Why and how did you go vegan?

I turned vegan out of curiosity. One of my best friends progressed from swore vegetarian to vegan and animal rights activist over a few years. I was lactose intolerant, didn’t care for meat but was an egg addict and a wholefood baking nut,(real butter, full fat EVERYTHING) so when I choose to do a college project on vegan nutrition, i bite the bullet, gave up my eggs, and never once missed them.

That was 2 months ago, my energy levels are up, my weight is down and staying down, my skin has improved, I’m saving money on food shopping, and I still eat chocolate and bake! Going vegan has finally given me the strength to recover from a ten year bulimia battle, and I have never been more at peace with my body. I was forever going through food phases, I am just loving how much veganism has improved most aspects of my health. It’s wonderful.

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

Studying to be a food scientist in college, nutrition is second-nature to me, and I am a bit of a gym bunny, but always loved my food, way too much. Once I did the research, I found vegan replacements for things like sausages, butter and ice-cream quite easily, and more delicious & guilt-free than their animal counterparts, so as some supermarkets are catching up to the vegan diet, I don’t have to travel far to get a week’s shopping.

Do you think the future will be vegan?

God, I hope so! But people will always like their steak and fry-ups but it will lose its ‘normal’ reputation, just like smokers have slowly been alienated in the last 15 years, rarely shown in the film industry except to signify villainous characters. In ten years time, there will be no scene where characters sit down in a diner and order a cheeseburger until they are plotting world domination.

What challenges did you encounter when you became vegan? If so what were they and how have you dealt with them?

Some things, such as chia seeds which i use every day in my meals and as a brilliant egg replacer in my baking, are VERY expensive. It’s a pain sometimes. And many things say ‘Suitable for vegetarians’ but rarely say vegans, even if they are vegan friendly. I have to read everything carefully, but I study this in college, not everyone will be so informed. Just like Organic Labelling, products need to have Vegan labelling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is there anyone who has particularly inspired or helped you?

No.

What do you think are the most effective ways of helping veganism become more mainstream?

Product Labelling, and more vegan products hitting the supermarket shelves and vegan options in restaurants!!! Laziness and an addiction to ready-made meals will prevent some people from putting in the required effort to be vegan.

Did going vegan change your relationships with your friends and family?

My best friend loves her vegan companion, she now is guaranteed a lovely meal when she visits, and doesn’t have to buy extras for me when I visit. Family think it is another phase but are impressed how long it is lasting, I can tell! Mum is becoming curious herself!