Guest Blog: “Being Vegan” by Julia Thomas
Introducing ‘moon child‘ guest blogger: Julia Thomas!
My name is Julia and I am a British designer, explorer and lover of colour, animals and travel. My weaknesses include greyhounds, elderly people, bright colours and vintage finds.
“Being Vegan” by Julia Thomas
This August, I went vegan. I wanted to give the diet and lifestyle a serious try since I have been slowly introducing myself to cruelty free living over the past couple of years.
My mum is a vegetarian and a fierce campaigner for animal rights so, unlike a lot of people, I grew up with the knowledge about where meat and animal products come from. I knew from an early age how animals are farmed, how animal testing for cosmetics is conducted, and how goods such as leather, fur and ivory are obtained. It is something that has always unsettled me but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started to act on these feelings and make changes to my own life.
I think growing up in the home I did, I knew that the time would come when I made the switch and the push, for me, was adopting my own cat. I think adopting rather than buying animals is very important (but that’s a whole other post!).
Once we had Oscar (the cat) for about a month, I got rid of all my cosmetic and home products that were tested on animals and switched to cruelty free brands. That was a year ago and it was around June of this year that I decided I wanted to try being a vegan.
Image courtesy of Flickr.
I made the switch to vegetarian immediately and then eased myself into a vegan diet for August.
I think that being a vegetarian is hugely admirable and the jump to vegan is a big one, but also an important one. I felt that being vegetarian was only half a step for what I believed in. If I disagree with how animals are farmed for their flesh, what about how they are farmed for their milk? Everyone will have different reasons for becoming vegan or vegetarian but mine is solely, how we farm animals here in the UK.
I don’t think that there is anything wrong with eating animals or using their bodies once they are deceased, but I can only agree with this practise if they are given a happy life; space to roam, interact with other animals, a decent diet and a quick, humane death. Sadly, this isn’t the case currently and even free range and organic farming, when you look into it, probably isn’t all you imagined it to be. I know I was shocked.
Some things that really stuck out to me when researching veganism are:
- The amount of antibiotics pumped into animals that you then consume
- A balanced, healthy human diet doesn’t actually need meat
- The inhumane treatment of dairy cows and their young
‘My Month of Veganism’ was easy and difficult for me, all at the same time. Easy because I love fruit and vegetables, they are my favourite thing to eat and I don’t like chocolate or milk that much anyway. It was difficult to balance my meals and make sure that I was getting the right amount of protein – nuts, seeds and tofu are the best vegan source! I also didn’t like how long I had to stare at menus and that I was seen as an awkward person to eat out with. I mainly missed haribo (my guilty pleasure) and how easy food shopping used to be.
Image courtesy of Flickr.
Now that my trial month is over, I am trying to stay vegan. It is difficult and I do allow myself the odd haribo love heart or spoonful of nutella but I aim to ease this out and to become 100% vegan eventually. For me, I found reading other people’s experiences really motivating, inspiring and it gave me a sense of community.
If a vegan lifestyle appeals to you, I strongly recommend conducting research of your own and to watch a few documentaries. The information can be overwhelming and also hard-hitting but if it is something you are curious about, it will open your eyes.
- 5 Things that Changed When I Stopped Eating Animals
- What I Eat in a Day – #2 Vegan
- The Vegan Society – Compassion for Animals PDF Download
- Cut use of antibiotics in livestock, veterinary experts tell government
- About Dairy Cows
- Top 10 Reasons to Go Vegan in the New Year
A few words from the primary blogger – I chose to feature a blog post by Julia initially because I was drawn to her amazing art journaling – Julia is a great artist and creative as well as a brilliant writer/blogger. When discussing ideas with Julia, a guest post about veganism really appealed to me. I am a huge animal lover and have always adopted rescue dogs and cats but, since I am the fussiest eater in the world, I find myself in a bit of a constant battle between liking food that contains meat and wanting to become vegetarian. I found Julia’s post very informative, insightful and genuinely motivating. Hopefully her guest blog will shine a light on veganism and inform prospective vegetarians/vegans.
Julia’s art journaling blog will be coming soon!
If you’d like to guest blog for ‘moon child’, visit the guest blogging page for more information.
Featured image courtesy of Flickr. Edited using Canva by Sophie McNaughton.
What do you think of vegetarian/veganism? Let us know in the comments section below!