Veganism - A New Journey, Why & My New Instagram Account.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Photograph Source


Veganism. That horrible thing we hear about in the news and see Piers Morgan chomping at the bit over every other day. I know, I am just as surprised I am writing this. I always thought to qualify as a vegan you most likely would spend most of your day sharing propaganda, arguing with people, telling everyone you're vegan instantly (although I guess this post kind of does that, awks) and parading down the streets holding signs that call people murderers. That's all we know about veganism really, and that's all I knew about it until recently.

Veganism is actually defined as a person who does not eat or use animal products, and that's it. Most vegans I know and have been friends with for years have never attended protests, don't share disgusting videos and have never tried to 'convert me'. The stereotypes we know and assume are the ones we have built from media bias, and that's it.

I'm going to be honest, I've never been particularly fond of the vegan movement until now. I've said MULTIPLE times online that I hate the propaganda (including someone saying veganism cured their child's autism and can be used as a replacement for anti-depressants?!). I always felt judged, shamed and especially as a mother of two on a low income. Veganism seemed out of reach. I had an interaction with a man on Twitter who was cuddling a pig on his profile picture who told me that I am the parent and I should stop feeding my children dead animal bodies before inevitably blocking me. This type of advocacy gets people nowhere, and it actually infuriated me and did nothing to help. These are the people who give veganism a bad name, honestly.

So what made me change my mind on veganism?


For the last few months, the sheer curiosity of arguments FOR the vegan movement have intrigued me. There had to be a reason why so many people were making the switch, and I feel like it's all we ever hear about now. I watched a few debates on YouTube and as algorithms go, I was suddenly being recommended click-bait veganism style videos every other day, and I fell into the 'trap' of wanting more information. I was watching 'outreach' where vegan activists debate willing participants in public, and the more I heard about the farming industry, the more I was horrified. Instead of falling victim to believing what I know are biased videos, I did my research independently, and was shocked to find out absolutely everything they were saying was true and not exaggerated at all.

*(Graphic description coming up. If you want to skip this part entirely, I understand. It ends at the picture of the cow below and I have also marked the end in red text like this.)*

For example, I had no idea that male chicks are ground up alive or placed into a carrier bag to suffocate as soon as they are identified as male, which is usually on the first day of their lives. I had no idea dairy cows are forcefully jammed into a crate and artificially inseminated in a horrific way so they can become pregnant to produce the milk we all know and love. She also has her babies taken away from her instantly at birth so the cows don't drink the milk and isn't given a chance to practice any natural maternal instincts. I also had no idea that male cows can be killed within days of their birth because they are deemed useless to the industry unless they're raised for veal, or that most pigs are killed in gas chambers and scream for their lives before their inevitable death.

The stun guns they use on cows can often miss the mark, which means they're fully aware of what is happening and now even more terrified during their slaughter (not that shooting them with a stun gun whilst conscious is even okay in the first place) and finally, I literally had no idea that most cows are killed at age 2-4 years old when their average lifespan is around 20-22 years. People argue that lots of farmers raise their animals in a loving and caring way, and even if that is the case, they still end up going through all of the above at the end of their lives. The reality is actually that a lot of farms are factory farms which means they cram hundreds of animals in a tiny space so they can barely move, purely to make as much profit as possible.

If you have the stomach there are so many documentaries you can watch that confirm all of these things too (Earthlings, Dominion and Land of Hope & Glory). I personally can't watch them, hearing about it is enough for me.

*(Graphic description over)*

Source of Image


I never ever made the connection between what I was eating and the actual animals. 


I've been to plenty of farms and fed cows, sheep and pigs, and every time I see them I just feel sad. It's not often that we actually think about the animals we see on farms being exactly the same as the ones we eat.

To top it off, I also felt like a huge hypocrite. A few years ago I watched BlackFish on Netflix and cried throughout the whole thing because I was disgusted that people could be so cruel to treat animals in a horrific way for entertainment and money. I signed a petition to end Sea World off the back of it, as did SO many others, and had forgotten all about it until recently. I also feel disgusted whenever I see animal cruelty videos and hear about people harming cats and dogs, hedgehogs, birds, anything. That girl punching her dog on YouTube had me outraged. They make me feel so sick to my stomach. If literally anybody was at a farm and someone hopped the fence and kicked a cow, everyone would be outraged regardless of their diet, but kicking them isn't even the worst thing that happens EVERY day, we just don't see it.

Having heard about all of these things I just can't imagine ever putting a piece of chicken or bacon in my mouth again, regardless of how nice it tastes, and thankfully I never liked cows milk to begin with. This is also why me and Anthony have gone straight into veganism instead of becoming vegetarian, because both industries are as bad as each other, if anything the dairy industry is worse in my mind.

We switched on the 28th of October and I really feel so proud of myself.

Photograph Source

However, this doesn't mean to say that I dislike people who eat meat, and I understand why the majority do. 


I read all of that information above from multiple sources and I instantly knew I would never be able to eat it again, but that's me. I am animal obsessed and always have been. A lot of people won't have the first idea about any of these things. A lot of people will take that information above and won't care, other people will be bothered but will continue because it's easier. That is life.

I think even having the choice to be vegan is a very privileged position that a lot of people in the vegan community forget. It's easy to speak for yourself if you're in a situation where vegan products are highly accessible and you have the money and time to invest in changing up everything you own, researching recipes and changing your whole lifestyle. Our weekly food shop price has increased by £15 which is okay for us but £40 extra a month might just be unimaginable for so many people who are barely scraping by.

Of course, I don't understand how anyone could know that information and not think it's disgusting and be put off for life, but the beauty of the world is that everyone is allowed their own opinion and can do what they like with what they know. I really believe everyone should make the decision for themselves as pressuring people will only ever have a negative effect.

Also, some activists would definitely disagree with me and call me a crap representative of the diet as we are still raising our kids on meat & dairy and our pets will continue to be eating a meat based diet too. 

Yes, I do feel awful for buying the products and contributing to the industry, specifically for my kids, however my children have been eating meat and dairy since birth and had I been vegan beforehand I would have raised them vegan but I don't want to change up their whole diet now at such a young age when they are fussy eaters as it is. I'm hoping eliminating half of our consumption is better than nothing, and when the kids get to an age where they understand we are going to explain to them why we don't eat animal products in an age appropriate way. As for our pets, I think that is a whole new debate all together, but as animals I want them to eat 1. What we can afford and 2. Things I know will sustain them that they have been eating years/months.

So I really wanted to share this post to just get it out of the way because I am going to start sharing healthy, inexpensive vegan recipes and ideas that could inspire people who want to cut meat out even one day a week and I wanted to explain my reasoning behind it before just whacking out vegan meals, leaving people wondering why on earth I am sharing them.

This will be my first and last post discussing my thoughts and reasoning behind it though.

I have created a new Instagram account so I can share recipes and ideas there too, so if you want to follow me or have a gander, feel free (click here). I will still be sharing on my main account but I wanted to keep them separate as I know people have STRONG opinions and I didn't want to force people to see things and meals they weren't interested in. If you ever want any advice on the matter, please contact me on there and I will get back to you asap.

And if you want to follow me on my main social media accounts, you can here:


xo

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