Let's Talk - Veganism!

June 24, 2017

So by now its no secret that I am in fact a vegan and to celebrate my first month as a vegan I wanted to make this weeks Let's Talk surround the topic and I have three amazing vegan bloggers guest posting for me this week!

Give a huge welcome to;

Sophie Leigh from http://sophialeigh.net/
&

Myself and each of these gorgeous ladies have shared our thoughts on veganism below, take a look!

Thezombiesaid on Twitter

Steph's thoughts: "For me, going vegan was the next step in my cruelty free journey – I was already abstaining from cosmetics that harmed animals, so it seemed logical to abstain from food that harmed animals too.  Being a huge lover of our planet though, after watching Cowspiracy the deciding factor ended up being the environmental issues surrounding animal agriculture.  I was appalled by what our selfish, excessive demands for animal products were doing to the environment and the natural world, and didn’t want to be a part of that any more.  Since then, I’ve also taken steps to be more ethical and environmentally friendly in my other lifestyle choices, too.

I have always been a food lover, and I was a little worried at first that I might feel restricted, but that hasn’t been the case at all.  If anything, my openness to trying new things and the fact that I’m not a picky eater in the slightest has made being vegan very rewarding and incredibly easy for me.  I’ve tried so many amazing things that I never would’ve considered had I not been vegan!  It didn’t take long for me to adapt my cooking style to suit my vegan diet, and I now have quite a big repertoire of simple, quick recipes that are nutritionally dense, filling and tasty that I can turn to when I’m tired or in a hurry after work.

Non-vegans like to focus on the restriction involved – folks can be obsessed with what you can’t eat, as opposed to what you can, and how much you must miss certain foods.  For a while, I did miss some things, but after about five or six months of being vegan I tried some smoked salmon as a treat on Christmas Day a couple of years ago, and you know what?  It was one of my all-time favourite foods pre-veganism, but it wasn’t nearly as good as I’d remembered.  Since then, I’ve been able to just move on and haven’t looked back.  Contrary to popular belief, the world doesn’t collapse in on itself because you don’t eat your old faves or cheese, bacon, etc. anymore.

The people closest to me have been hugely supportive of my decision to go vegan, and after doing his own research even my partner is now plant-based (although not as strictly as I am).  It’s acquaintances, colleagues and casual friends who tend to say the silliest things or even take issue with my diet, but at the end of the day it’s worth the aggro!  I know every vegan says it, but going vegan really has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Lucie_dumpling on Twitter
Lucie's thoughts: "There’s a myth that all Chinese people eat a lot of meat. We weren’t a vegetarian household, but my mum certainly favoured her greens; I was raised on tofu and soy milk, rice and broccoli. I was the only kid I knew who loved vegetables. I nearly lost my deposit in uni halls because of pomegranate splatter. Let that sink in. Pomegranate splatter. I was a future vegan in the making before I even knew what a vegan was. 

A few years ago, I realised I didn’t actually like the taste of meat. It was too heavy, too chewy, too much. There was no lightbulb moment, no affinity with cows or sheep, and I never watched any of the documentaries many credit with turning them vegan. I just didn’t fancy eating meat.

After 2 years at an agricultural college, I became disillusioned with the farming industry; the ecological and environmental impacts of livestock farming made me uncomfortable, far more than animal welfare issues alone. 

I wasn't enjoying my food. As someone who was raised to be a massive foodie, this was a huge deal, so when a friend bet me I couldn’t go vegan for a whole week, I took the challenge. I’m lactose intolerant, and since I stopped eating dairy, I haven’t had a migraine, or that icky, queasy feeling I always assumed was normal after a meal. A week turned into a month, and before I knew it, I was googling delicious vegan festive recipes for Christmas. Pro tip: did you know that everything tastes better roasted with maple syrup? 

I spend a lot of time looking at vegan Instagram accounts for inspiration, and I have lists of plant-based foodie destinations around the world I want to stuff my face at. I never had much of a problem with finding “vegan alternatives”, because most of my food was already vegan. My eating habits haven't changed much, aside from the obvious lack of animal-derived products; I still eat out with friends, go to events, and order pizza. Veganism doesn’t need to be difficult. 

I’ve been eating at vegan restaurants my whole life, places that served huge steaming Buddha bowls and hearty plant-based plates that fill you up more than a steak dinner ever could. It’s thanks to places like this that made me realise that veganism is easy, because there is such a huge variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds out there. Vegan food is colourful. It’s exciting. Every bite is different, it’s not beige or boring, and I couldn’t imagine ever going back."

Sophialeighblog on Twitter
Sophia's thoughts: "I became vegan because I didn’t want to be a hypocrite any longer and call myself an animal lover & environmentalist while I was still putting meat on my plate; it was such a contradiction I just had to change that. By being a non-vegan and promoting an eco-living ethical lifestyle wasn’t quite right when animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of climate change. I did go vegetarian at the start cutting out meat and dairy except for cheese; that was a difficult transition for me as I was so addicted to eating cheese. However a few months later I decided to ditch the cheese and go fully vegan. It was the best decision I ever made.

I adapted to the change by learning what the alternatives were, replacing cow’s milk with soy & almond milk, replacing meat with tempeh & tofu and everything in between. I also watched the documentaries that provide so much information on veganism and how it is the best diet for not only animals, & the environment but also our health. My favourite documentaries are Cowspiracy, Earthlings and Forks over Knives- these three best describe how veganism is the way forward. Though watching Earthlings was so so difficult I hate seeing the pain and suffering those poor scared little animals have to face daily.

I’ve seen a few of my vegan friends reverting back to eating meat even after seeing the documentaries & doing activism it makes no sense to me. My experience with veganism is a positive one and I love sharing my story with people as I have loved every second of being vegan; I only wish I transitioned much earlier in my life instead I waited until I was 17. But nevertheless the last 18 months have been incredible. I have beaten an eating disorder which I was suffering with for quite some time, I actually enjoy my food now and even create my own recipes for my blog. Things I wouldn’t have imagined all those months ago. I do believe that since switching to veganism my life has changed for the best, and I would never go back."
Itsallzara on Twitter

My thoughts: "Veganism for me is still so new, so fresh and so raw (no pun intended) with many different learning curves and opportunities. People ask me, "Why are you vegan?" and sometimes I don't have the time to talk them through all the environmental statistics, the stories of animal abuse or mistreatment that the farming industry imposes or even the health risks of eating meat and dairy so I usually just shrug and say "I just enjoy it". By no means do I mean to be aggressive or preachy to the point meat eaters and non vegans daren't eat near me, talk to me about diets or engage me in conversation, I just share so much passion for the vegan movement that its hard not to get carried away sometimes. For those interested I have a series of blog posts coming up soon in which I will be educating people about the vegan diet and rubbing out a few of the myths that get spread about those who follow a vegan diet - NO we do not eat grass or weeds (at least not all of us do anyway).

I've only been at this a month but I can already feel my body responding to the change, I feel so much more energised and more aware of certain factors that I wasn't aware of before. I can't wait to upload recipes, food reviews,  posts regarding any new vegan cosmetics I find and updates on my health and well being!"

In no way was this post made to trash non vegans or make them feel uncomfortable, that's not what I aim to achieve at itsallzara, I simply wanted to do a Let's Talk segment about something that has become so important in my life! Thank you for reading.

Itsallzara

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3 comments

  1. i've tried but i can't be vegan. I don't eat that much meat but I love eggs and cheese and other animal products :/ i try tho to get biological stuff, that I know comes from "good" places ;)

    TheNotSoGirlyGirl // Instagram // Facebook

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  2. As someone contemplating at least going veggie for a period of time, this was really interesting. Zara, I adore your approach to veganism! The vegans I can't stand are the ones who attack me when I say I fancy a burger or am having roast chicken for my dinner. It's lovely to see the positivity of the vegan community coming through in this post! ❤️

    chloe - www.chloealicelily.co.uk

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  3. This this this. I don't identify myself as a vegan or vegetarian, but I love this post for several reasons. You speak your mind and put your opinion in this post. You not only say this what you are, but you also elaborate and that's something I really appreciate. I always try to understand more about it, but for some reason I couldn't find that what gave me a real answer. This blogpost does annd I have the hugest amount of respect for you. Thank you for sharing

    Marc | www.ohbuggerall.com

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