There’s no two ways about it, meat tastes great and I enjoy eating it. Then again there aren’t many things in this world that I’d rate above a lovely baked camembert or a nice bit of Wensleydale with cranberry either…and don’t get me started on milk chocolate.
One day I was letting Facebook autoplay videos and up popped one with a guy explaining why he went vegan. It didn’t share anything graphic, it wasn’t militant or hateful towards meat/dairy eaters, it was just him calmly and matter of factly talking about some of the processes that take place to bring certain foods to our tables and why he has opted out of supporting them.
Something about it resonated with me and got me thinking about my food consumption in a way that nothing else ever has. I’d been toying with the idea of going vegetarian this year but I’d never really understood what all the fuss was about with dairy produce until watching that video. Since then I’ve been unable to shake the feeling that the lifestyle I’m leading doesn’t follow my ethical views.
I wasn’t really sure what to do about it though so rather than making a huge commitment that I’m not prepared for, (and to avoid giving my family a heart attack this Christmas when they are so kindly going to be cooking up a feast) I instead decided that I’d commit to Veganuary, which means maintaining a vegan diet and lifestyle for the whole of January. Rather than wait until then though and take the ‘Big Bang’ approach, I opted to try and eat vegan as often as I practically could during December too, to ease myself in and get comfortable with what I was doing.
That gives me a bit of leeway until then to learn what I can eat and what I need to avoid, plan breakfasts and lunches and generally get my head in a good place whilst not beating myself up too badly if I make a mistake. It’s a bit of a minefield as it turns out – just about everything you can think of has either egg or milk in it it seems, even Quorn!
Oliver has been extremely supportive which is great. He’s a meat eater through and through but he also has no qualms about trying out vegan recipes with me. His view is that as long as it tastes good and is nutritious and filling then he’s happy to give it a shot! So far we’ve tried vegan Mac and Cheese, Chocolate Banana Bread and Scrambled Tofu together. On my own I’ve made Pesto Pasta and Pea and Mint Soup. All are from Lucy Watson’s cookbook Feed Me Vegan which, along with Pinterest, is pretty much my food bible right now.
What I’ve also learned so far is that there’s two ways to be vegan though:
- Healthily eating a diet consisting mainly of plant based nutritious foods, or
- Fake cheese, processed meat substitutes and a shit tonne of carbs.
Lots of new vegans make the mistake of going carb heavy and end up putting on weight in the first few months. After a few days of eating vegan I had definitely fallen into that trap and was feeling horribly bloated so there’s lots for me to work out before Veganuary.
I’m not looking to put a strict label on things right now, but drastically cutting down on my consumption of animal derived products is something that I want to do and I’m going to see where it leads, so I think Veganuary will be a good way to start off the year.
Anyway that’s where I am. I just wanted to put something on here to talk it through really and explain why you might see me posting vegan recipes on Instagram one day and then wonder why I’m posting a picture of some milk chocolate the next. I have a few blog posts to go up from things I did in November that definitely weren’t even vegetarian and I’m still going to post them on here because I did them and enjoyed them and I think you might too!
I also promise that if I do decide to become a fully fledged vegan in the future that I won’t be a dick about it. It’s all new and interesting right now as I learn things and naturally I want to talk and share my experiences as I go through them and I’m sure that will continue during Veganuary, but I don’t want to become a preachy type who shouts down anyone that doesn’t share the same views as me. Ultimately I’m making a personal choice and I won’t impose my decisions and views on anyone else.
On the other hand if anyone is going through a similar process right now and wants to talk about it, I’m more than happy to chat either in the comments below or on my Twitter account @lovedbylaurac . I’m also finding the website www.veganuary.com a really helpful, non judgemental resource for prepping for Veganuary, so it’s worth taking a look if you’re going vegan or are vegan curious!
Note: All of the food pictures in this post are vegan recipes that I’ve tried over the past few weeks, even the chocolate banana bread thanks to Bourneville Chocolate which is dairy free!