Hi everyone and welcome to my vegan story. I want to share with you how I came to the vegan lifestyle, what it has done for me in terms of health and fitness and the knock-on effects it has on the animals and the planet. I became vegan in May of 2013 after spending most of my teenage years as a vegetarian. I have never liked the taste of meat and growing up I was never really given it a lot my parents. I stopped consuming meat in my early teens and ate what I considered to be a vegetarian diet. Around the age of 18 years old I wanted to be healthier so I looked into how to look better, how to feel better but unfortunately I took the wrong path that lead to under eating and restricting calories. After about a year of being lost in my search to live a healthier lifestyle I came across veganism. Straight away I cut dairy out of my life and went vegan overnight. I have never looked back. I took up weight training and started eating real whole plant based foods that energised and fuelled my body and I have never felt or looked better!
Being vegan has helped me to realise that to look good and feel good you do not need to worry about calories and how much you are eating; rather it is better to focus on what you are eating. Eating animal products can put a strain on your body, particularly your digestive system which can lead to lots of issues such as bloating, constipation and more. The high amounts of fat in animal products can also lead to weight gain and drain you of energy whilst the chemicals and hormones found in these products can lead to disease in the body. Plant-based diets are rich in protein, iron, calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals. Plant based foods also tend to be low in saturated fat, high in fibre and packed with antioxidants which can help reduce some of the modern world’s biggest health issues like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
The production of meat and other animal products also negatively impacts our planet by destroying the environment. This includes the large amounts of crops and water required to feed the animals, the transport and other processes involved from farming the animals to getting them to your plate. The large amount of grain feed required for meat production is a significant contributor to deforestation, habitat loss and species extinction as large amounts of land is needed to grow crops to feed the animals. Why do we not just eat the crops ourselves rather than feeding them to animals that we then eat?
Finally being vegan also has lots of benefits for the animals that you no longer eat. Animals in the meat and dairy industry are not well looked after, they are kept in tiny spaces, separated from their family, raped, tortured and in the end killed. Animals are as real as humans and we now know that like us, they can experience a wide range of sensations and emotions such as happiness, pain, pleasure, fear, hunger, sadness. The exploitation of animals spreads further than your plate and we see this exploitation in experimentation (makeup), the clothing industry, entertainment industry and more.
As you can see choosing a vegan lifestyle is not all just about choosing not to eat certain foods it is about choosing not to support the exploitation of animals in general. It has great health benefits, environmental and ethical benefits. Start making small changes today, if you want to see a change then you have to be then change! Like I stated above, I have never felt so many health and fitness benefits since living a vegan lifestyle, so why not see what it can do for you?