To become a vegan is to participate in the lifestyle which is against the consumption or use of meat and meat by-products. But in reality, and in my opinion, it is about so much more than that. Becoming a vegan is about connecting with Mother Nature, about respecting the resources that she has to offer and finding pleasure in eating food we know is good for us and came from a place of kindness and respect, not one of cruelty and suffering.
I 100% believe in the vegan lifestyle, but you don’t necessarily have to believe in a 100% plant-based diet to become a vegan.
I equally believe in the farmer who works hard on his small plot of land to raise his one or two cows which he respectfully milks to sell to the locals of his town.
I believe in the fisherman who takes his little boat out at sea every morning and gives thanks to the ocean for the 12 fish he manages to hook that day which he’ll sell to pay his children’s schooling.
I believe in the Indigenous tribes of Russia using reindeer fur to cover their backs in the blistering Siberian winter after saying a prayer of thanks that they have a reindeer to keep them warm.
What I don’t believe in is the factory lines of cows as long as highways, living in cages barely bigger than them, to be processed for meat, 70% of which is wasted. I don’t believe in millions of baby chicks a day being ground up alive just because they are male and won’t lay eggs to meet the insane demand of cosmopolitan life. I don’t believe in small island states importing fish caught on massive tankers when their fishermen are out baking in the sun every day. And I don’t believe in models on a runway wearing the skin off an animal they’ve never even seen in the wild.
Why take the 30-day vegan pledge?
We are brought up to be kind to every living thing and to be good to the environment but for most of us, eating meat has always been the circle of life. Some cultures, like the Italians, the Lebanese and the Turkish, have a very rich culture of eating meat.
Taking the 30-day pledge and discovering what it would take to become vegan is not about making you never eat meat again, it’s about embracing your sense of curiosity and it’s an educational journey of taking responsibility for your health and the environment.
What if there was a lifestyle, that still allowed you to enjoy the things you grew up with, but in a more sustainable and healthy way?
What if there was a whole other world of foods out there that you had no idea existed but that could revolutionise the way you see food? Wouldn’t you at least be curious to try it out?
If you want to know the whole story about why I went vegan and my Vegan Truth, CLICK HERE
Your 30-day vegan pledge should take you on an eye-opening and educational journey. Here are just a few of the things you’ll learn:
- Not only does the diet increase your energy levels but, if done right, it also helps with your skin and decreases your chances of getting diabetes, heart disease and cancer. It essentially promotes eternal youth! A well-planned plant-based diet is rich in protein, iron and calcium as well as being low in saturated fat, high in fibre and packed with antioxidants.
- Additionally, aside from the simple fact that in mass production of meat and meat products it is cruel for the animals themselves, the carbon footprint left in the production of animal products is massive. Issues such as pollution, deforestation, habitat loss for animals and even extinction arise when underdeveloped countries are made to grow grains (soybeans in Brazil for example) which are used to feed produce animals in Europe.
- This not only means that these countries are growing food for animals instead of for themselves but it increases issues such as land degradation and water scarcity for the people. A plant-based diet requires only one-third of the land needed to support a meat and dairy diet. How can we validate the juicy steak we’re about to devour when we know that for it to have got on the plate, it not only killed a few trees which left some birds without a home but may mean that our world is less clean?
- Animals have emotions too, they feel love and protection for their young, they can sense compassion and they can feel pain. Putting aside the small-scale farmers who have respect for their animals and the lifestyles they live, the meat production industry is a cruel machine that causes unimaginable pain and suffering to millions of animals that have just as much right to thrive on this planet as we do.
What will you do for 30-days?
Going vegan for one month does not mean that you will be hungry all the time. Becoming a vegan does not mean that you’ll start developing deficiencies and it certainly does not mean that you’ll be having a miserable time eating salads.
ONE. All it entails is taking some time to do some research and planning your recipes. Learn about vegan substitutes for your favourite foods, stock up your fridge and pantry with a rainbow of fruits and veggies and scavenge the web for all of the amazing vegan restaurants or vegan options in your town or city.
TWO. Take some time to research about dishes in your culture that you had no idea were technically vegan, simply because your dear grandma who used to cook them didn’t label them as a vegan. You may be pleasantly surprised by how many of the things you enjoy now are considered vegan or require the tiniest alteration to make them vegan.
THREE. Then when the first of the month comes, dive right into your pledge. Keep a calendar and tick off the 30 days as they go by and simply mark your progress. Don’t skip meals and don’t cheat. Notice whether or not you enjoy the food you’re eating, whether you feel changes in your body and whether you feel more educated about food and the world we live in. But if you do slip up once or twice, don’t beat yourself up about it too much, just get yourself back on track.
In these 30 days, you’ll experiment with new flavours and have some of the most fun you’ve had in the kitchen for a long time. It’s not at hard as you think! You’ll see food in so many different colours and you’ll want to stay up at night enlightening your mind with so many truths about the environment, consumerism and the food industry that will revolutionise your views on the world.
Although I have to say, I hear so many people say they tried the pledge and hated it because the food they ate was bland and tasteless and I just want to shake them and tell them they must have been doing it so very wrong!
If you’re going to go vegan, you might as well do it properly. Put in as much love into your vegan dishes as you do in your non-vegan dishes otherwise, you’d have taken only a half-assed approach and then what’s even the point.
Want some help planning your vegan pantry? CLICK HERE!
Need some amazing, fun and tasty vegan recipe ideas? CLICK HERE !
What happens after the 30 days?
After the 30-days, if you’ve done it right, you’ll be proud of yourself for having stuck to it and you’ll be much the wiser for now knowing so much more about the world than you did going in. It’s honestly a humbling 30 days of discovery and reflection.
I’m not saying you’ll never want to eat meat again after these 30 days, chances are you’ll have missed something non-vegan here and there throughout doing your pledge. By all means, slowly reintroduce your favourite things into your life. But perhaps now you won’t want to eat them as often, perhaps you’ll want to start buying meat from your local farmer and you’ll want to start supporting local sustainable brands.
Perhaps you’ll come out of the pledge completely converted, and your next step will be to dive deeper into going vegan and to look at what it would entail to launch yourself on a 100% vegan diet for the rest of your life. But you don’t need to worry about this until later.
Everyone’s journey is different, and none of them are wrong. Take it as slowly as you need to, but do it right because ultimately you’re doing a good thing and are looking towards a better future for yourself and for your planet.
Sit back, grab some Oreos and let’s see what life has to offer us next.