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Going Vegan, Three steps forward...

A few years ago my husband and I (because apparently I'm the Queen) decided to become "weekday vegetarians" and only treat ourselves to carcasses at the weekend. This decision came from various discussions and also reading and watching some things.

I'm not pushy about it to other people at all, but I also try not to engage in arguments unless they have seen:
  • Forks Over Knives
  • Vegucated
  • What the Health
Or read:
  • How Not To Die- Dr Michael Greger
  • Eating Animals- Johnathan Safran Foer
At the time of watching all these things I was fascinated and borderline obsessed with these things I, a fully grown adult woman (some might say overgrown) had no idea about. Such as, how do cows make so much milk? What happens to male baby chicks? Why don't we eat dog?

When I wasn't pondering naive questions out loud, I was googling the answers, and finding a lot of information which was not pretty. This is another one of these "conventional" things we do because we've always done it, everyone does it, and why change? Well, you may have noticed that I like to go against the grain... 

I love the taste of crispy bacon. And I love sweets (gelatin). BUT there is no way I can justify what happens to animals to get me these tasty things. I'm not a massive fan of pigs, but I wouldn't kill one to eat it if there were other options available.
Here's a rare moment when I say I actually admire Jamie Oliver for his honesty. If I remember right he is pro hunting, and believes that if you're willing to eat something, you should also be willing to kill it and prepare it. Fair play. I agree, if you can do that and stomach the prep, why shouldn't you eat it? But it would be so much nicer and easier to go and pick some juicy tomatoes, right?

What I'm struggling with is the detachment from the idea of a living being. We don't always associate that pale joint in the supermarket freezer with a furry beast who moos. Our kids don't understand what they're eating until it's too late and they're hooked on chicken nuggets. 
I used to be a teacher and my primary class were horrified when we had a lesson on where food comes from. Most of them genuinely didn't realise the bolognese they had for tea used to be an animal in a field (if it was lucky).  I still can't quite bring myself to tell my daughter where her sausages come from, I know she will refuse to eat them, and I haven't worked out what else she WILL eat yet... She's a bit fussy. One thing at a time.

Well! Fast forward a couple of years, and a few more documentaries and a few health issues later, and we decided to try going vegan for a month! Because I have endometriosis I thought that less dairy with hormones could help, and to be honest I find the treatment of hens (I love chickens!) and dairy cows even more upsetting than the meat industry, I think we just blind ourselves to it. All health advice suggests plant-based is healthier, I think maybe people are just scared of change, although this year I think it's set to be popular!

We mostly did the 30 days, apart from a few bits and bobs in cupboards which needed using up, and we feel so much healthier for it. It wasn't even that hard! We're eating more vegetables, have discovered more herbs and spices, and seem to be less tired and just feel "lighter" even if the scales haven't really budged (damn it!)
It CAN be hard when you go out to eat, it can be really hard to find completely plant based options, but there is a lovely community of vegans on social media who, rather than being "in your face" as the reputation might be, are actually sharing ideas and encouraging each other with recipes and "accidentally vegan" food to make the switch easier and tastier for each other.

With Easter just gone (who can refuse an Easter egg?) and a holiday, things have gone off track for a couple of weeks, and we have REALLY suffered for it. We thought our bellies struggled a bit with lots of vegetables at first, but that was NOTHING compared to the sickness we've felt with milk chocolate and a few pieces of meat/cheese. We allowed ourselves that little break though, and it's made us more convinced that plant-based is the way forward, so that can only be good.



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