Why did I go vegan? (Insert cute fluffy bunny pic to suck you all in...)
Updated: Dec 3, 2018
awwwwwwwwww cute little bunny...!
I write this post tentatively; I have never wanted to force my opinions on others and actually my children do not follow the same vegan diet as I do as a result. I recently wrote on instagram that I hope they will be, however I am allowing them to make their own informed decisions (oh yes, I do try to influence..!) in their own time, as they see fit for their life path. Their choices are down to them, I trust them to make good choices for themselves. I have 2 vegetarian, one dairy-free, and one meat eater in my house! Quite a melange..! I cook vegan food every day, but on birthdays they choose what they want, and at Christmas I cook what they want too.
Forcing a decision on them will potentially only make them rebel against it! So I influence and demonstrate and advise/encourage and get into their subconscious...! Had my children been young enough when I became vegan, I would have naturally fed them in this way 100 % of the time - giving them the choice (if they so wished) to eat otherwise later in life. Alas, I took my time becoming vegan...
Before I became vegetarian – 14 years before becoming vegan – I used to think, ‘Well, I make sure it’s organic, free-range meat, so it’s ethical’. But I was never fully okay with that, and I chose vegetarianism. If you’re ok with eating meat, that’s fine, but for me the word ‘ethical’ in killing animals...? It’s tempting to want to believe that the meat we eat is provided ‘ethically’, that our ‘food animals’ have lived full, happy lives and that they have experienced no pain or fear at the slaughterhouse, yet the sad truth is that all living creatures (even those labelled ‘free range’ or ‘organic’) fear death. No matter how they are treated when alive, they all experience the same fear when it comes to slaughter.
In all honesty, I toyed with the idea of being vegan over the years but instantly dismissed it with 'yeah, but CHEESE, you know?!' and fresh 'normal' milk in my tea, oh and my favourite poached eggs on rye... How could I ever give all those food 'luxuries' up? Also, naively, I thought I had to eat cheese as it was my only protein source as a vegetarian - yes, I bought into that one as an excuse too.
Then a friend posted something on FaceBook about the dairy industry - I didn't want to look, I hate watching those things because the reality makes you face the truth about what you are doing, and it becomes real, personal and unavoidable. I was horrified, disgusted, shocked - all the antonyms for horrified and disgusted basically! It was my own personal wake up call, I had the choice to respond, or continue to 'turn a blind eye'. So I gave up dairy - becoming what is called an 'ovotarian' - new word folks! (you're welcome), meaning a dairy-free-vegetarian, in case you hadn't deduced that!
I still ate my eggs though.
Until I read a bit more... (stupid google, and the whole being able to read thing!) and came across this:
"In the egg industry, even 'ethical' or 'free range' eggs involve the killing of the 'unnecessary' male chicks when just a day old."
OK, and I'm done too with the eggs... And a vegan me was born!
I began to fill my body with the right things to avoid cravings and possibly slipping back into vegetarianism. I went mad researching the health benefits of being vegan, not just the environmental positive impact side of things. I thought I'd share some of the health benefits with you:
A HEALTHIER HEARTThe vegan sources of fats are considered healthier since they come from nuts and other vegetable sources rather than animals. This reduces the risk of heart disease and heart attacks significantly. Vegan diets also help to lower bad cholesterol, and help lower risk of strokes, help in lowering blood pressure and even risk of type 2 diabetes. HEALTHIER SKIN & HAIR & NAILS The hair and skin get all the nutrition they need to literally glow with health. MORE NUTRITIOUS DIET The emphasis that a vegan diet logically places on fruit, vegetables, whole grains and unprocessed foods that are closer to their natural state, means that a lot of nutritional goodness in terms of minerals, vitamins and other vital nutrients reach the body. Thus giving you...
MORE ENERGYSaturated and animal fats, refined sugars and such food items can make one sluggish and sap our energy, making one feel less like exercising and engaging in healthy activities.
IMMUNITY BOOSTING & ANTI-CANCER Since fruits and veggies are rich in nutrients, they shore up the immune system of the body. Furthermore, the antioxidants they supply help the body fight against disease.
To round up - initially I became vegan (although reluctantly) because I couldn't willingly and knowingly be a part of the exploitation of animals. I moved over onto the huge positive impact it has on your health too. I, for one, am testament to how much healthier I am and feel, and I am in better shape than ever. I have never felt so good, inside and out - knowing I eat to help reduce environmental issues & ethically for my beliefs too. I would NEVER go back to eating any other way.
If you would like to talk to me about becoming vegan - do get in touch. I have written a Vegan Transition Programme which walks you step-by-step to becoming a healthy vegan. (Link below will be ready by December 15th)