Veganuary, the perfect time to talk about my journey to veganism!
I’ve been a vegetarian all my life. I was raised by a vegetarian mum and a vegan dad. We never had meat in the house but the lifestyle was never forced on me. As a child raised as a vegetarian, I hated the unfamiliar smell of meat and fish, to the point where sitting next to anyone eating it would make me feel sick (still true to some degree!) and I would have to hold my breath and look the other way going past the fish counter in supermarkets (also kind of true now!).
Being a vegetarian kid there are certain things that were a bit different. For one thing, shoes for school were a bit harder to find. As I got older we mainly went to ‘Vegetarian Shoes‘ in Brighton for them, that way we knew we had the whole shop to choose from! When I was old enough to understand, my parents explained to me what Gelatine was, and I remember walking home with a packet of Fruit Salad sweets, and my dad checked the ingredients for me and told me that they had gelatine in. I asked him “does that mean I can’t eat them?”, and he said that it was up to me, that I knew what was in them and that the choice was mine. I didn’t eat them.
With a one vegan parent and one vegetarian, we always had both cow’s milk and soya milk at home, neither one pushed on me more than the other. Everyone is always surprised when I tell them that I chose the soya milk from a really young age, never wanting dairy. I think this has really made my journey to veganism a LOT easier! I grew up watching my dad struggle to find anything to eat at restaurants, especially on holiday where he would often just have to get a plate of chips, and I think this put me off veganism as I was growing up, it all seemed so much of a faff! But I have really noticed a positive change in the availability of products for both vegetarians and vegans which I think is fantastic!
In the past I’ve said to people that I would be vegan it weren’t for: 1. Maltesers having milk in them, and 2. Brie. With that said, I never really knew the extent of cruelty to animals in the dairy industry. Now that I am more informed on the subject- mainly due to the fact that it is being talked about more with social media, netflix documentaries etc., the switch to veganism is less about what foods have to be cut out, and more about the ethical considerations and how my choices can make an impact, for better or for worse. Christmas has just been and gone with the bountiful cheese selections (including brie), and people say “aren’t you tempted by it?”, and I say no. It isn’t like a diet where you feel deprived of certain foods that you aren’t allowed. Once you take a look into what happens to the animals that are unfortunate enough to be born into the industries that make these foods, you can’t forget it. However, if a vegan-friendly malteser-style chocolate was invented, I’d be more than okay with that!
I think going vegan is a big step for a lot of people, maybe less so if, like me, you’re already vegetarian. But it is so worth it! There is so much support, and so many like-minded individuals out there that it is easier than it has ever been! There’s the age-old question of “but, what do you eat? Salad?”. I think from now on I’ll just direct anyone asking that over to my Instagram!
I’d love to hear from anyone who has made the change to veganism, or even if you’re trying vegetarianism for the first time, it all helps towards the same goals! Let me know your experiences in the comments 🙂
Vegan for the Animals
Vegan for the Planet
Vegan for myself.