A chance meeting with a too-cute baby lamb, Paul and Linda McCartney in a lush rooftop garden, and one very momentous life change for an 8-year-old saxophonist.
The landmark “Lisa the Vegetarian” episode of The Simpsons is celebrating its 27nd anniversary, and ever since it first aired on October 15, 1995, Lisa Simpson has been a plant-based icon.
Through her, viewers saw a new kind of vegetarian and animal rights activist—depicted not as a passing phase (Paul McCartney’s condition for appearing in the episode was that Lisa would remain a vegetarian for the rest of the series!) or through some clichéd reference but as a strong, smart young girl.
Whether we were inspired by Lisa or just by our own research, so many relatable things happened to all of us when we stopped eating meat, started getting informed, and learned to cook delicious vegan dishes. Here are the stages of going vegan, as told through Lisa:
1. Meeting one special animal who forever changes how you see the world
2. Suddenly realizing that your food had a face
3. Researching what really happens to animals in the meat and dairy industries
4. Having someone try to get you to eat just one more piece of meat
5. Going to a vegan food festival where you can stuff yourself silly
6. Meeting other vegans in real life
7. Having nightmares about the farm footage you watched online
8. Seeing someone write, “Bacon,” on a vegan post
9. Searching for new, cruelty-free boots for winter
10. Losing a few random old Facebook friends who just couldn’t handle seeing you eat a veggie burger—bye!
11. People thinking it’s “just a phase”
12. Contacting companies to tell them to stop abusing animals
13. Making a recipe so good that someone says, “I can’t believe this is vegan” or “This is way better vegan”
14. Having one of your best friends go vegan, too