It’s a question I get asked so much, but on numerous occasions I’ve felt that the person asking the question doesn’t really want to hear the answer. Or maybe that’s just my fear of being seen as “preachy”, so I tell myself they’d rather not hear the answer. Before I was vegan I would get frustrated with feeling like a message was being forced down my throat, but it’s very possible that it was down to me not wanting to hear about something, through fear of what my realisations might do to my lifestyle.
This blog post isn’t here to preach to you about how my lifestyle is better than yours. I didn’t turn vegan until the age of 30, so I’m hardly one to sit here and say I’m doing all the “right” things. Our lifestyles might be similar, they might be different. One thing I can guarantee is that we all have successes and we all make mistakes. We are all learning and we are always evolving and changing. I was watching documentaries about veganism for a solid year or more before I actually made the shift. I was vegetarian, ate fish when I was on holiday by the sea and I swore that I’d never be able to give up pizza because that’s what I thought being vegan would make me do. Before I get into my reasons, just know that I eat pizza A LOT!
MY REASONS FOR GOING VEGAN
As I said, I’d watched numerous documentaries and though many of them had got me thinking and had inspired me to do a few vegan weeks here and there, I just wasn’t feeling the shift. Someone telling you to do something forcefully will probably only make you go in the opposite direction, so I just had to trust that I’d find my own way there when the time was right. Now a year into being vegan, I’m extremely happy in both my mind and body.
For me it was when Rob and I were in Australia last year, I had time for listen to podcasts, to read articles and time to think. The latter being the most important one. The podcast that actually did it for me was Rachel Brathen’s podcast with James Aspey. In all honestly James would have been one of those people I steered clear of years ago, thinking he was “preachy”, but the way he came across on the podcast was so understanding and the things he said made so much sense to me.
Earlier that day, Rob and I had been hiking and saw a baby koala in the wild, which totally blew my mind. One of the things James spoke about was the way us humans think we are worthy of taking an animals life, like these creatures are just here to serve us and if that’s how we really feel, then why do we think some deserve to be slaughtered and eaten, yet we’re happy to keep others as pets and treat them like family. In that moment it just clicked for me. If I wouldn’t eat that koala, my childhood pet rabbit or my amazing dog Simba, then why should any other species lose it’s life for my diet choices. This is the point of my answer to that question that people start to flinch a little. Something is being triggered in them. I know, I was that person. Just remember that these are MY choices. They work for me, they work for my lifestyle. I’m not tapping at my laptop expecting you to read this and suddenly go vegan, but what I would love is for you to be more open to hearing more about it. To do a bit more research yourself. Maybe having a little less meat and diary in your diet than you already do? Surely, it’s worth thinking about.
For me it was about the animals first and foremost, but being vegan also has a lot to do with the environment and how we protect our planet going forwards.
IS VEGANISM ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY?
Our planet is in a bit of a pickle right now. We’ve got plastic killing our oceans and food production causing so much damage to the environment, via greenhouse gases from livestock, deforestation and water shortages from farming, and huge ocean dead zones from agricultural pollution. A recent study claimed that this impact will only get worse as the world population rises by 2.3 billion people by 2050 and global income triples, enabling more people to eat meat-rich western diets. I’m not saying that everyone in the world should go vegan, as no doubt there would be a knock-on issue elsewhere if that were the case, but having a more flexible diet could really help.
WWF also released new information this week detailing that population sizes of our planet’s wildlife have plummeted by 60% since 1970. That’s because we’re destroying habitats and we’re using the planet’s resources faster than nature can restore itself. We are also creating more waste than our planet can absorb.
It’s easy to sit back and look at the world country by country and suggest that we needn’t do anything because there are other countries out there making it worse for the planet, but when is that ever the right attitude to have? Sure, me being vegan and using a reusable water bottle isn’t going to instantly solve all the world’s problems, but if we can each do our bit, however small, then together we can make change.
It’s so daunting with so much information out there. I remember when I got my first voting card through the door many moons ago, I just ignored it. So much political information and I just didn’t know where to start. I didn’t start voting for at least 4 years after I could and even then I just went with what the people closest to me where doing. It took until I was about 22 to actually read up on what was going on and do my best to make a choice suited to me. Doing your bit for our planet is a little like that, so much information, so many people telling you what to do that you end up doing nothing. Don’t make that mistake. Just do YOUR bit, keep being curious, keep reading and keep listening. Over time your bit might get a little bigger and that’s amazing.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
I know I’ve gone on a bit of a tangent here, but veganism and the environment are very interlinked, so it makes sense to open the conversation further. If you’re unsure where to start when it comes to sustainability, give this blog post a read. If you’re thinking about going vegan or just having a vegan day once or twice a week, these two videos might help.
You’ll no doubt read articles about it being too late to help our planet, but please don’t let that stop you. Mother nature has given us this world to plant our feet on, to swim through waves and to breathe fresh air. We need to show that we’re grateful for that, especially if we want to be able to share this beautiful world with generations to come.
And a little side note, I always recommend that if you change your lifestyle/diet you need to do you research and see a specialist to make sure you’re getting the right nutrients for your lifestyle.
Are you vegan?
Have you thought about trying it out for a day or two each week?
Comment and let me know.
Love, Cat xx