So why vegan? For me it is a simple thing but I get that it can be hard for some people to understand, so let me attempt to explain.
Back in 2010 I had started to feel increasingly uncomfortable with the idea that something had to die for me to eat it. Don’t get me wrong, I loved steak. Really loved it. We used to joke about me being a carnivore and how rare I would like my red meat cooked. I won’t go into too much detail but that was just it, it was meat. A completely separate thing to a cow. I would potter into a supermarket, like so many others, pick up a plastic encased lump of meat and be happy. At the grand old age 35 I still call them ‘Moo Cows’ and think they have the most beautiful, gentle faces. Yet I hadn’t until then made the connection. I loved burgers and hotdogs, KFC and a good old fashioned roast dinner on a Sunday, fish, virtually no animal was safe from my consumption.
Well, except for the exotic ones because that’s weird, right?
Yulin have their dog meat festival and in Peru they eat guinea pigs, all over the world horse, kangaroo, crocodile, zebra, on and on but they’re cute and fluffy, right? We can’t eat them, can we? It’s weird how we separate these things in our own minds. One being ok and one not. Cows are ok to eat but horses not because we put a saddle on them. Pigs fine but dogs are loyal companions. The more I thought about it, the more uncomfortable I became.
Something had to die for me to eat it.
An animal had to die so I could enjoy eating that steak or hotdog or burger or KFC. Hmm.
Then I stumbled upon a question that made it all fall into place – Could I kill it? To be more precise, Could I take a life to feed myself? As I said, I loved steak. But did I love it that much? No, not really. And then more questions followed. If I couldn’t kill it myself was I ok with someone else doing it for me? Was I comfortable with that? After all that’s what we do when we potter down to the shops and pick up a packet. More hmm-ing. Nope, not really comfortable with that either. We had lovely pet chickens in the back garden, the reality of it was starting to sink in.
As all of this was going through my mind I changed jobs and started working in a pescatarian cafe. My eyes were suddenly opened to just how much more there was to eat as a vegetarian than lettuce! First I dropped the meat. Only I replaced it with tuna. I think I probably tried to eat the entire ocean supply! Then I watched Hugh’s Fish Fight and that did it. Fully veggie. But I wasn’t going to be one of those preachy vegans, Oh no, I love cheese too much for a start!
So a couple of years went by, well, more than a couple but less than a lot and I started to feel uncomfortable again. Here I was not eating meat or fish, avoiding gelatin, feeling ok. And the chickens got to me again. Suddenly understanding where eggs came from, seeing them freshly laid, picking them up still warm. The ‘hmm’s’ were back.It’s a kind of a period, isn’t it? (I know a lot of people will argue no it is but kind is. Ew) As a kid I had gone through a “what bit of the chicken would this have been?” as I was eating dippy eggs and that was coming back. It’s not a pleasant thought. Then there was milk. We are the only species who drink another species milk. I know some do when abandoned by their mothers but that’s not quite the same as what we humans do. And hang on a minute, we are the only species to drink it into adulthood, more hmmm’s. Again it wasn’t sitting right. And that’s without all the gory details.
So milk and eggs went too. To me it seemed entirely logical. (Yes, the cheese addiction was hard to shake but not impossible and hey, there’s SO much vegan cheese out there now!)
Then the business. Food! By Lizzi’s vegan customer base was really growing and it wasn’t really sitting right now that I had been vegan for a year. I ordered in free range eggs, was assured the girls who laid them were pampered and even listened to the radio during the day but it still felt off. The final straw was realising I needed to order over 200 eggs for one weekend and right there and then FBL went vegan.
Daisy the chicken, the face of the announcement that Food! By Lizzi had gone vegan
So for me, vegan is logical.
It’s as cruelty free as I can be. I can’t take a life so why should I let someone else do it for me? It just makes sense this way. I love animals, all of them. So why vegan? To me it is more of a question of why not?
I get that for others it might not be so simple so now is a great time to be doing a bit of research. Veganuary is in full swing and their website has loads of helpful advice and links to some hard hitting documentaries, they even have a handy starter kit. Be warned on the documentaries, they aren’t for the faint hearted and do contain graphic images. Check out the Veganuary website here