1 Year Vegan Anniversary

1st of April marks my year anniversary of becoming Vegan! Yay! Go me!

So I thought I would write a (probably rather long) blog post on why I decided to go Vegan, what food I eat, how I'm finding it so far and what I'm looking at doing in the future.
As a little bit of context, I was vegetarian/pescatarian since I was 13 and I used to cook most of my own food. I was vegetarian up until the age of 21 and I really enjoyed it. I think it started as a bet to do it for two weeks and then I enjoyed it so much that I just carried on! I never really used to like the taste of meat anyway and I rarely used to eat it that much. 

I briefly started eating meat again not long after I met my boyfriend as he was a big meat eater and for convenience and money, it was just easier. I wasn't earning a lot of money at the time, as I was on a zero hour contract, so it made sense to just cook one big meal instead of having to buy and cook different things. I'm not proud of this little relapse but at this point I hadn't really researched Veganism and so I wasn't fully aware of the implications of eating meat.

My boyfriend and I moved in together two years ago and from then I would say that my receptiveness to Veganism slowly started to increase. I think not long after we moved in together, I went back vegetarian again. I noticed the impact that eating a diet of meat and dairy had been having on my health, as I was feeling constantly tired, lethargic and just crappy most of the time. I would also say that I noticed having more spots when I was eating this diet.

We had planned a holiday to Spain in May 2017 and in the year prior to that I had slowly started noticing and reading the odd article here and watching the odd video there. These articles and videos had detailed to me the unnecessary and barbaric slaughter of innocent animals, the incredible health benefits of a wholefoods plant-based diet and the positive implications on the environment. 

I had planned to go Vegan after our holiday so that I could enjoy the holiday without being limited to what I could eat in a foreign country. It's hard to say what actually made me go Vegan as I think it was a build up of things but the main catalyst was a documentary called Carnage by Simon Amstell. My boyfriend had really wanted to watch it as he thought it looked like a spoof parody documentary set in the future where everyone is Vegan and past meat eaters repent in "AA" style meetings. We got half way in and suddenly there were graphic scenes of scared animals being slaughtered, tortured and shot. I immediately ran into the bathroom and sobbed for 10 minutes straight. I decided then and there that there was NO WAY I could possibly eat meat, dairy or eggs ever again.

I must preface this with the fact that I used to be a MASSIVE cheese lover. I loved it. The best part of Christmas for me was the massive cheese board. Everyone I told that I was going Vegan immediately said "but you love cheese so much?" And it's true, I did love it and I think the main reason I didn't go Vegan sooner was because of this reason. But honestly, I don't miss it. At all. Once you see the brutality and the suffering that these poor animals go through for meat and cheese, it really changes you. Once that association is made, it is really hard to go back.

So, I started my Vegan lifestyle in April 2017 and I haven't looked back since. I would say that it is snowballing massively and I'm very happy about that. It started with food and I have loved researching and educating myself on the wonders of plant-based food and the tremendous health benefits of eating certain foods. I have always loved food and so it makes me very happy to be able to try new foods and explore new combinations through my cooking instead of relying on meat. This lifestyle has seen changes in my shopping as I'm replacing my cosmetics and household products with Vegan and cruelty-free alternatives once they run out. I'm trying to be more environmentally friendly, increasing my recycling habits and trying to buy less packaging and plastic. This is also extending to my business, as my cellophane bags are used up, I'm replacing them with bio-degradable alternatives from Eco-Craft and using recycled materials where possible.

After discovering Earthling Ed on Youtube, I am trying to increase my activism slowly. I've joined various Facebook groups (Anonymous for the Voiceless and some outreach groups) and I'm hoping to join some local demos soon. I'm making strides to include my Veganism in my business, with Vegan themed products and prints in the works! Stay tuned! I've also influenced my mum to become Vegan as well and she's been Vegan since the start of the year. Woo!

So! That's a wrap on my Vegan journey so far, I've already waffled on quite a bit!
If you are interested in Veganism and what it can do for you, the environment and the animals, I'm going to leave links to videos, information and books you can check out if you wish!
I hope you found this interesting and can understand a bit more about my Vegan journey!
Let me know what you think!
Elle x

Earthling Ed Youtube Channel - Vegan activist, calm and informative.
Land of Hope and Glory - "UK Earthlings" - showcasing footage from UK farms.
Veganuary Website - 30 day Vegan Challenge - free, lots of information, starter kits, recipes, advice.
Forks Over Knives - Website as well as a Documentary - mostly focusing on health and food
What The Health - Documentary - focusing on health and food
Challenge 22 - 22 day Vegan Challenge - free, vegan mentor, recipes, advice
Cowspiracy - Documentary - slightly graphic, focusing on the impacts of animal agriculture on the environment.
Earthlings - Very graphic documentary exploring the exploitative relationships we have with animals.