By Silvia Loney

This is a question that becomes the topic of conversation at most social gatherings for me, “Why did you become vegan?” While the reason may be different for many, mine was simply for health reasons. 

Four years ago my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, this was a shock and sent me into a massive depression. Cancer runs in my family, both of my parents suffered from it and so did my grandparents (both paternal and maternal). I sat there, at the time, feeling helpless and knew I had to make a change. I never wanted my kids to feel how I felt.

I made the decision to try meatless Mondays and after a few months, cold turkey and overnight, I became vegan. It is a learning journey and I don’t think any of us have it down perfectly, but it’s a conscious effort to simply do better! 

I researched the health aspects of a vegan lifestyle and got certified in plant-based nutrition. I attended ECornell University and took Dr. Colin Campbells course  in nutritional studies and completed the program, awarding me a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition.  I also learned how traumatic the meat industry is and this solidified my decision. The effects a vegan lifestyle has overall on the environment, animals and your health is outstanding. 

I try to encourage others to try vegan foods by simply swapping out meat in their favorite  dishes. Even this can impact your health significantly. 

The question now becomes, “why are you still vegan, don’t you miss meat?” As I continue on this journey making conscious efforts daily, I know that I am on this journey for a reason. Besides, whatever you can make, I can veganize!

Meet the author

Chef Sil (she/her) has been vegan for the past 4 years. She started her vegan journey after her father’s cancer diagnosis as a means to take control of her health! Her goal is to veganize dishes we all grew up eating, but in a healthier way! Chef Sil is plant-based nutrition certified and is available to help everyone on their journey. Follow her on @latina_vegan_chef_ for plant-based sushi with Latin flair and flavor!

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