First of all I'd like to say thankyou for visiting my vegan website. Whether you are a non vegan looking for information on how to get started on a vegan lifestyle, or whether you are already a vegan and just want to find out more, then I am happy to have you here.
My aim is to make this website informal, informative and easy to read. But first - a bit about me and how I became a fully fledged vegan. As you have probably read on the home page, I just love vegan food and get quite excited about new products, good recipes and anything else that's vegan as it goes.
I think this stems from originally thinking that vegans could only eat salads and nuts. I'm sorry to say that I used to think that vegans (or vaygans as I used to call them) were a bit deprived and limited in what they could eat. I just thought vegans were slightly odd!! My veganism started when I stopped eating most red meat when I was 17. I was cooking liver and onions for me and my then boyfriend, and as I watched it slipping and sliding around the pan, I realised how similar it looked to a human organ. I chucked it in the bin and stopped eating most red meat there and then.
I was still eating bacon though and have discovered that this is the last thing most vegetarians give up. I was still eating white meat - until that is, I watched a horrific TV programme about how animals are raised for food. I had always liked animals and at this point, I made the connection between the food on my plate and my own companion animals.
After that I stopped eating the bacon and all poultry but still ate seafood which I loved. I thought fish were ok to eat as surely they didn't live in family groups and were less intelligent than most animals. Surely they wouldn't mind being plucked from the sea and being battered over the head or left to suffocate? A few years later, I stopped eating seafood. I think I was cooking tuna one day and saw the blood mixing with the juices and that brought it home to me that these creatures were no different to most animals.
The last thing I gave up was tinned tuna. I thought it was ok to eat it if it was "dolphin friendly". I gave that up in 2003 along with all dairy products and eggs. I told everybody I was now a vegan but secretly I was still eating chocolate - chocolate sponge puddings being my secret vice. That went on for a further three months and then I gave up animal products altogether.
I didn't find it at all hard. For me, when I learnt about animal ingredients, such as the food colouring cochineal - which is crushed beetles - and when I thought about what eggs actually were - I found it very easy eating a plant based diet. That's another thing. When I used to read about "plant based diets", I thought all I could eat were plants. I started looking into veganism but I wanted a personal website that not only told me about vegan nutrition but also let me know if I could eat cruelty free ice-cream and if so, tell me where I could find it and the best brands. Could I still eat something similar to a chicken curry or would I really have to limit my diet to tofu and salads?
Which brings me to this website and why I made it. I want people to know that if they decide to go vegan, they can still eat most of the foods they eat now - just with different ingredients.In my opinion, it is very important for people to realise that switching over to a vegan diet does not mean going without.
Once people realise they can eat all sorts of foods on a vegan diet, then the rest is simple. When you learn about the health benefits of a vegan diet, and find out about the suffering involved in raising animals as food and clothing sources, it becomes much easier to stop eating and using animal products.
Nowadays I do not even wear or support materials which are made from animal exploitation either. Neither do I use cosmetics or toiletries which have animal products in them. I figured that if research was saying that eating animal ingredients can cause various diseases, then why would I put any animal ingredients on my skin and hair. Also, I think the best beauty products are made with natural plant ingredients anyway and all these so called high tech beauty products are a waste of money and even a rip off.
A vegan is someone who doesn't eat any animal derived foods or wear or use any animal skins or materials. If someone eats a vegan diet but still wears animal skins then they are not a vegan. They are on a vegan diet purely for their health. Many people are not neccessarily compassionate about animals - but they know a vegan diet is good for their health!