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18 January 2017, Wednesday

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Why I went vegan

It’s January! We hope that you are taking on the Veganuary challenge with us. To keep you inspired, we interviewed some of our favourite vegans to find out what made them go vegan. Do you have an inspirational story too? Then share it with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you! 

  1. Tim Shieff

why I went vegan

Job:

Professional Free-runner/ Ethical Clothing Company Owner

Favourite food:

Sweet potato/ Hummus/ Watermelons

Favourite snack:

Eat Real crisps

Favourite accidentally vegan food:

Custard Donuts from Coop

Why I became Vegan:

For the animals! I felt guilty if I accidentally trod on a snail and realised my hypocrisy of paying people to kill chickens for me to eat that I didn’t need.

Top 3 tips for someone about try Veganism (that maybe you wish someone had told you):

  1. You can eat as much fruit as you want!
  2. Avocado and Marmite on toast is incredible.
  3. Visit an animal sanctuary or a farm and look some animals in the eye for inspiration and acknowledgement of why you’re making an empowered decision to try this!

 

2. Karris McCulloch 

why I went vegan

Job:

Director, TheVeganKind

Favourite food:

If I am being relatively healthy, I love a nice stir-fry with tonnes of veggies and a homemade satay sauce. If I fancy a treat, Pizza all the way.

Favourite snack:

Nuts in any shape or form, but in particular salted almonds or cashews.

Favourite accidently vegan food:

Oreos

Why I became Vegan:

I realised that I couldn’t be ‘just vegetarian’ and still truly avoid contributing to animal suffering, so I made the leap from veggie to vegan and never looked back.

Top 3 tips for someone about try Veganism (that maybe you wish someone had told you):

  1. Look out for hidden animal ingredients like Cera Alba (beeswax) and Carmine (crushed insects) – it’s not just meat, fish, dairy and eggs you need to look out for! There are plenty of handy guides online that can help with this – and Google is your vegan best friend.
  2. Join a local vegan Facebook group to meet like minded people in your local area who can help guide and support you.
  3. Check out www.instagram.com/accidentallyveganuk for all the best high street vegan snacks that you probably didn’t even know were vegan!

 

3. Ian Theasby

why I went vegan

Job:

Co-founder & Creative Director of BOSH!

Favourite Food:

Spicy Stir-Fry

Favourite Snack:

Popcorn

Favourite Accidentally Vegan Food:

Henderson’s Relish

Why I became Vegan:

In 2015 I decided to test myself & give up meat for the month of February. After 2 weeks I was finding it quite difficult so I started to read about the benefits of vegetarianism. The more I read, the more I learned & the more I learned the more I realised veganism is the only logical choice for your health, ethics & the environment. I’ve been vegan since the 1st March 2015 & it’s the best life choice I’ve ever made.

Top 3 Tips:

  1. Watch Earthlings, Cowspiracy & Forks Over Knives.
  2. After you’ve adopted a plant-based diet, don’t preach but do teach. No one wants to be told what to do but most people are happy to learn.
  3. Like BOSH! on Facebook for daily recipes!

 

4. Rachida Brocklehurst

why I went vegan

Job:

Journalist, founder of The Green V lifestyle blog and vegan directory, and vegan business consultant.

Favourite Food:

A delicious Vietnamese-style stir fry, with plenty of tofu, kale and ginger.

Favourite Snack:

Oof. This is a hard one! I’m a bit of a foodie (read: eating is my life) so I have quite a lot of favourite nibbles. If I had to just pick one though, it would have to be hummus. Any flavour, any time of day – goes well with a spoon.

Favourite Accidentally Vegan Food:

Moët & Chandon – because life should be a celebration.

Why I became Vegan:

I went vegetarian when I was 12, but I think I was about 7 when I first starting thinking how weird it was that we ate some animals and not others. I went vegan when I was 26 because I stumbled across some awful egg and dairy videos on YouTube, did my own research and realised that I couldn’t fund such horrendous industries any more by buying their products. I honestly didn’t know about what really went on, and it broke my heart when I discovered the truth. Going vegan opened my eyes and my heart to a lifestyle that was alignment with the compassion for animals I had felt all my life.

Top 3 Tips:

  1. Be a source of inspiration. It’s so easy to rant and rave to people that don’t see what you see, but you catch more flies with honey… er, I mean agave. Be understanding that other people are on their own journey, and help them along it as best you can, without being aggressive or dictating what they should do.
  2. Remember why you are doing this. Connect with it when you feel tempted to eat non-vegan food because it might be more convenient.
  3. Come and follow The Green V on Facebook for daily vegan inspiration from food, to travel, to skincare and cosmetics. Oh, and lots of things to do with cats.

 

5. Oliver Sykes

why I went vegan

Job:

Musician

Favourite Food:

Anything made from a potato

Favourite Snack:

Hummus!

Favourite Accidentally Vegan Food:

Biscoff Spread

Why I became Vegan:

I have been vegetarian  for almost 15 years now, and I made the transition to being vegan slowly about 5 years ago. It took me a while to fully convert (and even now on tour sometimes I have to ‘cheat’ now and then) But I became vegan for health reasons more than anything. I read a book (called Skinny bitch terrible title, but great book) that dissected meat, eggs, dairy, sugar, everything, and it just made me feel sick to my stomach. The fact that we are the only creatures on earth that drink milk after being babies, not to mention another species milk, for no good reason whatsoever (and before you say calcium, go read about it) well it opened my eyes a bit.

Top 3 Tips:

  1. Don’t be a ‘warrior’. In this world, its impossible to be truly vegan, you will find animal products are unfortunately used for a lot more than you are aware of, even tap water. To me, I don’t want to be responsible for the immediate suffering of any other creature on this earth, but at the same time- sending a sandwich back when its got a bit of butter on it, or a slice of cheese you could easily remove, is just wasteful, not to mention utterly pointless in the grand scheme of things.
  2. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Any one who says being vegan is easy, well they are liars. First off, to be vegan, and healthy, is not cheap, not easily accessible, & still socially difficult. So if you fall off the wagon, remember, it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, just don’t go ‘f*ck it’ and go on an all out dairy bender.
  3. Get ready to try new foods. Hate mushrooms? prepare to fall in love with them. Tofu always freaked you out? You ain’t cooking it right then. One of the best things about being vegan is how much you come to appreciate food- when someone does a vegan chocolate cupcake, its the best thing in the world, or truly nails a pizza so good you can hardly tell the difference- its just about opening up your palette and trying new things. Once you get into it, you wont go back.

 

5. Chris Stokes

why I went vegan

Job:

Comedian

Favourite Food:

Roast dinner

Favourite Snack:

Tea and dunky biscuits.

Favourite Accidentally Vegan Food:

Biscoff Spread

Why I became Vegan:

I couldn’t keep eating stuff once I’d found out where it came from and how it came from there.

Top 3 Tips:

  1. Don’t beat yourself up about a mistake – to begin with, it’s a minefield.
  2. Do make sure you still balance your diet.  Chips are usually vegan but they’re not the only vegan food.
  3. Don’t let anyone tell you they’re a better vegan than you are.  We’re all doing our bit and, when we first make the leap, we’re still learning.

For more tips, check out our free Plant-Based Starter Guide!

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