For most people, going vegan happens for one, or a combination of, three reasons; to save animals, to help the environment and for personal health.
For me, growing up with vegetarian parents, I’d love to say that all three of these factors influenced me from a young age. In all honesty, they didn’t. While I happily ate all kinds of vegetarian meals and meat replacements at home, their lifestyle was never forced upon me and it wasn’t something I ever considered for myself.
I’d always been partial to a McDonald’s or a Nando’s, happily munched on bacon sandwiches and was a self-confessed cheese addict. Add to that a huge sweet tooth meaning I inhaled chocolate and ice cream as often as possible, and the fact that I had no idea what ‘veganism’ was (other than a strange group of hippies), and you don’t have the recipe for a budding vegan. I remember being almost offended when people thought I was vegetarian too – absolutely not.
Fast forward to my first year of uni, I came across a documentary on Netflix called Cowspiricy, which explored the impact of animal agriculture on the environment. I approached it open-mindedly, but didn’t expect it to affect me so prominently and after that seed had been planted, I scoured the internet for more information. Soon enough, I knew that I wanted my lifestyle to support the animals, the environment and my own health, and going vegan was the answer.
It didn’t happen overnight, and I decided to use up the eggs, cheese and tuna in my fridge before taking the plunge. I’ll also admit that for a while, my sweet tooth won out over my morals and the odd chocolate found its way into my mouth, but before long and with a little practice, veganism became second nature to me and in the last eighteen months, I’ve never looked back.
Image Courtesy of llee_wu Via Flickr, License here.