Exciting news for all of you aspiring soldiers out there!
When I found out that peta2 member Ryan Dudley was vegan all throughout boot camp AND basic training, I was thrilled! Ryan’s success is such a WIN for team vegan—and proof that there is no excuse for anyone not to cut cruelty from their diet!
1. When and why did you make the switch to veganism?
I made the switch and went vegan three years ago when I was 16. I originally started looking into animal rights because of a girl I liked, which is usually the reason for anything you do when you’re a teenager. But the things I learned were so horrible. I couldn’t not go vegan.
2. What was your biggest challenge being vegan in basic training?
There were a few problems I ran into as a vegan in boot camp. The main problem I ran into was that there is a limited amount of food that has protein* but doesn’t contain animal products. The solution I found for this is trading food… A LOT. The other problem I ran into at boot camp was the ridicule that all vegans are used to. Eventually it dies down, but you just don’t want your drill sergeants to find out you’re vegan. That could end up being, as we say in the army, “hazardous to your happiness.”
3. What is your favorite food to eat when you’re away for training? What is your favorite food outside of training?
My favorite thing to eat while in boot camp was the vegetarian/vegan pesto pasta M.R.E. Outside of boot camp my favorite thing to eat is a combination of Boca Chik’n, rice, and hot sauce.
4. Do you have any tips for others who may think it’s impossible to remain vegan in the military?
Just know it is possible to make it through boot camp while sticking to your diet. You just have to keep your head up, and be resourceful at times. And when you make it to military life after boot camp you can eat whatever you want.
I don’t know about you guys, but Ryan’s compassion sure isn’t “hazardous to my happiness”—in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Any military can only benefit by having compassionate people like Ryan around.
Vegan soldiers=the best kind of soldiers!
What obstacles have you guys faced in your journey with veganism?
*P.S. Finding protein as a vegan is super easy! Check out Sunny’s protein lowdown here!