Why I Became Vegan

I should start off by saying that by no means do I want to come across preachy or patronising in this post - I just wanted to share my story. I don't think I will ever be one of those plant-based individuals that adhere to the stereotype of shoving their vegan lifestyle down your throats constantly. In fact, I'm still in the stages where I'm a little bit shy to even admit to it, which is silly, I know, but I find there is still that liberal hippy stigma attached to the word 'vegan'. I hate the thought of family members thinking it's a big deal and fearing meals out with me.

I grew up thinking that vegans were these under nourished, protein deficient individuals who had no idea of the damage they were doing to themselves by avoiding animal products. Yes, I fell into that category of 'but cows have to be milked' and 'chickens naturally lay eggs, so it can't be cruel'. It's actually embarrassing and cringey to me now that I was this ignorant. 

I'd been struggling with guilt for a while now about consuming certain animal products as I identified myself as an animal lover and I would often drive by fields of the beauties and be faced with reality. I wasn't a huge red meat eater anyway, usually avoiding lamb and pork; only having the occasional cheeseburger when out. Buying meat apart from poultry was rare, because my OH is a bit of a fussy one anyway, which is why I think I found the transition pretty easy. I remained a pescatarian for a few months before my research deepened.  

The food industry is so dark and deceptive, relying on those to remain ignorant of its truths such as free range being far from it, whereby hens may have access to the outdoors, but still remain in small enclosed barns. Male chicks being ground up alive after being sexed. Outdoor bred meaning those animals are born outside, but then raised in captivity. Yes, there are some farmers who adopt the whole ethical omnivorism, but at the end of the day, they end up in the same slaughter houses fighting for their lives. Also, 14/15 of the top causes of death in the US could be eradicated/reversed through a plant based diet. That was the clincher for me. Being vegetarian/pescatarian wasn't enough - there are still huge levels of cruelty and death in the by-product industry and how unhealthy animal products really are for humans.

I had been vegetarian for a couple months and only been vegan for a few weeks now (unfortunately not during Budapest) and I've noticed a huge improvement in my skin already. True story - I woke up last week and thought 'Oh shit - I didn't take my make up fully last night' as I thought I still had highlighter on my cheeks. Nope - all natural baby!

My Inspiration
I've followed a few vegans and plant-based bloggers/YouTubers for years now and I want to give a huge shout out to them for being a huge inspiration to me - so educational and rational without the preachy 'they know better' vibe: JessBeautician and Gemma Tomlinson. Jess is great for inspiring homemade plant-based meals; Gemma also is great at this, but also introduces you to many meat/dairy alternatives for those who need a replacement. They made me realise how easy and beneficial it could be both mentally and physically. Also, a huge thank you to The Vegan Couple who keep me on the straight and narrow - they really know their stuff and give it to you straight without the bullying. You don't need to deprive yourself of anything becoming vegan - there are so many dupes and products that you wouldn't think would be available to you. I often use #accidentallyvegan to find treats.

I did buy myself the recipe book above for inspiration (as well as something to look nice on the bookshelf) Plant Based Cookbook by Trish Sebben-Krupka, which has now become my bible. I picked it up in TK Maxx last week, so hopefully a few other branches will have it in stock for you guys too. I know some people do purchase quite a few, but I feel I only need the one along with the Internet of course - it has the perfect diverse range of meals from soups and stews to loaves and sweet treats as well as giving you the low down on the use and benefits of plant-based produce such as seeds, nuts and protein substitutes. 
Again, this keeps focused and makes me realise how many delicious meals there are!

I can honestly say I don't particularly miss anything. There's pretty much a substitute for everything nowadays including ice cream, yoghurts, chocolate, cheese and meat, which often tastes like the real deal (Tesco is really on their game at the minute). If there's anything I want or crave that isn't available, I usually make from scratch anyway. Yes, you do have to speak up more in restaurants and let them know of your requirements, but you would do if you were GF or lactose free anyway. We're lucky now where veganism is more 'acceptable' and popular, therefore people and establishments are becoming more vegan friendly. Remember, you vote with your £!

If you've been having any thoughts or like to know more about what really goes on, there are three documentaries you must watch: Cowspiracy, Earthlings and Forks over Knives. You don't need to be a wannabe vegan or veggie to give these a watch - everyone should know how their food gets to their plate. Ignorance is not OK, you're more likely to fall back into old habits that way. It's really liberating now living guilt-free, finding I'm happier within myself and proud of my lifestyle.

Next to do is go completely cruelty free, but I will be using my stash up first, so you may still be seeing some non 100% CF brands on here for the time being. 

I hope this was interesting and informative. Thank you for getting to the end of this majorly lengthy post! You will hopefully be seeing some recipe/'What I Eat in a Day' posts in the future.
What are your thoughts?


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