According to a recent article in the Times, the number of vegans has risen by 360% in the last 10 years and i am one of those people. Why did i, and so many others recently go vegan? I had been vegetarian for 3 years and then i met a few people on my travels who were vegan, it was something i thought in the back of my mind i might venture into but it seemed to be a huge lifestyle change, what on earth would i eat? Would i need to buy different shampoo, make up, shoes?
One of the people i met on my travels is what i would call a vegan warrior, posting on Facebook the horrors of the cruelty that are just as bad in the diary industry as they are in the meat industry, this was the main reason for me, i just couldn't bear the cruelty that is inflicted upon animals so that we can consume meat and dairy. I won't go into this here but if you are on the verge of veganism many people watch a film called earthlings that will probably tip you over the edge, personally i can't watch any film with cruelty to animals in it, it keeps me awake at night, so if you are like me don't watch it!
The main reason many people go vegan are for the health benefits. Supporters of plant-based eating say vegans typically have lower levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, a lower body mass index, and reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer. There are also the environmental and welfare issues that are contributing to the rising number of people turning to a plant based diet.
I personally have felt great since i went vegan about 6 months ago. I love to cook, which is something i didn't do a lot of before, but now i have found a base of great recipes (if you love curries there are tons of vegan versions) that i cook, prepare and freeze. Pinterest is a great source of recipes. I feel i have so much more energy i don't feel like i am missing anything and a bizarre thing i realised the other day is that i no longer get heat rash! Is that because of cutting out dairy? who knows, but I've had heat rash for 20+ years and i got a little bit red in the sun recently and not a rash in sight! The hardest thing and the last thing i gave up was butter, i loved toast with tons of butter on and i found that really hard to give up, so i stopped having toast in the morning and then found flora do a lovely spread made from plants and now i love that on my toast!
There are vegan shampoos & conditioners available in most health food stores and for body lotions, moisturisers and deoderants i use Neals' yard as all of their products are organic, cruelty free and most are vegan and there are quite a few companies who make vegan beauty products, in fact i am setting up a vegan beauty website where you can shop for these great products - watch this space! Most supermarkets now stock vegan products, milk alternatives are easy to find, plant based yoghurts and deserts, many Linda Mcartney products are vegan, i don't have to go any further than my local supermarket for my weekly shop.
I think my top advice is to do what you can, don't beat yourself up if you have to eat dairy. Many vegans are quick to criticise other vegans who, for example, might eat eggs from a friend who keeps free range chickens. I find this extremely unhelpful to say the least! Sometimes if i have to travel for work or go to a seminar it can difficult to find vegan food so i might have to eat dairy, i have met a few vegans who say the same. It's ok, do your best. If everybody in this world cut out meat & dairy for one day what would that do for the beautiful creatures of this earth as well as the earth itself? It would make a massive difference i'm sure. I am still at the beginning of my vegan journey i have lots to learn but it's a decision i'm glad i made.
If you are considering going vegan? I have a little something that may help, its a book called the vegan miracle by Marie Duboule it's a simple book that will help you make that transition to veganism, with information including the basics of the nutritional balance of a healthy diet to what to do when your non vegan friends invite you round. There are also some recipes to get you started and some great resources for you to check out, click here to find out more
Wishing you lots of luck on your vegan journey! let me know how you get on!
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