A year in - being Vegan - *VEGANISM* - PLANTPOWERED FAMILY
A year in .... what have i learnt?
...apart from what biscuits are vegan *joking *winkwink
Well it's hard to know where to start. It's a really massive change. We ate mostly plantbased to start with, so I knew my basics.
Preparation is key. Prepare yourself to find it difficult. But know that after a few weeks it will be a whole load easier. And worth it!!
We saved money. It can be good for your wallet with bulk buying and clever choices.
Research vegan restaurants, and your normal favourites.. chances are they will cater for you. Don't forget to ask - many people forget to do this. I've had many a creative meal whizzed up for me off the menu - just by asking!
Meal plan. Start off by creating vegan copies of your original favourites. Then try new dishes. We now eat completely different foods than what we used to. Also your taste buds will change. I now love avocado and used to hate it.
Read the labels on everything. The first few shops can take a while.
Have a little food knowledge. It's good to know that your are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need - especially so if you are changing your children's diets. It doesn't take much research to be reassured. Here are my calcium and protein lists. Also rest assured that a varied diet normally will give you everything you need. We don't need all these new foods that are manufactured "vegan + fortified". They can be useful but know they're not essential. I take a B12 supplement.
Ideally I wouldn’t of gone vegan overnight. I would’ve slowly adapted my diet over a few weeks.
- One word "LENTILS" take them steady my friends. Jumping in and eating lentils every day is going to hurt your ass!
My initial reasons for going vegan were health (improved asthma / eczema and allergies), and I have to say that our health as a family has definitely improved. I slowly researched animals and the way they are treated. I’m now fully committed to veganism for the animals as much as for myself. Not forgetting the planet!!
One thing I was not prepared for was the trauma I would feel knowing how animals are kept and prepared before being eaten. I grew up on a farm and spent nearly 30 years consuming meat and animal products. I genuinely didn’t think about how animals were being treated and not in a -
It just didn’t cross my mind! I grew up thinking it was the norm.
Which is what I think a lot of people are like. It’s hard to pull away from the crowd - look at something .... like really look at something and then understand it’s wrong and needs to change.
Most of us have daily choices. Food choices . Every time you shop you can vote for kindness and the planet. Some people will take a long time to switch to veganism. Some will only adapt their diets a little (this is ok too!) ... and some will change nothing. If I can ask anything of you. It would be to really see and understand what you are consuming. I didn’t see for a long time. You need to be strong and really look. It ain’t pretty I’m afraid : surprise, surprise a lot of this is down to government legislation and greed. I have a lot of respect for farmers and with the changes that are happening they will need some support.
The longer I’m vegan the harder I find it to think about how animals are being treated. I watched a slaughter lorry pull up outside my regular coffee house yesterday.
The poor animals were pacing, and knew something was up. Have you ever been scheduled for dental work and had that queasy tummy feeling? the cold sweat and clammy hands? .... you're having a filling ... not about to die! Yet there you are - really nervous.
Now imagine you're an animal. Piled on mass into a lorry. Driven to a slaughter house... already uncomfortable and scared. You arrive and are pushed through various gate systems, queuing for the unknown. Your fellow companions are pushing, can hear death. Now think how that is. That feeling. Yes slaughter houses are supposed to make it quick. Do they??? Sadly in a lot of places no is the quick answer.
Ok forgot the horror that is the end of their life. Or even the treatment they incurred whilst alive.... (don't get me started on the dairy industry). The hygiene in the slaughter houses is not what you want to be consuming. It is regularly reported that once the meat is in the factory and being prepared, that if they find a tumour they cut it out.... but the rest is fine to consume???? Do you want to eat a fucking cancer ridden piece of dead rotting meat?
You can butter it up, like I used to, by saying - "but it's local, free range and organic". Do you think this makes a huge difference? In some small cases yes an animal may have more space to roam - that's as glam as it gets. Their life is still cut short. Living in an unnatural way.
- But if we don't eat them they will die??....
STOP STOP!!!! I'm laughing so hard. But YOU are going to let them be killed so you can eat them?.... NO?
There wont suddenly be a herd of cattle in the dressing room of TOPSHOP. If we dont breed and kill them. Yes some animals will possibly go extinct (to clarify - over a long long period). Let's not forget that animals do go extinct, and generally down to human interference. Also that being alive, bred, mostly living a shitty unnatural existence, and then being slaughtered is not the desired lifestyle choice.
The world wouldn't (and couldn't) go vegan overnight. For many reasons.
There are tribes and people living in the developing world who rely on animals. Now we aren't going to go in and take this away from them are we? But there are many ways we can help them more - this is pretty obvious really.
I would like to encourage people to make changes. To consume with knowledge. For the sake of their own health, their children and future generations. The animals and the planet. You can do so much.
You can change through buying power the way that animals are treated and processed for consumption. Speak to your supermarkets and ask for more vegan options if you're lacking them. This will filter back to management. Write to your food suppliers and local MPs questioning the way animals are treated and farmed.
This really is such a huge topic, that very often gets people fired up. I personally believe knowledge is power, and be kind. Be fucking kind whenever you can.
There are so many inspiring websites out there. With facts and ways you can help animals and the planet. Follow my facebook page for daily recipe inspiration
Any questions ? Ask me below