Life as a Vegan
I am now one-year vegan, so I think it is fitting to post this blog now. I was asked by one of my friends to do a blog post on this so that she could understand the transition from being a meat eater to a purely vegan diet. I had no in between stage, I wasn’t vegetarian before I went vegan, but I did it for health reasons. I have so much to say on the topic of veganism, but I will separate it into three parts so that readers can read just the parts they are interested in. First I will speak about eating vegan, then how it has helped my body, then finally, and now most importantly for me, the animal cruelty and impact to the environment that the consumption of animal products has.
Eating vegan was of course a tough transition as I had to forget everything I thought I knew about health and nutrition. I had the mentality, as I understand many people do, that you can’t get enough protein in your diet if you are not eating meat. When I first went vegan, I did it in quite an unhealthy way. I basically survived off bread, potato and pasta, which I was not complaining about because I have always been a carb lover, but I was of the misconception that carbs made me gain weight.
Quick side note, I am now 15kgs lighter than I was when I first decided to go vegan. This is not completely due to veganism, but a number of healthier lifestyle choices I have made for myself.
I am not good at cooking at all. I have no patience and if something takes longer than 15 minutes to prepare, I won’t do it. This is why I generally ate toast for breakfast and pasta for lunch and dinner when I first went vegan, basically because I’m lazy and it was all too much to think about. Eventually I returned to foods that I used to eat and making chia puddings at night for my breakfast the following morning. I would try to do my meal prep once a week which was generally a pasta, which was super easy, I would generally just use a tomato sauce and chop up some zucchini and carrot with a bunch of herbs and spices which would taste amazing! Sometimes in summer a salad with corn, avocado and other vegetables. Most salad dressings are vegan which is convenient.
When I would get even more lazy due to stress at work I would find meat substitutes like hot dogs and eat them with bread. Living in Melbourne there were a bunch of these as well as vegan restaurants for when I couldn’t even be bothered eating fake hot dogs. When I was feeling more motivated I would look up vegan recipes like curries, fruit loafs, noodle salads and different pasta recipes. I even started baking choc chip cookies and pumpkin cupcakes.
There are so many amazing and EASY vegan recipes out there that even I had the patience to make and that taste great. I am definitely of the opinion that vegan pancakes taste better than regular pancakes and I’ve had a number of my friends who were not vegan confirm the same. I’ve put a link to some of my vegan recipes here for anyone who wants to have a look.
In summary, eating vegan is a bit tricky to start with because you have no idea where to start and about all the substitutes you need use, but its super easy once you get your head around it. Nuttelex is an absolute lifesaver and you can use it for cooking in replace of butter as well as some oils. Also, Happy Cow is an absolute lifesaver when traveling! It is a community of vegetarians and vegans who post places that serve food they are able to eat and is always being updated. It is a worldwide community and has certainly helped me in tricky places such as Japan, Sri Lanka and of course India, as well as finding places throughout Melbourne.
How veganism changed my body
Now I know that some of this is going to sound absolutely ludicrous, but I assure you that its all true. After the first few days of eating vegan I started to feel better. I had known for a few years that dairy didn’t agree with my body, but would occasionally still eat it anyway. I wasn’t feeling heavy in my stomach anymore which was a nice feeling, and I swear that I could feel the blood flowing through my body much easier than it did before.
I had seen that eating dairy acts as an inflammatory within the human body, affecting both blood circulation and joints. Having issues with the joints in my hips, knees and spine, this is one of the reasons that I decided that going vegan was a good idea for me. I was having a number of issues of being unable to walk because of how bad my joints were so figured I had nothing to lose by trying it.
After one year now vegan and looking after my body, I am so happy to report that I have had probably the total of 5 days unable to walk. This is a huge improvement from the past year where there was at least one day a month as an absolute minimum that I was unable to walk.
I am far less bloated and feel a lot healthier in my everyday life than I did before going vegan and this is part of the reason why I don’t believe that I will ever go back to eating meat and dairy products.
How veganism helps our world
So as we all know, climate change is no secret, although there are some who continue to believe it is a myth so that they don’t have to face the reality of some of our world’s problems. I also can not in any way condone the cruelty to animals that comes along with the consumption of meat and dairy products.
The way that animals are treated in the dairy industry and literally have the life sucked out of them is beyond horrific. I don’t believe that any living being is put on this world to be taken advantage of and its pure reason for being on this earth is to serve humankind. I believe that all life is sacred and no one has a right to say which lives matter more or less than others, regardless of the body they are born in.
I have the view that cows for example, create milk for their offspring and just like a human, will cease producing milk when the calf no longer requires it. To continue to take milk from a mother goes against that natural function of a human body. You would not see anyone holding captive a group of mothers and continuing to milk them long after their child is no longer needing it. That would be a crime against humanity and likely significant jail time, so why is it socially acceptable to subject an animal to that kind of treatment?
Other than just the cruelty to animals, the use of animal agriculture has a huge carbon footprint. By changing to a plant-based diet, you can reduce your individual carbon footprint by over 70%. Imagine the changes our world would see if even 50% of the people cared enough about the environment and animal rights to change to a plant-based diet.
I don’t mean to be a preacher and do not try to convert people to a vegan diet, I am simply here sharing my point of view on veganism with a few facts thrown in to help raise awareness for some of the issues our world faces and how as an individual people can make a difference. Even if it feels like you alone are unable to help, if a group of people are working towards the same goal, then collectively we can make a difference.
If anyone has any questions about veganism, I am always most happy to help 😊