I'm Louise and I'm a vegan! I live in Reading, in the UK with my husband who is also vegan and my lunatic cat Dora. I became vegan after being vegetarian, when I learned more about the dairy and egg industries and realised that as a vegetarian, I was still contributing to the animal suffering that had made me go vegetarian in the first place. I realised that no matter how 'humanely' we believe our treatment of animals to be, it still causes them harm because that’s what happens when you treat a living being as a resource rather than allowing them to exist for their own purposes.
I was a little nervous at first, I believed what most people are taught as they grow up – that we need some animal protein to survive. But then I educated myself and came to realise that we have absolutely no need to use animals to lead a healthy and fulfilling life. And that’s when it occurred to me – if it’s not necessary to use or harm animals, then it’s not justifiable.
There were things I really thought I’d miss – like chocolate, and baking cakes – but then I realised that there is no need to go without any of these things because for pretty much everything I used to love making and eating, there’s a vegan version of it. What’s more, I now have lots of additional foods that I adore but never would have even considered trying before I was vegan. If you had suggested to me 5 years ago that tofu would be my one of my favourite foods I would have laughed at you!
One thing that surprised me about veganism more than anything else was how easy it is. It’s surprising how quickly your tastes change if you just give new foods a chance. It had been at the back at my mind over the years but I never honestly thought it would be something I could manage. I thought it would be all about restriction and deprivation but I can honestly say I have a more varied and fulfilling diet and lifestyle now than I did before. My only regret is that I didn’t have the courage to try it sooner.
If you’re thinking of going vegan then I say go for it. It may seem nerve-wracking, and you may worry about making mistakes along the way but I say it’s better to be trying and making mistakes that you can learn from than not trying at all.