"I urge everyone who has considered going vegan to join Veganuary and give it a go. You have the power to help animals every time you choose what to eat, and you can make an amazing difference!
My father is a butcher, so I grew up knowing that meat comes from dead animals. But it wan’t until I met living farmed animals when I was about 8 years old that the reality of meat truly hit me. I was devastated at the thought that the lambs and piglets I was playing with would eventually be killed and eaten! I told my mother I didn’t want to eat meat anymore, but she insisted I needed to eat meat or I would die.
“Luckily I eventually discovered how wrong my mother was. While studying health and nutrition in secondary school I learned that it is perfectly possible to get all of the nutrients humans require on a meat-free diet; in fact it is healthier. That was nearly 30 years ago and I never.ate meat again.
“As I learned more about other forms of animal suffering I became a dedicated animal activist and regularly organised protests outside fur shops and marine parks. It didn’t take long until I realised that dairy products and eggs cause just as much suffering as meat and decided to go vegan. Twenty-five years later I can honestly say it is the best thing I have ever done.
“In the intervening quarter of a century I have done a lot of things to help animals, including countless protests and public lectures, years of hunt sabbing and animal rescues – even getting a PhD in animal behaviour. But going vegan will always be the action I am most proud of as I know it has helped spare more animal suffering than all of my other work combined.”
In 2018, Toni recorded a video for Veganuary discussing the lives of farmed animals: