Veganism – My story

In the theme of Veganuary, I thought it would be the perfect time to touch on the subject myself. I have been vegan/plant based for 3 years now and had a vegetarian diet for a year prior to that. For anyone that isn’t fully aware of what Veganism is, here is a little definition for you.

– Veganism is both the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals. A follower of either the diet or the philosophy is known as a vegan.

So, to be clear. A vegan diet consists only of products derived from plants meaning no meat, dairy, honey, gelatine.. or anything that is sourced from animals.

The first thing that people tend to ask is why? and you’ll find that the answer is completely different across the board. There are many reasons for becoming Vegan; a love for animals, health, moral, environmental.. and the list goes on. My reasons are slightly different but no less important. I, personally have never liked meat. The taste, the texture, the smell or frankly anything about it. For years I only ate mince meat if it was in a bolognese and picked apart chunks of chicken to ensure that there were no veins on display and that it was small enough to not have the texture of chicken. That was pretty much the full extent of my meat intake. Once finally becoming vegetarian in 2015, after spending the best part of 10 minutes picking apart a piece of chicken with my mum sighing in the background, I done what a lot of others tend to do and replaced meat with dairy in almost every meal.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed being vegetarian, the effects of high dairy consumption began to take it’s toll on me and I spent most days bloated and nauseous, especially after meals. It was only then that I started reducing my dairy intake to a minimum and began researching plant based recipes. Coinciding with that, was a trip to Amsterdam with a couple of friends where Anna, my best pal and fellow veggie announced that she had been following a vegan diet. In support of this, I too only consumed plant based products for the weekend and found that I really, really enjoyed it. Hence the start of my journey into veganism!

It wasn’t until I changed my diet that I began to look into the more moral/health/environmental side of things, which all resonate with me in a big way. Veganism has become much more than what I eat but more so, a way of life and it has to be the best decision I have ever made. I am a flaky, impulsive and passionate person that dives into things head first and then decides that it’s no good just as quick, but being vegan is something that I have not once wavered on.

I am by no means a preachy, pushy type that believes everyone should have the same opinion or want but since changing to a vegan diet I have more energy, a genuine passion for food and find myself just happier in general. Veganism has really excelled in the past couple of years, making it so much easier to eat out of an evening, grab lunch on the go and be able to buy ingredients from local shops/supermarkets!

I will list some sources of inspiration down below in case this is something that you’d like to look into further.

Earthlings, a 95 minute documentary by Nation Earth that portrays the poor treatment of animals using hidden cameras. Please note that this film contains disturbing and shocking images.
– Vegucated, a socio-comical documentary about 3 omnivore New York guys who plan to go vegan for six weeks for weight loss and other health benefits.
Live and let live, This beautiful documentary by Marc Pierschel interviews several vegan proponents and explores the health, environmental and ethical reasons for adopting a vegan lifestyle.
Cowspiracy, a crowdfunded documentary film co-produced and co-directed by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn. It tries to analyze the policies of various environmental organizations like Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network in the light of environmental impact of animal agriculture.
Forks over knives, a health focused documentary that establishes a strong correlation between degenerative diseases and meat-based diet with some solid, statistical proof.
What the health, the ground breaking follow-up film from the creators of the award winning Cowspiracy. A surprising, and at times hilarious, investigative documentary that will be an eye-opener for everyone concerned about our nation’s health and how big business influences it.

Peta – The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Foundation is a UK-based charity dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals. They have a blog, hundreds of delicious recipes and a free vegan starter kit!
Veganuary – Veganuary is dedicated to changing public attitudes, while providing all the information and practical support required to make the transition to veganism as easy and enjoyable as possible.
BOSH – You know those super fast, delicious looking recipe videos floating around on facebook.. This is one of them! Featuring quick and easy, delicious vegan recipes.
VegfestUK – Find out about your local Vegfest’s here! It’s a heaven for many people, whether they want to mix with like-minded people, are curious about vegan lifestyles, or just want to eat all day and soak up the party atmosphere.

Please feel free to drop me a message with any of your thoughts, questions and/or ideas and lastly, a HUGE shoutout to my best friend for informing me on how to get started and making me the most amazing food, you can follow her blog here.

Jess x

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