Veganism is often perceived as being restrictive, but in my experience it has been anything but!
I went from being an omnivore straight into veganism at the age of 16, deciding to finally commit after several failed bouts of childhood vegetarianism. A school visit to a dairy farm, with its lake of silage and cramped cowshed, was shocking, but the impact of this first-hand brush with the industry only hit me years later. Having now learnt that this cruelty is not only avoidable but also unhealthy for humans, it seems so strange that it was presented to me as a necessary fact of life.
Becoming vegan gave me the chance to indulge a love of cooking which I already had, if partially out of necessity, cooking for myself in a family of bacon-lovers. I found it meant the discovery of many new foods and cuisines, and made me a much more creative and adventurous cook.
I love sharing it with people, who inexplicably ask me ‘but what do you eat?’ as though they live solely on prime steak and blue cheese. I will gladly point anyone in the direction of my chickpea and spinach curry if they need to be persuaded that vegan food is delicious.
At first, veganism was a way to live out my ethics and morals and eliminate my own hypocrisy as a meat-eating animal lover, but I have become increasingly aware of the environmental merits of veganism and the detrimental environmental impact of animal agriculture.
Veganism is currently making headlines, with the release of groundbreaking film ‘Cowspiracy’, and the recent announcement by the WHO that processed meat should be considered a carcinogen, which has made even my family question their meat consumption. With four different types of dairy-free milk stocked in my local supermarket, the question shouldn’t be why am I vegan but why wouldn’t I be? It’s the future!