I've wanted to approach this topic for some time, so here goes.
I'm Rachel and I am Vegan *waves*
Now this statement normally generates the same responses.. "Why?" "What on earth do you eat?" "How can you give up ice-cream/cheeseburgers/pizza?" "But its not healthy surely?" "Nah, not me.. Top of the food chain we are"
Yep i've heard it all.
Sometimes people are interested and sometimes people get shitty with me. Its true, I've had all ends of the spectrum.
I hope that this blog is a happy supportive place, where people feel free to encourage one another, comment and love, instead of judgement, disrespect or ridicule.
I am not here to force veganism to you all, hoping to change the masses. But i wanted to share my positive happy experience as much as i would share something else happy, like my capsule wardrobe, or a family outing.
Becoming vegan is a huge part of my life and something I am really happy and impassioned by.
So share i shall :D
1. MoralityEating animals is just plain wrong. Firstly.. why eat a defenceless animal when as humans we simply were not made to eat meat (check out your teeth, we are made for veggies, fruit and nuts), plus the alternatives to meat in this day and age really are fantastic and excellent for you (hello no cholesterol!). We've come to see pieces of meat as a detachment from the animal, desensitising it to make it easier for consumption.
2. Major Health benefits.We've all heard that we need to eat meat for the protein, and without it we would all shrivel up and diieeee. Well that's as outmoded as bootcut jeans.
Beans, greens, chicpeas, quinoa and soya are all fantastic sources of protein. Kale is also phenomenal it is one of the most densely packed plants with vitamins and minerals on the planet.
Plant-based diets have been proven to lengthen life spans, cut out major diseases and improve general health. I'm no good at relaying scientific facts (my mind is way to airy fairy for that), but I know that anything that helps lengthen and improve a lifespan can only be good.
I also never became vegan to loose weight, but it was an advantageous side point. My weight has yoyo'ed most of my adult life, but since becoming vegan I lost weight and have now plateaued to my bodies natural comfortable weight. And i can honestly say i have never felt better!
Power to the Plants!
3. Environmental factorsBy having showers instead of baths, by that hosepipe ban, by turning off the water whilst you brush your teeth all sound like major brownie points in the environmental stakes, but the fact is by doing those things it is just a drop in the ocean (pah, excuse the pun) It takes TONS of water and crops to raise cattle (and then kill them), this is the biggest reason behind climate change and yet the meat industry grows larger and larger, producing more and more and taking over even more land to produce more meat. By going meat free you are helping save your home.. planet earth.
4. Mental HappinessThere's something wonderfully rewarding about going without eating animals. With it I found a strange calmness transcend in my mind that i hadn't expected. It seems on a sub conscious level maybe i felt guilt, without even voicing it to myself. I then realised how happy I was, infact it would seem according to sources (i.e The husband) that i am the happiest I've been in years. Happy and healthy is not to be ignored. It could also be scientific as the animal fatty acids can create mood disturbing brain activity, such a stress and anxiety. A life with out stress and anxiety sounds dreamy doesn't it? Well I for one am up for doing anything that will help be journey down that road.
5. Believing the world can be a better placeVeganism opens your eyes to the world. I started to research all kinds of topics such as environmental impacts, animal welfare, ethical and fair trade. It made me realise that there IS a better way. Consumer driven western society has room for improvement. We all do (heck I've only recently gotten on board with proper recycling, so I have A LOT of room for improvement), and like i mentioned above, surely if we can help our fellow inhabitants, whether that be man or animal, and just *try* to do our bit, well the world would be a damn site better off, and I sure as hell know I would love my children to grow up in a loving caring environment, which extends out from our front door in to the world around them.
(And a Bonus)
6. .. Vegan food is absolutely deliciousWhen I took out all the things I could no longer eat , i sat down and started to cook again. I previously loved cooking, but lost my way to the ease of convenience food. I cook all our meals from scratch with all plant based ingredients, and I have never tasted such amazing food in all my life. Vegan food is full of flavour, once you remove meat an animal by-products you have to start thinking about how to make this dish utterly scrumptious. Herbs are now my best friend, and finding the perfect pairing between vegetable and seasoning is thrilling (FYI Mash potatoes, olive oil and cumin equals HEAVENLY... just sayin')
Getting inventive with my food has made me have a much better relationship with food also.
Lots of meat-eater friends say to me (mostly men i might add..) "I could never quit meat, I don't like vegetables" My answer simply is " You just haven't tried the right ones yet"
Since quitting meat altogether i have not missed it once. When the taste is so phenomenal without it, why would you miss it?
When i first turned plant based and then Vegan it was about the animals, and what food i consumed. But as time went on its stemmed out in to all parts of my life.
This past weekend I went through (my quite frankly ridiculously) huge makeup collection. 98% of the products came from brands that still test on animals.
I packed them all up and gave them to friends and family (those are meat eaters and are happy as they are.. again no judgement here).
I looked closer at the ingredients in my shampoos and started researching vegan and cruelty free alternatives.
My household products are now switched over too.
It literally stems out in to all parts of my life.
But strangely, I have never felt more grounded or more happy. Its liberating.
Here on the blog you will see things will change, I will start writing about Vegan beauty finds, i will no longer be purchasing leather and suede etc, but I really hope it won't effect you reading. This will never be a place where i bash you over the head with my vegan rule book.
This is me just offering up alternatives (variety is a good thing after all) and things that vegans and non vegans can all enjoy!
But I am set on living my life the most authentic happy way i can, and that excites me.
Thanks so much for reading and coming here, I can't wait to share some positivity with you all!