I used to think “Vegan” was a dirty word and apparently to most people it still is. Even my 4-year-old yelled “I love sausages and vegans are stinky” at me this past weekend as if I was infected with a deadly vegan virus. It’s OK, he is only 4! and I have been eating sausages for the best part of my life, so who am I to deny him a sausage? Also vegan-ism is still relatively new to Casa Bailie (2 weeks and counting) so maybe he’ll come round? That is the kicker, I have realised that even if you mention the V word people either want to quiz you, dismiss you or challenge you. What is that all about? I even used to do it to the vegan folk and I genuinely have no idea why. Why would I want to dismiss someone elses life choice so easily just because it wasn’t the same as mine? All I can think is that I simply didn’t understand. Perhaps that is where the problem is?
Since becoming vegan I have noticed a few things when it comes to ‘other people’, especially those who eat meat and animal products. Carnivores will laugh and question everything from your dedication, your protein intake and constantly ask you about your bowel movements. Luckily my bowels are my favourite subject so more fool them, but why does “I’m Vegan” scare people? Is it a lack of knowledge? Is this why the general consensus is that ‘vegans preach’? Do we or are we just answering your questions?
I have never ever been able to be persuaded to do something just because of a chat I had with someone so don’t worry, even if the V word comes up, the chances of you catching the V virus is slim to none. I have always eaten meat and animal products untill about a year ago when I realised I was eating meat and not enjoying it and after weeks of reducing my meat intake I stopped eating meat altogether and became a vegetarian. I remember I hit my one year of veggies mark and I really, truly fancied some roast lamb so I ate it. It was nice. I then went on a carnivorous tour of my hometown and butchers section and ate all the meat produce I wanted, but I didn’t feel great. I was heavy, bloated and tired and the cycle began again. I didn’t enjoy the texture, the taste or the lack of bowel movements so I stopped eating meat. It was at this same time when my depression and anxiety was at an all time high and I was feeling both mentally and physically out of control.
I have never been successful when it comes to mediation, but recently I started to listen to podcasts. It is the perfect combination of engaging content, but also time out from anxiety and sadness. I listen to everything that peaks my interest, which keeps me entertained and gives me head space when I need it the most. A few weeks ago I discovered Mark Dillon’s Plant-Based Conversations podcast and in an episode he spoke to the musician Moby about his diet and the reasons behind his choice to become vegan and I remember thinking “why isn’t everyone vegan?” I then read everything, found every vegan or plant based study or pod cast I could get my meat digits on and I binge watched Conspiracy, Food Inc and What the Health on Netflix. That was enough for me. I did the research, I listened and I was convinced, becoming vegan was right for me. “Knowledge is of no power if you don’t put it into practise” – Anton Chekhov
So you’re a vegan. Now what? What can you eat? What can’t you eat? Where do you start? Is it expensive? Will you kill the o-zone with your vegan gasses? Am I plant-based? How do you milk an almond? Where can I buy miso paste? Can I drink gin? Do I have to wear crystals? All great questions. TBC.