Why and how did you go vegan?

For the why I have to look back to when I was 10 years old and it first dawned on me to go vegetarian because I just couldn’t understand why another animal should unnecessarily die so I could have a particular flavour, which would be forgotten about moments after the meal. It took until I was thirteen to finally become fully vegetarian after winning my parents over. I heard if veganism at this point for the first time and shrugged thr concept off as extreme and unnecessary, for instance, since who would milk the cows if the farmers didn’t? 8 years went by where I was content with bring vegetarian until one day I thought maybe that other animals might deserve more consideration that simply just not killing them for the passing pleasure of taste. Perhaps they should not be treated as property at all. Delving in to this unlocked a lot of truths for the dairy and egg industries for me in particular. When I first read that cows only produce milk after pregnancy it did not come as a shock despite being told as a child by teachers that cows need the farmer to milk them. It seemed so natural that they should only produce milk after pregnancy. It seemed so obvious that the milk was for their child that it was like somehow I had always known this. Why should a farmer need to milk a cow when the calf would happily do this as part of nature. This left open the question….if we are drinking the milk meant for the calf then what happens to the calf? The answer now seems as obvious as milk is only produced after pregnancy.

I can’t specifically pick a reason why I thought about veganism that day or why after 8 years of vegetarianism I suddenly researched the dairy industry but it led to how I went vegan. That was it, there on the spot I decided I was vegan. I have never regretted the decision in the 14 years since.

How do you cope/thrive in a non vegan world?

I can understand that before going vegan it may seem daunting, what will I eat?, what about my health?, what will others think? My experience has been predominantly positive in this respect. Food Shopping started out almost like a treasure hunt and still is to some degree. Cooking and trying new recipes has become a hobby that I enjoy especially while sharing meals or recipes with others. It funny to think now how I had previously bought just add boiling water to premade dried pasta dishes to now enjoying culinary adventures especially with the assistance of the cornucopia recipe book and mouthwateringvegan.com. not to say I’m a chef but my food is a whole lot better now than frozen pizza and dehydrated pasta dishes. I guess being vegan helped me a little less lazy and a bit more adventurous.

Health? For the very same reasons as above my health dramatically improved shortly after going vegan. Furthermore I have since read so much by respected doctors and scientists on how veganism has many health bonuses. The China study is a good book on thus topic for anyone interested. In short any health concern I had either had an easy answer or almost always showed veganism was even healthier that an omnivorous or vegetarian diet.

What will others think? Of course here are the jokes. There are the questions and even the rare occasion where someone believes they know better and will prove if to you. What I have found on balance however is the vast majority have taken a moment at some point to say how they respect vegans even if they don’t agree. For those who believe they know better I can count many more who have told me they have gone vegan. Thus is without even necessarily telling them my reasons. Just knowing someone who is vegan appears to be a catalyst for some people to go off and find out more by themselves. When I consider how cynical I occasionally think humanity can be this is definitely a comfort if not a motivation.

Being vegan is not about coping for me anyway. While I thrive on learning about the massive environmental benefits of veganism that the UN regularly report on, It’s not about all the added bonuses like health and food adventure. Its just what is he right thing to do.

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Vegans from different walks of life answer to a set of questions. To know the questions, see this article and email us with your answers.