome when dating an herbivore (you can sample everything off their plates), but you don’t ever have to worry about your partner’s ethics not aligning with yours. For instance, when I tell this potential love interest it’s time to buy a new pair of jeans, she already knows I’m not purchasing any with a leather tag. Or, every three months when I get a jonesing for a beer, she doesn’t come home with a sixer of something with isinglass. Perhaps you’re already in a vegan relationship. If this is the case, make your love life even better! Cook more often, randomly text that special someone that you miss him/her, and hold hands when you’re at the grocery store. You know … all those things people like me hate about people like you.
3. Cut back on kale
Sorry, but I can already tell you this one ain’t happening.
4. Eat Impossible Burger and/or Beyond Burger
In full disclosure, I could eat an Impossible Burger or Beyond Burger right now thanks to the array of restaurants where they are served. My real resolution is to get my dad to eat one of these and not tell him it’s vegan. Am I sneaky? Yes. But eating a “bleeding” vegan burger won’t kill my father, and it most certainly won’t kill any animals. Will I tell him afterward? I don’t know. Probably. Maybe. I’d prefer he not know for a few weeks, and during that time my mom buys them for him. He can get hooked on them, and then I’ll tell him. In fact, I might do this with all my friends and family.
5. Write more
I already keep a journal, but perhaps I should still find ways to write more. And you should, too, as putting our thoughts to paper seems to make us better, more relaxed people. For me, this often involves noting important things such as Tetris strategies and why the 1980s Lakers were the best team in the history of the NBA, but journaling works for veganism as well. For instance, why not jot down everything you ate in a day so in December you can look back to see how much progress you’ve made with your diet? Once I had a friend tell me that the best way to journal is to free-write, and I agree. To accomplish this, grab a pen and don’t stop writing until you can’t write anymore. Even if what you write is “I don’t know what to write,” just keep going. Pretty soon you’ll discover that you have a healthy outlet to bask in all that is amazing in veganism … and Tetris, of course.
Ryan Ritchie is VegNews’ digital editor who thinks every New Year’s resolution list should involve reading more books.
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