Friday, 15 June 2012

Finding My Vegan Feet

By Laura, Vegan Pledge Participant 2012

I’ve been interested in the vegan lifestyle for around 10 years, but I haven’t had the courage to properly test the vegan waters. For me, choosing a vegan diet has been mostly motivated by ethics. The way our society treats animals is just unbearable to me. I cannot keep willingly contributing to an industry that keeps animals as lifeless commodities that can be skinned, killed or milked at will, without any consideration for their well being. 

This year I decided that it would be time to walk the walk, and took the Vegan Pledge on the 19th of May. As with many people switching to veganism, my biggest hurdle has been giving up milk products. I have been a vegetarian for a very long time and used milk products as my primary source of protein. I suspect that I’ve developed a bit of an addiction to cheese. Three weeks into the pledge, I am doing just fine without any cheese. Yes, sometimes I have thought that some cheese on my pizza would be nice, but I don’t crave it the way I thought I would. As far as other milk products go, I couldn’t care less. In fact, I really enjoy making my own milk alternatives at home and using them in my cooking. 

The most amazing part of switching to a vegan diet has been noticing the changes in my body. I find I have a lot more energy, I feel much better after eating (never bloated or stuffed), my skin complexion has improved and my clothes are looser. I have also been positively surprised by how easy it is to find vegan food, and how understanding people are. Even when I go out with my non-vegan friends, I manage to find something to nibble on. I can’t say that the average restaurant has more than a very limited menu for vegans, but it’s good to have at least a couple of options for people who choose not to eat animal products. 

Another thing that I have learned to appreciate about my vegan diet is an increased awareness of what’s really in my food. Since there aren’t a lot of ready-made vegan meals out there, I have been cooking at home much more often. Most vegan food is incredibly easy to make and takes minutes to prepare. My favourite recipe finds so far have been Rhubarb and Peach Crumble with Banana Ice Cream and Vegetable Tagine

Now that the vegan pledge month is almost done, I am certain that I will stick to the vegan mindset. I might not be as firm about milk traces or an accidental vegetarian dish at a party where no other options are available, but I will keep cooking vegan at home and sharing the joy of good food with my friends. And to people who are doubting whether to try the vegan diet or not, I would definitely recommend it, even if you only have have one vegan day per week. It will make a huge difference to the world around us and to your own well being.  ..............................................................................
You can read more from Laura on her website: 

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