I’m vegan since a few weeks now and I must admit it’s not always easy. It can be a bit frustrating when you start because you realize that in 90% of your favorite foods and drinks, there are hidden animal products like milk and eggs most of the time. But the most difficult is to face the reactions of others people and mainly your friends.
Why go vegan ?
- For the environment and not only the cow flatulence
- The production of meat and dairy products is using too much of our resources.
- Industrial exploitation = exploitation of animals.
- Because animals have emotions like we do.
- For the health benefits: increased energy, younger looking skin and eternal youth.
You need to know that I’m from a family in which having a piece of meat in the plate is logic and needs to be done during each meal. And I was ignorant and not able to think about how it ends up in the plate. I wasn’t able to understand that animals are suffering to give me this luxurious and non-needed way of eating.
When I was 18, I left my parents’ house to go to London and that’s where my consumption of meat started to go down. Later on, I came back to Belgium in Brussels, the capital city, and lived in a shared flat with a guy who started to show his interest for vegetarism and animal well being. And from there, my eyes were open and I started to see the whole hidden face of the meat industry.
I didn’t turn vegetarian in a day (yes, I started by being vegetarian and if I didn’t pass that period, I’m not sure I would have been able to be vegan now), I did it step by step. I started by eating vegetarian 4 days on a week, then only on ate meat on Friday and Saturday, to end up only eating meat when invited for dinner to a friend’s place before saying “I’m fully vegetarian so don’t prepare something with meat for me”.
And recently, while doing some research for my blog, I found out why vegetarian is not enough in the animal well being. My ecologist side was quite satisfied but not my ethic side.
The suffering caused by the dairy and egg industry is possibly less well publicized than the plight of factory farmed animals. The production of dairy products necessitates the death of countless male calves that are of no use to the dairy farmer, as well as the premature death of cows slaughtered when their milk production decreases. Similarly, in the egg industry, even ‘ethical’ or ‘free range’ eggs involve the killing of the ‘unnecessary’ male chicks when just a day old.
From The Vegan Society
What changed for me?
I think what changed the most is the time I spend in the supermarket by reading the ingredients list of each product. Now I know quite well what I can buy and eat, but in the beginning it was quite difficult and long to do it. And while reading all the labels, you realize all the shit the industry is adding to the products and I’m not speaking about aroma additives etc. They are adding eggs white and milk in products such as Houmous or Guacamole and in some tastes of crisps and there are so many others. So yes, now I need more than half an hour to go to the shop except if it’s a vegan one. When I have doubts about additives, I’m asking the brand directly on Twitter or by e-mail to their customer service. (sorry the twitter feed is in French, but it’s just to give you an example)
@FredExplore Bonjour, vérification faite, la L-cystéine présente dans ces deux produits est d’origine synthétique (ni animale ni végétale).
— Monoprix SAV (@MonopSav) 23 août 2016
@fredexplore bonjour Fred, dans la pâte à pizza 260g l’additif E471 est d’origine végétale…
— Delhaize FR (@DelhaizeFR) 12 août 2016
There is also the way of looking the menu in a restaurant which changed. I’m first looking if there is a vegan meal on the menu, if not which vegetarian dish can be easily adapted in vegan or by asking the waiter what can be offered. Most of the restaurants will do it and if they don’t, it probably means they are mainly using frozen products and not fresh ones. Or you can suggest your friends to try a new culinary experience by proposing a vegan restaurant.
I discovered quite a lot of new tastes since I’m vegan and new ingredients that I’ve never tasted before. I’m feeling well in my body and mind, free and lighter. Maybe it’s because my ethic side is now more satisfied than before and that I’m able to eat cruelty free.
I’m also taking care with my cosmetic products now, looking more and more for vegan shower cream, moisturizer, toothpaste, shampoo, hair gel, hand soap, laundry products… I would love to share all I discover with you, but since I don’t live in the UK or USA or even Canada, I’m not always able to find if they are available in your country.
Don’t hesitate to comment or to ask questions, I will be pleased to answer them. Hope you enjoyed the reading and to see you again soon on my blog.