I transitioned to veganism in January 2014 when I participated in Veganuary and haven´t looked back since.
I’ve lived on the Mediterranean coast in northern Catalonia (Spain) for the past 15 years but am originally from South Africa where ‘braaing’ meat was a regular, social event in my life. Sadly, I never made the connection back then. Once I move out here I began to eat less meat, dairy and eggs and more seafood. I thought my diet was pretty healthy but something still didn’t feel right (my conscience, perhaps?). A couple of years ago I noticed some cows and calves in a little field near to our supermarket and kept thinking how sweet they were. I still remember thinking how bad I felt for eating them! One day I suddenly realised that if I really felt bad I wouldn’t be eating them at all!! I became a vegetarian the same day. Then came a lot of Internet surfing a lot of heartbreaking videos and I was appalled, not only at what these poor animals have to endure but at myself for being part of this for so many years.
In the beginning animals were my only reason for going vegan, but then I did a course in nutrition and have since come to realise that not only is veganism the way to save our world but also the key to transforming our health. I am slowly working on healing myself from the inside out. I no longer take any pain medication for CMT (a degenerative neurological disease) and have noticed many, many other benefits. I try to eat as raw as possible, as this is what works best for me.
In 2015 I started the Art of Compassion Project, which is an international collective art project involving artists from all over the globe. We aim to raise funds through various art projects and donate 100% of the profits to vegan non-profit organizations, while opening the minds and hearts of people to animals and the global benefits of veganism. Last year we ran various projects in aid of Veganuary. This year we have an art book featuring around 100 vegan artists coming out (early autumn 2016) which we’re all really excited about. The book will be available to purchase online and 100% of the proceeds will go to Veganuary. This year we’re also raising funds for Viva! and Barefoot Vegan Farm through new projects. All the info regarding the projects can be found on our website and Facebook page.