Earlier this year I made a conscious decision to make the transition to veganism. My good friend Danielle had just launched her vegan food van, and I had previously taken the 30 day vegan challenge some years ago, but apart from staying with soya milk I had fell off the wagon completely. Consumption of two steaks for Friday night dinner and copious amounts of chocolate became part of my staple diet again.
However once you’ve swallowed the blue pill, learned about the animal industry, and the associated health implications of a diet high in animal products, you can’t undo that from your brain. It’s always there, nagging you and so you have a choice. To ignore it, follow the easy path and just be like everyone else – be ‘normal’. Or you do something about the knowledge you have.
This is cognitive dissonance. That feeling of discomfort when we are beliefs conflict with our behaviour. To reduce the discomfort you either change your behaviour, or find new information that supports you to continue just as you are. Or ignore the information completely.
So I made myself watch Earthlings. It was not easy to watch and I know I’ve avoided this sort of thing – but the only way to shift my behaviour was to really be honest with myself and get informed. I had to make the change.
I originally started the vegan journey in 2011. I introduced some new recipes, switched to soya milk in cooking, tea and coffee whenever possible, but soon reverted to vegetarianism, and then back to full blown carnivore.
March 2017 I started the ‘Vegan Journey Part Two’.
The story so far…
- I’m not fully vegan. I am a vegetarian and avoid dairy.
- I don’t eat cheese, or yogurt or other dairy products. But…
- Although I take my soya milk to work if someone offers me a cuppa, with cow’s milk at a homebirth in the middle of the night I probably won’t say no, if my soya milk has run out or curdled.
- My breakfasts, lunches and dinners are all vegan.
- I started eating eggs again recently.
- I’ve still been using honey on my porridge.
As you can see, I’m not vegan. And I’ve been ok with doing what I can, where I can, without feeling I need to join a club. The pressure of not being good enough is already high in our culture, and I think that’s what puts people off from even having a go.
However I discovered something tonight while out with some lovely ladies at a self development workshop. During the meal the topic came round to veganism, and I realised, with the knowledge I have and the beliefs I hold, that I am a vegan in my heart and mind, just not yet in my body. And I need to do something about that.
- We do not need to eat or use animal products to survive or thrive.
- It may take some effort but we can eat well and love food without animal products.
I’ve been transitioning for a while, so I guess I just now need to make the commitment.