To Veganuary & Beyond.
Tens of thousands of people are taking part in Veganuary this year, one of several fantastic initiatives which offer free resources, advice, recipes and much more for anyone going vegan for the month of January. Veganism is now one of the fastest growing movements/lifestyles in the UK, and of course in many other countries throughout the world.
As a vegan myself, now three years in, I have seen for myself and of course had much personal experience of how difficult it can be becoming vegan, or even trying it for a short time.
Not that being vegan in itself is difficult, it is the reactions from others, the often instant and uninformed dismissal of veganism as extreme or dangerous. People you had no idea were experts in evolution and nutrition suddenly have many things to tell you about your teeth, and the food chain, and B12.
The cruelty and horrors of factory farming, animal agriculture on a massive scale, have been well documented for years now, with little to no improvement. Of course, from a vegan perspective, there can be no improvement. You could bathe a cow in essential oils, tickle her udders, feed her the very best soya, and she’ll still end up carrying her young for nine months and then having her baby taken away from her so that humans can consume its birth milk. She’ll probably do this for four years in a row. Have a baby (after artificial insemination), then have it taken away and be forcefully milked every day, whilst pining for her baby like any mother would.
When her milk production stops, she will be led to her death. Such is the pitiful life of a dairy cow.
Did I mention that if her calf is male he’ll probably be killed,( sledge hammered or shot in the head), within a few days. Males are of no use to dairy farming. Except of course the one they keep and regularly masturbate in order to inseminate the females.
Some difficulties can of course arise when becoming vegan. Eating out with friends can be an issue, not because it is difficult to eat out as a vegan, as in many places nowadays it has never been easier, but it can be difficult sitting with a friend who has chosen to order a plate full of the very thing you’re trying to save, the flesh of an animal whose plight you are highlighting.
Think about it. You wouldn’t drink a bottle of whiskey in front of a friend who had given up alcohol, would you? (a bad analogy, I know)
If you do have a friend dipping a toe into the world of plant based wonder, would it kill you to eat vegan if eating out with them? Hey, you might just love it.
So many of our friends have eaten at our home and absolutely loved what we’ve prepared for them. Many have been truly shocked at how incredibly good vegan food can be.
I have included a picture, a collage, of many of the wonderful things we have made at home and thoroughly enjoyed since switching. Buffets we’ve had for family and friends, pizzas, incredible burgers, cakes that bake beautifully without any animal produce at all, full breakfasts. There is literally no meal that cannot be veganised.
Being vegan isn’t just about the animals or personal health (although for some it may be one or both) it’s also a conscious awareness of, and a move towards helping the environment. The very planet we live on. Again, the links between animal agriculture and climate change have been very well documented. There was even a worldwide plea for a move towards veganism from the UN in 2010.
Being more understanding, accepting, even helpful to vegan friends and relatives would be a good thing. Being mindful when around us would also help, massively. Being aware of why we’ve adopted this lifestyle is a journey everyone should take. Our deeply instilled love of animals shouldn’t have a line. Why love one and eat the other? Would you feel differently if you had to meet your meat?
Commenting ridiculous things like ‘Bacon tho’ on vegan posts from friends is a clear example of how veganism is ridiculed by some, although thankfully, these die hard deniers of cruelty are dwindling.
My husband and I have taken our vegan journey together and have quickly become so impassioned by it that we now have a twitter page, Instagram account, youtube channel and a website as ‘Those Vegan Guys’.
Our latest video series on youtube is family meals for four that take either 15 or 30 minutes and cost less than £5. Check us out.
Here’s to Veganuary, and beyond.