I haven’t always been a vegan. I haven’t even always been a vegetarian.
I’ve never been a steak lover, but salmon? Roast chicken? Seafood spaghetti? Most definitely.
There are photos of me at university with a series of hangover burgers that are guaranteed to be used against me for the rest of my vegan life.
I’ve tried to be vegetarian from the age of 11 – but it’s definitely been on and off.
Last year, I made the decision to educate myself properly on the subject before making a final decision. I didn’t expect that decision to be vegan…
I’ve always loved animals, but it was only when I made myself watch a documentary called Earthlings, that everything changed.
It showed the reality of slaughterhouse conditions for animals reared for their meat, as well as those used for dairy and eggs. It took me four separate viewings to get to the end and changed my diet forever.
While going vegetarian is pretty simple, going vegan can feel like everything is against you – at least to begin with.
Supermarkets are stocked full of vegetarian options, but those veggie alternatives are more often than not, based around three things: egg, cheese and mayo.
Finding a vegan sandwich might be tricky, but eating vegan doesn’t have to be. You just have to eat fresh unprocessed food. I stopped worrying about my diet altogether!
I started making huge fruit smoothies before work every morning and researching delicious new recipes to make at night. I decided to expand what I ate, instead of limiting it.
Unless you’re eating a diet of peanut butter and potatoes, (which, lets be honest, just sounds gross) you’ll naturally be taking in enough nutrients from all the fruits and vegetables.
It’s hard to overdo the calories and you’ll rarely eat too much fat or processed sugar.
I don’t believe that any animal should live a life based solely on feeding another – even if they are laying eggs or being milked.
While veganism isn’t a ‘natural’ human diet, it’s also not natural to trap and breed chickens, pigs, cows and other animals in slaughterhouses to be churn out into sausages and burgers by the multi-billion pound food industry.
It’s my personal choice. I can’t prevent it from happening, I can choose to not support it with my lifestyle or my money.
I’m more than happy to discuss veganism with anyone. I believe everyone should have all the information and hear all the different opinions around their food.
Yes, being a vegan is sometimes tricky. When I eat out, I’ve got used to being a little awkward about sauces and desserts.
At the end of a boozy night, the urge to eat a whole Domino’s pizza does sometimes feel overwhelming.
But being vegan makes me healthier – and it doesn’t take that much effort at all. Plus the benefits it has on the environment are innumerable.
I feel totally OK about what I eat, because I know I’m not contributing to anything I don’t believe in.
So, if you’re considering whether veganism is for you, I would say: give it a month. At least then you’ll know, even if you decide it isn’t for you.
If it is however, then trust me, you’ll always be happy that you dared to give it that try.