Senior Artist with The Australian Ballet | Vegetarian since 2000 | Vegan since 2013
I love all animals. I am passionate about their protection. Reading up on the devastating cruelty and environmental impact of the livestock industry and the futile, wasteful torture of the cosmetic industry furthered my resolve when I first became vegetarian, and then vegan. I could not put blinkers on and comply with a lifestyle that fuelled such atrocity. To me, choosing a compassionate lifestyle doesn’t mean sacrifice. I chose it to have a clear conscience, to gain peace within myself knowing that I have no part in the violent exploitation of non-human animals. Leading a compassionate lifestyle does not mean I am “missing out” – it’s about living a truly whole life.
When I transitioned to a vegan diet, I did a huge amount of research into what foods I should be looking out for to ensure my health, particularly as a highly active person. I was amazed to discover that many athletes actually switch to a vegan, plant-based diet when they’re in hardcore training mode! My dancer colleagues and friends often comment on my vibrancy, and I certainly feel the best I have ever felt since becoming vegan. I feel like an even more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed version of myself, and can feel the difference in my dancing.
As a professional dancer, I’m hyper aware of my body and its needs, so I feel qualified to say that I’ve honestly never felt more wholesome and energetic in my life. My biggest problem, really, has been fighting misconceptions. I guess I’m kind of used to it though, as ballet dancers are subject to this all the time. But what makes me really angry about the myths surrounding vegetarianism and veganism is that many of them have been the result of successful brainwashing by the meat and dairy industries. We are still fighting the effect of generations of the public being misinformed. Initiatives such as Veganuary are important steps in the right direction. Here’s to more hearts and minds being open to compassion!
* Images courtesy of Jo Duck.