Peace family! My name is Imani, and I’ve been on my vegan journey for quite some time now. Although veganism is “trendy”, the difficulties and perspectives of each individual is not. I am here to bring that content to you today.

IG: @doctorholistic

     I find it a bit alarming when people sigh at me after I first tell them that I’ve changed my diet. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t expect anyone to care..

Nonetheless, I’m usually given a nice little eye roll, followed by comments and questions  along these lines:

“You’re one of those. You think you know it all because you’ve watched some documentary.”

“It’s trendy. Everybody’s doing it and now so are you.”

“You’re just going through a phase.”

“Where do you get your protein from without meat!?”

“Give up bacon???”

“I couldn’t do it. I can’t survive a DAY without meat.”

“Why care about food? You could get hit by a bus tomorrow. Life is too short.”

     All of these opinions and questions that I receive are relatable because once I put all of this into perspective, I realize I used to feed myself that same exact lie —“I can’t give up meat.” Chicken and seafood was my biggest struggle. (I’ve relapsed a time or two. I’ll admit, I’m not perfect!). In conclusion, let’s just say I was eating those lies until I was starved by the truth. And that’s when I decided I needed change.

     The first step to changing anything in your life is to change your mind. We typically decide the choices we make, based off our reasons. Once you have that solid reason(s), it becomes easier than ever!

     Whether you go vegan to lose weight, fight  animal cruelty, make environmental improvements, rid health issues, or you simply want to feel better throughout this walk of life, MAKE THAT DECISION! Commit to it. Continue to remind yourself on why you made that choice, and commit to YOURSELF.

IG: @stephaniesunshine_

    The research alone made it easier for me, knowing the side effects of eating meat.. I had to DECIDE that I didn’t want to physically put these toxins into my vessel (aka, my body). If we want to get specific, as a black people, we already have years of generational health issues that we do not need to continue and pass on to our kids, such as: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, high cholesterol, inflammation, weight gain, & cancer…..just to name the major few.

     “Why does it matter? You gonna die anyway.” —One of those phrases to tell yourself that it’s ok in the meantime, but in all honesty, I enjoy the way I’m living while I’m alive! I know that I know I want to take optimal care of my vessel while I’m in it. For example, what happens to your car when you never change your oil, the tires, or any of your scheduled maintenance on it? I’m sure it will be good if you let it go a mile past the typical mileage for that particular maintenance, but the point is, it will become VERY apparent of how much you took care of your vehicle in the long run. I know a few people who wouldn’t put 87 gas into a Porsche, but will ingest food and toxins that will instantly harm their body. So why would we take care of our cars more than we do for our very own vessels?  Our mind and bodies should come first when it comes to maintenance. You are absolutely free to do what you please with your body. I’m just here to help bring awareness to it all.

IG: @thefeedingmodel

    I’d be lying if I told you it was easy. When you have been raised in an environment for so long that has taught you so many lies about health, it’s honestly one of the most disturbing reality checks in a lifetime.  Because now you have these trust issues, and unanswered questions that you feel the need to resolve. As you continue to learn and grow, you’ll be able to find that research magnifying these issues that no one has warned you about.

     Just continue to peel off the lies until you discover the truth that’s been hidden from us for all these years.

     Let’s not be mistaken; It’s not that whoever raised you, did a bad job in raising you. I have no doubt that they did the best that they could, with the resources they were limited to. You have to understand that the knowledge of the generation(s) before us was not at the tip of their fingers like it is for us today.

     If we are talking about the melanin people in the generation who grew up somewhere between 1940’s-1980’s, they had many other issues to battle already, such as survival, racism, segregation/integration, war on drugs, and many more to name the least. With those types of battles to gamble with, I imagine health was the last thing they needed to worry about. So it’s past due for us to turn this ”trend” into a genuine trendy lifestyle for our people.

     Let me just say this… I don’t care how “faddish” it is to become a vegan today. I don’t care how much of a “trend” it is or how many other people are doing it today. I don’t care which documentaries you’ve watched, or what needed to happen to put a greater message out to the people, solely for the people to finally understand and awaken to what’s going on.

     I’m just glad that we ARE waking up!! I’m just glad that we ARE watching documentaries! I’m glad that we ARE following amazing trends of educated leaders around us.

     I’ll tell you this- As long as it is contributing to improving the health of my people in any way, I am perfectly happy with that. Please, let it be a trend. I’m just glad it’s a trend at all.

Let’s look at the bigger picture folks. Stop downing others because you see people making better or healthier decisions with their life, and you’re not. You don’t have to live their lifestyle in order to support or lift them up. You don’t. In fact, I think it’s a beautiful thing to support those who are following their dreams and listening to their heart. No matter what it is, if they are living in their true reality, (especially if it’s health improvement)..the very least you can do for your brothers, sisters, and earthlings around the world, is to uplift and support like no other, because….we’re all we’ve got.

Lets be healthy together!

You may follow Imani (Mani the Goddess) on Instagram: @i.mani.fest