Everyone goes on a constantly changeable journey in their lives with food don’t they? When I was a kid, olives were the devil, now they are my best friend.
I read an article recently that suggested that the earth is blessed with two types of vegans; the first wants to save the planet and protect animals. The second decides to embrace veganism for health reasons -whether that be for weight loss, fitness or because of a health condition that veganism can assist with. The funny thing for me is, when I became a vegan, I was a member of neither of these categories and now I am a member of both and more besides. There is no one (or two) size fits all category, we all have our own reasons for becoming vegan and here is my journey…..
I became a vegetarian 20 years ago (I’m now 40) and when people asked me why, I found the best way to explain it was that I didn’t want to eat flesh. I felt the need to comment “its not for animal rights reasons, I just don’t want to eat something that used to be alive.” You see, I was very much of the thinking….we must drink milk to have strong bones and people should eat beef as that’s the way of the circle of life and all that – just not me. I became fully vegan 18 months ago but it was a gradual movement over about 5 years. I started to go off milk and creamy sauces so took these out of my diet. Then one day I made my ultimate favourite cheese and tomato toastie and was horrified by the smell, taste and texture. Just there, right out of the blue. I was a cheese fanatic to the extreme and then it was over. I knew it was time to embrace the vegan!
A month on and I realised how hard it was to find on-the-go vegan food so I started a vegan food delivery service – delivering lunches and prepared meals to local people (not all vegan people might I add). I attended some markets and exhibited at a few vegan fairs and I am so grateful for this experience as it made me grow as a cook and made me love food even more. I got to grips with what gives us protein, what on earth B12 is and undertook a course on vegan nutrition. Now I am launching this website and I am so excited about where I plan to take it.
So, going back to my category of veganism and where I sit. I now firmly believe that eating animal products is not the circle of life but the circle of profits made by huge conglomerates who have no concern about animals or health,just cash in the bank. As a former business adviser I am fully aware and informed about the way a business works but there is a moral question here, not just a business strategy. I really believe that demand for meat and dairy is reducing and so therefore will supply. I feel that veganism has moved on so much and we see vegan menus in mainstream restaurants and food aisles dedicated to our “special diets.” It’s a great step forward and one which will continue. I am vegan for many reasons now; lifestyle, animals, health, taste and happiness.
This website is about taking away the weirdness of veganism. Making people realise that they eat plant based food all the time and its bloomin tasty. We just decide not to add the meat to the side. Think cauliflower steaks, homemade soya burgers and roast miso aubergine. I have all the options I need to have a full, balanced and exciting diet. I have also seen a remarkable positive difference in my health, skin and general wellbeing since going vegan and I am even more excited about food than I have ever been.
I hope my recipes and articles inspire current vegans and encourage more people to consider plant based food as part of their diet. And for people out there who say “I could be vegan if it wasn’t for the cheese”, I totally get you but give it a try, the fear is insurmountable but for me misplaced when you get down to a cheeseless life.