I never imagined I would become a vegan. In fact, I didn’t know what a “vegan” was.
I grew up in Australia, eating rare steaks, scrambled eggs on toast, chorizo pastas and milky lattes. I always had an element of respect for vegetarians, but to be honest, didn’t get it. Humans eat meat, cows need to be milked, chickens lay eggs. What’s the big deal?
Around the age of 21 I started getting into health and fitness. I became obsessed with watching food-based documentaries and discovering “what I had been eating” my whole life to make me overweight. One afternoon, I found Food Inc.; the film that changed my life. Food Inc. was the first time I watched an animal get slaughtered. The first time I was faced with how we farm and kill animals. I couldn’t believe it. I watched a beautiful cow go through the process of slaughter and couldn’t bear it. I knew in my heart it was wrong. I didn’t question if it was “organic” or “free-range”, none of that occurred to me. I didn’t care how the animal got there – it was the killing I witnessed and that was enough. Something deep and fundamental hit me and I had a beautiful moment of clarity: this is so unnecessary.
That was the day my life changed. I’d had a very unexpected revelation and decided to try being vegetarian. Being the personality type I am –I committed 100% and found being vegetarian effortless. I never even looked at meat after that day and going vegan followed soon after. I became obsessed with research, reading every book about animal agriculture I could, watching every YouTube video and the more I researched, the more I knew this was the only way forward. No animal products. Zero. Cut them all out. Give animals a chance to have their own lives and our planet a chance to heal.
I wasn’t even prepared for the personal benefits – getting my dream body, feeling more energized, getting to be more inventive in the kitchen and starting my blog: www.oopsimavegan.com, which is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.
I have also accidentally converted many friends and family into this lifestyle. Not through preaching, but through living my life as an incredibly happy person and being as logical and helpful as I can be. Why not do the least amount of harm possible? Why not do our best? Being vegan is not about being perfect; it’s about doing your best. If you intentionally cause harm (which can be as simple as ordering a Big Mac) you aren’t doing your best. Everything is connected in this world and veganism helps me embrace that.
These days I live in Manchester pursuing my acting and writing. I love making recipes, writing about vegan issues and blogging about life in general. Every day I meet new people and still get an interesting reception when they find out I’m vegan. I get the impression people still expect vegans to be dreadlocked hippies living in a forest somewhere. Although that’s not me, I still wear the title proudly. Going vegan completely changed my life and I’m grateful every day.