I am a 23-year-old journalism student with a life long love of animals and unhealthy obsession with foxes. I have been vegan for nearly a year and have been moving around London pretending to be a city girl for four more.
I have always been cynical of those who claim that a single moment or decision can completely alter the course their life. I was proved wrong last year when I went from a carnivorous cheese lover, who truly believed breakfast did not exist without eggs, to a strict vegan all in the space of one afternoon.
Before that afternoon I believed that veganism was a strict and highly restricted lifestyle reserved for the hippies and yogis of the world. Apart from a brief stint in my teens as a vegetarian (which was more a manifestation of teenaged rebellion than anything else) I had never even considered cutting out animal products.
Last year, after a particularly lazy day of winter hibernation I ended a Netflix binge with the documentary ‘Vegucated’. For the first time I didn’t turn away or cover my ears when the heart breaking videos and images of how animals are treated in our modern food system were shown. I submitted to the true horror I always knew I would feel if I watched them. I ended the afternoon watching ‘Earthlings’ which was a little like watching Bambi and Watership Down as a child with the added devastation that it is real. Within a few days my fridge, wardrobe, make up bag were all animal free.
I have noticed some health benefits since changing my lifestyle. However, the main difference is a the sense of peace in knowing that I am living my life in a way that emulates the sense of compassion and empathy I have always felt towards animals. This is a compassion I believe most people have but choose to ignore.