I took to social media as I had some burning questions I wanted to ask fellow vegans, either long or short term or almost vegan. I popped out a tweet and approached a few people. Everyone I asked was super enthusiastic and I’ve received some great answers.
Since committing myself to Veganuary I’ve pondered things that wouldn’t usually cross my mind. Like I used a public toilet, of course I automatically used the soap. Well that’s definitely not vegan… This lead to a series of new questions and wonderings. For this post I really thought about my questions and what sort of information would be beneficial.
This is an odd toilet thought, free zone from now onwards, promise!
Today’s post features some amazing women, most of which you already know!
Lav • Lavrax London not vegan, but is mindful
Kayla • Growingkale vegan for a year and half!
L • OneMoreLightLB meat and milk free since April, said bye bye to fish in September.
Jamie • JamieLeeJenkins A strong 5 months vegan
Amy • AllThingsVeganUK Vegan for over 4 years!!!!
So let the questioning begin…
1) What made you turn vegan?
L – I used to think veganism was sort of fringe and OTT. I didn’t realise the extent of animal suffering and death even in products the animal doesn’t need to die to produce. Add in the environmental impact of current meat, dairy, and fish farming and I feel like I have to make the transition to newly minted vegetarian into vegan.
Jamie – I first started making changes to my lifestyle after watching the documentary earthlings. A vegan friend of mine had suggested I watched it and it really hit home. I then kind of went of a vegan documentary slippery-slope and before I knew it I had watched pretty much everything Netflix had to offer. I did a lot of research and couldn’t find any reason not to start making the transition. It just seemed like the right thing to do.
Kayla – A lot of reasons! At first, it was my personal health. I read up on some statistics and realised I was eating waaaaay more red meat than was healthy for me at the time and the health issues started freaking me out. It was a slow process, that started from just giving up red meat, then white meat, then fish, to overall just turning vegan. There are a lot of issues within the meat and dairy industries that I think are disgusting, and I think these days everyone should be aiming towards a plant based diet for the environment and their own health.
Amy – I was lactose intolerant so gave up dairy then had a bad animal cruelty situation that put me off eating meat. I then from there learnt more about veganism and decided that my tastebuds are never more important than a life.
Lav – My dad turned vegan, and since he’s the one that cooks at home a lot of my meals became vegan.
2) Have you ever accidentally slipped up?
L – I’m not totally vegan yet so sometimes I will use milk if I’m somewhere with no dairy free option available but recently I demolished 3 tea cakes someone brought into work before I realised the marshmallow part had gelatin in them! I felt so silly haha, but loads of people tweeted me to say it happens to everyone at some point!
Jamie – Lots of times! I get a lot of stick for this but what’s important for me is that I’m doing my best. Sometimes I will eat non-vegan food or use non-vegan make up products, but when I compared this to my consumption at the start of last year, I have seriously cut down. If you can go entirely vegan that’s great, but a big thing for me is just doing the best I can and making sustainable changes. I am still learning at the moment and still working out how to adapt my lifestyle. For me it’s not been an overnight thing, it’s a process.
Kayla – Not on purpose! There have been a few occasions where I’ve accidentally eaten something with meat in or milk in, but I usually don’t continue once I’ve realised. One time I asked for veggie spring rolls and the waiter gave me meat one’s, one heart bite in and I was sick for the rest of the day.
Amy – Yes more so in the beginning than now, but always accidentally. I think you are constantly learning with veganism so it’s a big adjustment in the beginning
3) One food you couldn’t live without?
Lisa – Probably curry, it’s my favourite thing to eat and there are so many variations that are full of flavour without needing a meat element!
Jamie – Almond milk and Alpro Yogurt! They’re great and taste better than cows milk in my opinion. You can get high protein versions of the yogurt as well which is great is you’re struggling to get your protein requirements.
Kayla – MUSHROOMS! Mushrooms are my saving grace. Mushrooms and baked beans and waffles.
Amy – Pasta! I love it and could probably eat it every day if I wanted too!
Lav – I couldn’t live without Oreos and almond milk! Is that a food? I guess an actual sensible food would be pasta and pesto.
4) What’s your go to easy meal?
Again, curry because it is so flexible and relatively easy to make! You can stick most vegetables in it and it will taste great. My go to is a Chinese style curry with either fake chicken pieces or vegetables like sugarsnap peas, it’s easy to make and really tasty!
Jamie – I make a mean sweet potato, coconut and chickpea curry! It’s so delicious and saves really well. If you’re new to following a more plant based diet then curry will be your new best friend
Kayla – My go to easy meal is probably B12 Mac and Cheese, or as you know by now, beans on toast. Or beans and waffles and mushrooms.
Amy – Mushroom carbonara, so easy, tasty and just the best comfort food!
Lav – Pasta and pesto hahaha
5) What’s your best vegan tip?
You need to get outside your comfort zone with different foods and cooking to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need and also to make sure your meals aren’t boring! Before this, I would not really eat any kind of beans or pulses whereas now I love them and cook with them all the time! Lentils are your friend and you can use them in almost anything (I use red and green)!
Jamie – Just do your best. Don’t kick yourself for slipping up or having cravings. Small and sustainable changes that allow you to continue to lead a happy and healthy lifestyle are the most important things. Even little changes are better than nothing. You don’t have to do it like everyone else – do it like you
Kayla – Continue to grow and learn everyday. It’s okay to slip up, it’s okay to be imperfect, veganism shouldn’t be pressurised and remind yourself everyday of why you’re doing it. Most importantly, look after yourself and in return you’ll be looking after the world and the animals that live upon it.
Amy – Don’t be too hard on yourself in the beginning you’re already doing so much more good for the animals and the planet just by being on a vegan journey!
Lav – My best tip is to gradually reduce your meat intake. Don’t worry about doing it all at once, you can go at your own pace
I wanted to write this post to share how easy it is to be vegan! Everyone’s response here just highlights how being vegan isn’t that different, they all mention mainstream food that’s most people eat everyday. They all slip up, but it’s no biggie!
Veganism is all about reducing your consumption to make a difference, it’s not about being perfect!
A big thank you and lots of love to these lovely girlies who let me pester them with my questions.