I was maybe 4 to 8 years old when I realised I loved animals. All of my tops had animals on them because that’s how I showed my love. Thinking back on it, I wore loads of animal merch. The original merch collector right here.
I hadn’t heard about vegetarianism, let alone veganism until I came to London, I was in secondary school and in year 8, and my friend was a vegetarian by her own choice. It wasn’t until around 4 years ago that I had someone close to me become vegan. The direct source of my meals at home… My dad.
My dad is still a vegan today and I have learned a lot much about being vegan in that time. For any vegan that exists, there is at least 1 person learning more about veganism than they probably thought they would (yes I made that statistic up myself, thank you).
My dad’s reason for going vegan was that he did not want to support the animal cruelty that went on behind the meat industry. His trigger was watching those videos that showed exactly what went on behind the scenes.
So how did my dad going vegan impact my life?
- Seeing as he is the chef of the family, it directly impacted what I ate. As a family, we drastically reduced our meat consumption. We were part of Veganuary this year along with another “168,500 participants” (Veganuary, 2017).
- It made me appreciate my dad more – he will still occasionally cook us meat separately from his dinners. Which means his dinners have contributed to more than a quarter of all evening meals in the UK being vegan or vegetarian (BBC, 2018).
- Eating so many vegan meals made me healthier! One of the many reasons people go vegan is for health reasons. A whole 33% of British consumers have tried eating less meat to be healthier (The Vegan Society, 2017). I was not particularly unhealthy, but as I ate more plant-based, vegetables, fruits, I noticed a lot of changes in my general health and appearance. Of course, this has been over the course of 4 years, so I’m not sure when I started to notice these changes.
- My cooking skills improved so much. Up until my dad’s veganism started, I did not know what a meal without meat was. On days where I would stay at home, I would help my dad cook dinners and I learned so much. It has become increasingly easy to cook vegan with the UK market for meat-free foods was reportedly worth £572m in 2017 (The Vegan Society, 2017) with most major supermarkets having “free-from” sections.
- I found out a lot about food too. I feel like one of my favourite things about my dad becoming vegan was the number of vegan snacks that I discovered. My favourite is dark chocolate and Oreos. Actually, the demand for vegan and vegetarian ready meals and snacks at Tesco grew by 40% from 2016 to 2017 (The Guardian, 2017)
Going vegan was predicted to be the biggest food trend in 2018 (The Vegan Society, 2017) and it’s definitely a worthy trend to follow. If you’re going vegan because it’s a trend, good for you (and the planet), but make sure to also look into it and educate those around you and not only to benefit yourself.
I feel like I have been a borderline vegan since being at home again, since its all I eat. But I am happy to have reduced my meat consumption either way.
So have you ever considered going vegan? How easy do you think it would be?