Going VeganThe day I decided to go vegan, it was a snap decision, made at work after a conversation about the dairy industry with an Omni colleague.
I had, up to that point, still been drinking milk and eating cheese sparingly, as I knew that I would eventually go vegan, but had never "set a date".
That day, something in me clicked, and I knew that I couldn't do it anymore, I had been thinking about the horror of having a child ripped from you mere days after being born, and that's when I realised that I couldn't consume dairy in good conscience anymore.
Shopping VeganIt was simple after that to steer clear of milk, cheese, eggs, chocolate.. etc. etc. But nobody ever warns you that the dairy industry sneaks their products into nearly every food stocked on the shelf: "milk solids" in chips, egg in dip? Seems completely insane to me. I have found that the safest option is to just check everything! So I stand in the aisles of the grocery store reading the backs of everything I have on my list. It would have to be one of the more frustrating things about being vegan. It doesn't make me upset with my choices (I am more than happy to go home and make something myself if everything in the supermarket contains something I cannot have), it makes me upset with the producers of the product for including something completely unnecessary to their consumables.
Being "Extreme"When I stopped eating meat I was told there was no need to go any further, as it would be too "extreme". At the time, I thought: "Oh ok, I guess so, it's probably enough to just not eat meat".
But (as is the case with most people that transition to vegetarianism) then I started learning more and more about meat & dairy production, and became so much more aware of what was being done in factories to innocent creatures. It doesn't matter how your journey started (whether you stopped eating meat for your health, or the animals), most people start to look at the bigger picture.
I started to see the other side of the "extreme" argument, seeing that veganism wasn't so extreme when you look at the extreme conditions that animals live in, how they are treated, and what exactly a lot of this "food" truly is. It's disgusting, and enough to turn anyone vegan.... But nobody wants to know. Least of all the people who choose to label vegans as "extreme".
Living CheapI have had a lot of people ask how much more expensive my shopping bill has been since going vegan, and I have to laugh! I have no idea where this idea stems from that being a vegan means that your grocery bill automatically goes up...?
What people have failed to realise is that not eating animal products means exactly that.
Animal products are expensive! When I was studying, living out of home, and cooking all of my meals, most of my money went to rent and bills, so animal products were a luxury that I could not afford!
Meat and dairy are not cheap, and removing them from your diet saves a lot of money!
Of course there are the "specialty" items that people assume every vegan must use in all of their cooking to give it flavour (since obviously when you cut out meat and dairy, they must be replaced by something... hur hur), but I have found that using simple ingredients, with a variety of vegetables and grains, my diet has not lacked any flavour at all. To be honest, I think my food has more flavour now than it ever did.
It also doesn't hurt that being vegan means not being able to buy a lot of the naughty foods at the shops that would normally be a temptation.
Check out my about me section for a little more :)
Check out my list of Benefits of Going Vegan
Don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest!