ABOUT Definitely VEgan
Hi - I'm Elizabeth. I'm 29 and I live in Manchester with Mr B and our 2 rabbits. I was inspired to begin this blog from my own journey into the vegan lifestyle and if you hadn't guessed already... the name comes from my love of Oasis!
My aim with Definitely Vegan, is to break some myths and show you that veganism is not restrictive or boring. Food can be tasty, filling, easy to make & cheap! I also want to share some tips on where to eat and what products to use. We all know that food is an important part of our lives and it’s often the first thing that people ask me when they hear I’m vegan…. “But what do you eat?” and I can tell you now, it’s not grass and salads!
From meat muncher to veg cruncher
I’ve not always been a vegan. Growing up, meat was always on the plate. We always had a Sunday roast at my Nan & Grandad’s house and I have fond memories of our family traditions which included hearty meals and even heartier puddings! I've always loved animals and I remember asking my mum if I could be a vegetarian as a child but she said "no". My mum describes herself as a carnivore (I think of her as a T-Rex) and probably would have struggled to feed me otherwise! I was really fussy as a child, but over the last 10 years I have eaten more and more animal based products. I bloody loved meat and I was the kind of person that would eat a doner kebab sober... in bed watching Netflix and bloody enjoy it.
My journey from meat muncher to veg cruncher started a few years ago and has progressed slowly. I watched a documentary called Blackfish which is about the Orcas in Sea World. I was shocked, appalled and saddened that I had contributed to that by visiting when I was 15. I remember it was one of the only places I wanted to go in Florida because of the dolphins. Then I stumbled across YouTube videos about a documentary called Earthlings and I watched about 10 minutes before I shut the computer down. It was just too upsetting. It really bothered me for a couple of weeks and I spoke to people at work about it. The overall vibe I got about veganism was negative and it did put me off. Veganism was always on my radar, but I never did anything about it. I actively avoided thinking about it but one day I impulsively walked into Pets at Home and adopted a rabbit. I was told he was neglected and had been poorly, there was no-way I could let someone else take him (and risk him being neglected again!) I hadn’t had a pet for years so this sparked a huge sense of responsibility.
I looked into rabbit welfare and made sure Louis had the best life (good food, home, an exotic vet and pet insurance). Within 6 months, we bonded him with a neutered doe and they fell in love instantly. Lara was adopted from a rabbit rescue and I began to help once a week with feeding, cleaning and socialising. At the time this helped with my mood and boosted my activity levels – ultimately gave my life another purpose I didn't realise I was needed! To see unwanted and neglected rabbits begin to socialise with humans was a joy. Some were very timid (Lara certainly was) and some were loving from the get go. One day, it occurred to me that I wouldn’t eat a rabbit (to my knowledge I hadn't anyway), but I would eat other animals. What made rabbits more special than the other animals? Was it just because I loved rabbits? I wasn’t sure.
This moment coincided with starting a new job. Some of my colleagues were vegans or vegetarians and I was interested why they were doing it, what they ate and where they got their vitamins and protein from. I always thought we needed to drink milk to get calcium and eat meat to get protein. I NEVER actually thought I could be vegetarian, let alone a vegan. Meat, eggs and dairy tasted too good and the concept of veganism felt alien. Plus the thought of getting protein from plants was funny, but it did intrigue me. After all, my colleagues looked incredibly healthy and I was overweight, struggling with allergies (to dust, pollen and animals - I know!), asthma and had pain in my joints. It didn't matter how much sleep I got, I always felt tired.
Cut to Christmas 2015. I made the usual (honey glazed ham) but I didn’t enjoy it. I also watched Cowspiracy on Netflix. I felt like I had woken up and the effects of animal agriculture on our health and the plant (not to mention the animals) was shocking. I decided to give up meat on NYE for 1 month as an experiment, just to see if I felt any different and whether I missed it. It was strange at first but I didn’t miss it and I spent the next few months finding recipes, reading blogs, looking though Instagram and watching YouTube videos. It was always on my radar to go vegan eventually. I thought that day would come when I could sit and watch the entire Earthlings documentary – and give up cheese!
That day never came as I found a video on YouTube called ‘The best speech you'll ever hear’ by Gary Yourofsky. That’s when I actually woke up. From 11.08.2016 I was vegan. There was no-way I could go back.
I want to share my experience and if I can encourage people to consider the vegan lifestyle, then that's amazing! Everyone's journey and reasons for going vegan will be different. For me, the transition from meat eater to pescetarian and then gradually reducing dairy, eggs and fish really did help. Watching the documentaries also helped and made me look at meat, dairy and eggs differently. I have a busy job and making quick meals that don't cost a bomb is important. I hope this blog can provide some inspiration and if anything, spread the word about veganism in a positive light. I am still transitioning in terms of clothing, beauty and household products so continue to follow my journey here.
Lots of love,
Definitely Vegan x