By Emily, Vegan Pledge Buddy 2012
I signed up for the London Vegan Pledge last year and 13 months later I am still eating the vegan way. I can honestly say that going vegan is one of the best decisions that I've ever made. There are so many good reasons for going vegan but my main reason was for the animals. Having been pescetarian beforehand, I read up on the dairy, egg and fishing industries and was greatly upset by what I found out. Just as much suffering to animals exists in those industries as it does within the meat industry. I came to the realisation that if I’m truly a person who does not believe in cruelty to animals then I just shouldn't fund it, on any level. Already showing an interest in becoming vegan, I found out about the Pledge via The Vegan Society facebook page and I registered soon after that.
With so many animal-free alternatives to all kinds of traditional meat and dairy foods, I found the transition from near-vegetarian to vegan fairly straight forward. During my Vegan Pledge month I really enjoyed shopping for vegan foods. Every time I went shopping I would come home with something new and my diet soon became more varied than it had ever been before. I spent time experimenting with new dishes and adapting old ones. I found out that I could still have all my favourites like pizza, curry and spaghetti Bolognese – I would just make these using animal-free alternatives like dairy-free cheese and veggie mince. A vegan alternative now exists for almost any food item that you can think of. Would you believe I still have sausages, bacon, ice-cream, yogurt, custard, biscuits, chocolate… even egg-free mayo! In next to no time I found out that I could get all of these in vegan versions and much more. I discovered lots of great vegan restaurants too, including Chinese which is my favourite.
At the end of my Vegan Pledge month I reflected on my journey. I came to the realisation that I didn’t have good enough reasons to go back to being pescetarian so I just kept it up. I shared my new-found knowledge with my mum who decided to go vegan with me! We have never felt healthier or happier. But the best part for me is knowing that no animal has been harmed in order for me to eat and drink.
Going vegan is the single most important thing that I could have done for the lives of animals. I would urge anyone to give it a try. You’ll be surprised by how easy and rewarding it is.