Morning! I've had my coffee and I'm ready to tell you how easy and simple it is to become vegan/plant based! Plus I will share with you how I got there!
The Vegan community has grown quite a lot in the last few years and especially in the last two since I have been vegan. Plant based options have grown in popularity, there are more vegan restaurants opening all the time, supermarkets are in constant competition with each other and offering more variety. As well as, big named restaurants stepping up their game to cater for everybody, to ensure all the family can eat out! The online vegan community is also continuing to grow such as Facebook groups such as Accidentally Vegan UK and the online platform/bloggers Vegan Food UK!
I became vegan back in July 2018 - please note, I am not perfect! I still have a way to go and I still make mistakes! Ingredients change in products all the time or simply you get so used to looking for the 'bold' that you miss simple things! Anyway, my good friend Sarah, went vegan before I did and I was continuously listening to her talk about it and was naturally curious, I followed her activism on social media but it wasn't until I had a dreaded cancer scare back in July 18 when I had a cyst of 5 cm plus little ones... don't worry it wasn't. It was just my PCOS. I went into work that day completely shattered, I felt crushed with shock and uncertainty. I had to wait for blood tests, I had to constantly be alert for the 'Fast Track' phone call. This is where if the NHS are suspicious of cancer the you have to be seen by the relevant consultants within fourteen days!
Sarah helped calm me down and told me to look into going vegan, that animal products have cancer causing properties, especially dairy as it is full of hormones! I knew I had to do something, I needed to try and tackle this the best I could! The thought of having cancer at 19, with a wife at home and too many dreams to achieve! I couldn't just sit back and wait!
After work and at the weekend I researched links into animal products and cancer, there was so much to look at and take in but I had already heard of a documentary on Netflix - What The Health. It was based on America's societies for health but the information was still relevant to the world! There was so many lies funded by the industry and the government! I spent my whole childhood and school years believing we needed dairy for calcium, for strong teeth and bones. When really dairy consumers had higher cases of osteoporosis. Other myths were we need meat such as beef, chicken or pork for protein! When really we just need beans - no not just baked beans; kidney beans, cannelloni, haricot, black eyes beans. Other sources of protein comes from lentils, tofu, tempah... so much, that you are spoilt for choice. There was a whole world of information that wasn't being shared with us! Eggs are easily replaced and are full of cholesterol! What was I putting into myself... Disclaimer: I am not a "Healthy Vegan"! I still eat cake and takeaways but I'm no longer filling myself with cancer causing ingredients!
I woke my wife, Sam up from her lie - in and told her I wasn't eating animals anymore! I spoke to her about my research that I continued to find fascinating! I discovered other shows such as Cowspiracy - which explored the environmental damages! Majority of forests are destroyed so we can make space for livestock! I continued to look into the exploitation of animals from watching Dominion on YouTube, looking at not just how we kill animals, rip the babies away from their mothers or let them get locked into confined spaces, use fish guts to filter alcoholic beverages, I also learnt about puppy farming, zoos, aquariums! The industry is just horrid! Once you see it, it cannot be unseen!
The transition was hard and I still opted for an operation to remove my cysts but they haven't come back! I truly believe that is because I no longer consume dairy, milk choices are so much more then cows breast milk, there is oat (which is my new favourite), almond, soya, hazelnut, hemp, rice, coconut, cashew! The choice is endless! More and more places are stocking these things such as Costa Coffee, Starbucks, Aldi now have oat milk - which is a dupe of Alpro's version! It's very rare now I go into somewhere are I cannot get a dairy-free alternative!
Eating out is becoming easier. My favourite places to eat out include, V Rev Manchester, any Loungers, Frankie's and Benny's, KFC's Vegan burger, Slug and Lettuce, Pizza Express, so many more!
If you need any support going vegan or are considering it, I am happy to help! Even just try a vegan recipe once or twice a week. Switch out dairy or try cutting out eggs for a start! If there is any time to do it, it is now whilst we still have time to save the planet, whilst vegan options are increasing all the time, the demand is there...it is a lot easier now then what it was when I started!