5 things I learned from being vegan for a month

I have just completed 31 days of veganism and, even to my surprise, I intend to continue eating vegan for the foreseeable future.

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You see, I discovered that the positives hugely outweighed the negatives…

In September last year I read that due to “soaring meat consumption around the world, vital fish stocks destined for human mouths in western Africa are being snatched by foreign food companies to feed factory-farmed animals– and ultimately the populations of wealthier countries.”

I was appalled.

People along the west coast of Africa rely on fish as both a source of income and food. To think that western companies are stealing their food supply not to feed humans, but to feed animals that will then be killed for humans, sickens me.  So I became vegetarian, but I wasn’t very good at it.

Towards the end of last year I then came across YouTube videos revealing the horrific way chicks farmed for eggs are treated,discovering that male chicks were slaughtered shortly after birth,and videos of cows being strapped down and milked, sometimes until it kills them.

I couldn’t cope with the absolutely amoral animal industry in the UK anymore, and committed to going vegan for January to see how I would cope. This is what I learnt…

1. You spend a lot of time thinking about food

This is not because I was hungry, but because I had to be more creative with my meals and learn how to cook new things. I bought a couple of books, did a lot of googling and lost count of how many times a week I would ask my other half:“What shall we make for dinner?”

This is merely part of the adjustment period and I have finished January a far better and more inventive chef. New vegan recipes I can now cook with confidence include ramen, pho, kidney bean and pulled mushroom burgers, falafel, courgette noodles and countless curries – to mention just a few.

2. People will have mixed reactions

While some friends bemoaned my ‘boring’ and ‘health obsessed’ approach to food, quite expectedly so, others were very encouraging, even a tad admirable of it.

3. Failure is OK

Veganism can be hard work at times. Something inconspicuous may include dairy, but without checking the ingredients you’ll never know. You can’t punish yourself for this, you’re not a martyr.

I have to admit on two occasions I went out for dinner with friends and caved at the sight of chicken. But failing doesn’t mean giving up, which I didn’t.

4. You feel healthier

Whether or not you go vegan for health or weight loss reasons, you’ll soon feel the effects. I’m definitely a little slimmer, less prone to feeling bloated and,after my two fails, I discovered that I had less energy the day after eating meat or dairy products.

5. Quorn is gross

My other half misses meat a lot and so he’s really into meat substitutes like Quorn(made from soy) or seitan (wheat-based) products. I, on the other hand, am not.

There are loads of other meat free options. The Linda McCartney range has delicious red onion and rosemary sausages that are vegan, and lots of other things to. Most of the time I try and eat lots of vegetables, nuts, beans and pulses for my protein but when I’m feeling a little lazy, or want to be a tad unhealthy, her range is a much better alternative to Quorn.

Long story short – I intend to remain vegan. Roll on #veguary. 

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