Literally just a couple of months ago I was still eating whatever I wanted, not thinking about where my food has come from or what effects they have on both myself and the environment. I didn’t realise eating meat had such massive negative implications on the planet, and recently I decided to make a change.
The aim of this post is to explain why I’m giving up animal products and how I’m planning to reach my cruelty free goal. I want to make clear that at the time of making this post only just going vegan! Mistakes will be made, it’s a learning process. Be kind.
If you have any questions or tips you would like to leave me, feel free to comment them below! All I ask is that you be respectful about it – I know vegans get a lot of unnecessary hate, and this is not a post to say that you should be vegan too – we all make our own decisions, and that’s okay.
Honestly the main reason why I have ended up making this decision is because I have a couple of really encouraging and informative vegan friends who have really opened my eyes to the cruelty of the agriculture industry. They showed me their side of the vegan argument and I realised that the points they had were truly valid. How could I be compassionate to animals if I was allowing them to be slaughtered for my meals? How could I be disgusted that some people eat rabbit, but not disgusted that I was eating chicken?
I remember a couple of years ago I was talking to one of my vegetarian friends about this exact thing – it’s one rule for the ‘cute’ animals and one rule for the others. I remember him shouting dramatically ‘NO! NOT THE CUTE ONES!’. Even at the time I knew he was right, but I just remember thinking ‘I can’t give up chicken’. Stupid, right?
I also didn’t want to feel the guilt I was feeling associated with eating animals. The more information I absorbed from my friends, the more I found myself thinking ‘I’m eating a dead chicken’, ‘this animal was killed unnecessarily for my dinner’ – and when I saw the “manly meat eater” keyboard warriors on Facebook posts, I found that I had adopted counter arguments in my head, wondering how they didn’t realise their attitudes toward animals was so disgusting and grotesque, and then I looked at myself – I was one of those people.
I made the decision to go vegetarian while I was on holiday in Tenerife, and for a week I managed to not eat meat at all (except for one time when we went to a cafe for dinner and they had no vegetarian options) and I realised, if I can go a week without meat, I obviously don’t need it in my diet.
Trying to be vegetarian while still living at home for the summer was a little bit difficult, with my mum forgetting that I had decided to be vegetarian and serving us all meat for dinner, so I decided I would make the switch as soon as I moved back to my student accommodation.
I did break the rules a couple of times at first; on nights out I was buying a chicken nugget share box with my boyfriend, and on some days I ate Haribos, but eventually I managed to cut them out completely. I was vegetarian for about a month and a half, and it’s come to the point where I feel ready to cut out eggs and dairy too!
WHAT ABOUT MAKEUP?
Obviously I own a lot of makeup from companies that animal test and use animal products in their ingredients, and it would be a massive waste to throw them all away, so I have decided to follow what my friend is doing, which is to use up the products I already have, but not repurchase them or blog about them. Of course, there are some products I will miss, and some products I’m a little sad that I won’t ever allow myself to try, but I’d rather not try them than support an abusive company!
I am planning to blog about some of the cruelty free replacements I find to some of my non-cruelty free products, so do watch out for that! I’m actually kind of excited about it.
I also plan to stop buying fashion products made from leather and suede – I’m not sure about wool yet because I’ve heard mixed things. If you’re vegan and have an opinion about wool, please let me know in the comments!
ADVICE & PLANNING
These are the steps I made in transitioning from meat-eater to vegetarian;
- Stop eating all other meats but your favourite (I only ate chicken for a while). Replace it with meat free alternatives (ie, Quorn chicken, ham, mince)
- Personally, I skipped this stage entirely but some people then only eat fish.
- When you feel ready, stop eating fish as well, so you’re not eating any kind of meat/fish.
- Then, drop all products that contain gelatin/other animal products (ie, Haribos, chicken/beef stock, etc).
The last step was the hardest one for me because I loved Haribos, but I stayed strong and didn’t cave in and eventually it didn’t even bother me anymore.
These are the steps I have taken while transitioning to veganism;
- Start having vegan main meals (evening meals).
- Gradually clear out non-vegan foods from the cupboards at home.
- Replace non-vegan foods with vegan alternatives (ie, milk, butter, mayo).
- Once all the food at your house is vegan and you are on a completely plant-based diet, you can call yourself a vegan!
I found it really easy to keep track of my eating habits by keeping a habit tracker in my bullet journal. In my weekly spreads, I would have a box labelled with a ‘V’ that stands for vegetarian (as of next week, will stand for vegan), and for every day I ate 100% vegetarian, I would colour in the squares. If I didn’t manage to eat fully vegetarian on that day, I wouldn’t be able to colour in the square, and everyone would be able to see my failure! That’s honestly what kept me motivated to stay on track.
Obviously, the road to veganism will be wobbly at first, and mistakes will be made but it’s more important that I learn from those mistakes. The fact I made those mistakes in the first place should not be the main focus.
That’s basically all I wanted to say in this post. If you have any questions or tips for me, feel free to comment them below, I reply to everybody! Like I said before, please be respectful of my choices, and I will be respectful of yours. Also, I want to say a massive thank you to the people who helped me get to this point by telling me the facts and offering me advice; you know who you are! And I really appreciate that you opened my eyes. See you in the next one! ❤
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