My name is Candace Saunders-Grewe. I was born and raised in southern California, but my husband’s career in the military brought us to Colorado Springs, Colorado. I started this blog as a way to exercise my love for writing and communications. My interest in these subjects brought me to pursue both an M.A. in Communication (Public & Media Relations concentration) from Johns Hopkins University and, before that, a B.A. in English (Creative Writing concentration) from Radford University. In addition my love for learning, I value pursuing an active, ethical, and eco-friendly lifestyle. I believe in working out, a well-balanced diet, and veganism.
When I Said ‘No More’ to Meat
I have never been a big carnivore. When I was a child, I mostly ate chicken, and it wasn’t until I was in high school that I really started to indulge in consuming red meat, eating my first hamburger when I was thirteen. I have always loved animals, having been raised with horses, goats, and dogs to name a few, and as a result, have always felt conflicted about that fact that eating meat meant I was eating something I claimed to love. I also grew up with several vegetarian friends, so I was well aware of the lifestyle choice, but held back by health concerns that relate heavily to iron intake.
In 2011, I graduated from high school and moved across the country to attend university. This lifestyle change had a substantial impact on my health and, more specifically, my digestive system. This was when I began experimenting with various diets (Read more about my experience here). A friend of mine directed me to the gluten-free diet, and after four years of eating a meat-heavy diet, as a direct result of being gluten-free, my interest in meat began to decline. I recall eating an entire 2-lb slab of pork and feeling utterly disgusted with myself: If you are what you eat, I was not eating the right thing.
In 2015, I began moving more toward a plant-based diet, although I continued to consume meat and dairy products. I was a new person, or at least I felt like it, and since I was graduating from undergrad in May, I decided that it would be a great time to make a lifestyle change, so I said ‘no more’ to meat and elected to become vegetarian, aiming for the ultimate goal of becoming a vegan. Many people ask for the “why” behind my decision, and it was most predominantly driven by my desire to eat more ethically but also in a way that is more sustainable and better for my overall well-being.
As mentioned, my ultimate goal has been to become a vegan, which I highly attribute to PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals). In 2014, I went to Vans Warped Tour, where PETA had a booth with signs that read something like, “We will pay you $1 if you can watch this 5-minute video.” Needless to say, no one could get through the 5-minute video of a cow being slaughtered–I didn’t even try. PETA also had tables full of booklets and handouts on how to go vegan, vegan recipes, and more, and I finally realized that becoming a vegan was something I could actually pull off, so why not?
Two years after becoming a vegetarian, however, I realized that I was struggling more with switching to a vegan diet than I would have ever anticipated: It can be hard to let go of cheese, desserts, and many other non-vegan items. Nevertheless, in August of 2017, inspired by some of my friends who elected to make the change, I decided it was time to make the full switch myself and eliminate animal products from my life to the best of my abilities: I became a vegan. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, and I hope that you will continue experiencing this journey with me through this blog.
Thanks for visiting! 🙂