I decided to go vegan in January 2006 primarily for the animals but also for the planet (the health benefits are an added bonus!).
I’d always thought of myself as an animal lover; I’d used cruelty-free cosmetics/household items since I was a teenager because I couldn’t bear the thought animals were experimented on just so I could use lipstick or shampoo, but food… well that was a different matter.
Like most people I was brought up believing that you needed to eat meat and dairy in order to ensure you ate a balanced diet and stayed healthy. Although I was briefly a vegetarian in my teens and stopped eating red meat early in my 20s, I continued to consume dairy products because at the time I didn’t know the ugly truth about the dairy industry.
Fast forward to late 2005 and when looking on the Lush forum for some information, I stumbled across a thread about being vegan. At first I was simply curious – I wondered why anyone would become vegan; wasn’t it a bit ‘extreme’, or just for hippies…. But then I started to get these nagging thoughts that wouldn’t go away and so I began to investigate the dairy industry and to understand the horror of it 🙁
One night in January 2006 I decided to make a change and overnight I went vegan. And I’ve never looked back! It’s changed my life, my outlook on everything, the way I live and work. I don’t just eat a vegan diet, I live a completely vegan, ethical and compassionate lifestyle, along with my husband and our 3 year old daughter, who is a proud “wee-gan” 🙂
In the beginning I was very careful to ensure I was eating a nutritionally balanced diet – I actually made a spreadsheet and every day would fill in what I ate and the nutritional information for each item, but soon realised I didn’t really need to do this – I was getting everything I needed easily!
My diet is far more varied and interesting than it used to be. I cook and experiment more now, and there are so many fantastic vegan recipe books and blogs to explore. There are also a huge number of “alternatives” out there nowadays – dairy-free ‘milks’ and ‘cheeses’, and of course chocolate! There’s nothing you need go without. Going vegan truly isn’t difficult; with all the resources out there now it’s easy and it’s delicious!
Of course it’s not just about the food; the main reason for me going vegan was for the animals – I wanted to ensure I wasn’t in any way involved in anything that led to, or contributed to the suffering of any living being. I also wanted to do what I could to speak out for the animals. As it’s often said, they have no voice (that we understand anyway), but we do and so we need to speak for them, and to help bring an end to all suffering caused by human beings.