I became vegetarian when I was 23. My mum and step dad are both vegan. I brought my two boys up vegetarian and we remained that way for around 15 years. As my boys grew older, peer pressure wore them down and gradually the slide backwards began.
We were living in Stoke Newington at the time. I was a single mum holding down a BIG job, paying a HUGE mortgage and treading water to stay afloat for all I was worth. Eating flesh resumed, not in a big way, but there we were eating dead babies, drinking milk, sticking our fingers in our ears and keeping our eyes wide shut!
We ate flesh and drank death until the spring of 2002 when my feelings of guilt and sadness began to overwhelm me every time I put flesh in my mouth. I felt the same way about dairy too. Gradually I began to phase stuff out again and by 2005 I was vegan and following a super healthy diet. My partner also embraced this change. We were glowing with health and vitality and converted – or so we thought!
We came back from Cuba in 2007 and I contracted a viral meningitis and was incredibly ill. When I recovered I discovered that all the foods I had been eating before repelled me. I had the most intense cravings for cheese, dairy, fish and flesh. I succumbed yet again and embarked upon a fairly unhealthy eating stage, gained weight, felt crappy and unhealthy. I knew it was my diet but I was too lazy to do anything about it. I knew in the back of my mind it was wrong, really wrong.
Finally the MOMENT came. We were in Spain in September 2013. My son Josh lives there. He had become increasingly involved in saving and rescuing stray street dogs. Watching him doing what I had taught him made something explode inside of me and in a flash I knew what I had to do.
On our drive home I told my partner that I would become vegetarian immediately and vegan on January 1st 2014. I spent three months researching, reading and watching as much as I could about the exploitation and abuse of other beings. I forced myself to do this. I looked deeply into the connection between the environment and meat production. I also knew that I could not work in dog rescue unless I was a vegan.
I did it and it was the best gift of my life. Since making the change I have worked every day on myself: giving up leather, wool, any animal tested products and continually making myself aware of new facts and research. I am active on Facebook and amongst my real time friends trying to help people make the change.
I have ‘vegan’ tattooed on my right wrist. I am working full time helping to save the Spanish Galgos and stray street dogs of Spain. I meditate regularly and I’m in the process of setting up my own charity dedicated to and in honour of my son Thomas who was killed unlawfully in May 1999.
I am indeed #vegantillidie