Vegan Adventure: Why are you vegan?

As part of our Vegan Adventure series, we thought we’d ask a few people why they decided to sack off steak, dump dairy and abstain from animal products…

Coral has been a vegan for 3 months…

I’ve always been lactose intolerant, so dairy was never really an option for me. I used to feel sorry for myself because of it… I’d be really jealous of everyone eating chocolate and pizza, even though it would make me really ill! But then I watched Conspiracy, and it got me thinking that maybe our bodies arent supposed to be able to digest all these animal based products!
We are literally torturing and killing animals for our pleasure, and we don’t even need meat, eggs or dairy products to survive!

… while Emma has been one for 2 years!

Basically, after watching a really graphic video of a slaughterhouse, I decided to do the PETA 30 day Vegan Challenge to test myself. After 30 days I went and ate loads of non-vegan food, but I realised that I couldn’t do it, and became a vegan permanently! I was vegetarian for 8 years growing up anyway, so I was used to giving up some animal products, and I felt becoming a vegan was a good fit with my lifestyle, morals and ethical beliefs.

Charlotte runs the vegan society at her university, and has been a vegan for just over 2 years…

Beforehand, I had it in my head that vegans were extreme, angry, and self righteous, but I’d never actually met one! Soon, I got talking to a vegan, and realised that actually he really wasn’t very different from myself.
At that time, I was constantly eating the same few meals every day… he was telling me how being vegan had meant he had broadened his palate. Now I’m passionate about my food, so I thought I would give it a go for a week, only as a short-term thing. But as the week went on, I realised that, both physically and mentally, I felt so much better.
I then decided to look into it further, and what I found out really got to me. I realised how, by consuming meat and dairy I was contributing to the starvation of pigs and cows on the way to the slaughterhouse; to the grounding up of male chicks who apparently served no purpose; to the rape of cows, who then had their babies stolen from them; to the horrors of the veal industry.
I’ve always thought of myself as an animal lover, but I realised that I couldn’t genuinely be one unless I disassociated myself from all of that.
Then I looked into the health side of things further, and the same things kept coming up again and again; cancer, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease….
Everyone is so afraid of telling people to stop eating meat and dairy, for fear of being judgemental, but it’s literally killing them!

Dan became a vegan when he was 34, and has been one for over 4 years!

I’m not sure what I saw on the internet but I decided to type in vegetarian on YouTube… I’d never even heard of the word vegan at this point! Anyway, some 4 minute Ellen DeGeneres video came up, recommending the documentary Earthlings. So I went and watched it, and that was it! It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made by far! I’ve felt amazing since then, but even if following a vegan diet was unhealthy and shortened my life by 10 years, I’d still do it.

Coral has been a vegan for 3 months…

I’ve always been lactose intolerant, so dairy was never really an option for me. I used to feel sorry for myself because of it… I’d be really jealous of everyone eating chocolate and pizza, even though it would make me really ill! But then I watched Conspiracy, and it got me thinking that maybe our bodies arent supposed to be able to digest all these animal based products!
We are literally torturing and killing animals for our pleasure, and we don’t even need meat, eggs or dairy products to survive!

… while Emma has been one for 2 years!

Basically, after watching a really graphic video of a slaughterhouse, I decided to do the PETA 30 day Vegan Challenge to test myself. After 30 days I went and ate loads of non-vegan food, but I realised that I couldn’t do it, and became a vegan permanently! I was vegetarian for 8 years growing up anyway, so I was used to giving up some animal products, and I felt becoming a vegan was a good fit with my lifestyle, morals and ethical beliefs.

Former Everton and Swansea full-back Neil Robinson has been a vegan for 36 years, and was the first vegan to play professional football…

I was 13, and me and my family were watching a nature documentary. It was on an Amazonian tribe, and they were sacrificing a cow; remember, this was pre-internet, and I’d never really been exposed to this sort of thing before.
One of the tribe walked on the cow and stabbed it in the neck, and this really spooked me, especially when they were jumping up and down on the cow to drain the blood. Next day, I said to my mum that I was going vegetarian, and I haven’t touched meat since! I joined my older brother, John, who’d already been one for a little while, and was and is a big influence on my life.
10 years later, he transitioned to veganism, and he was telling me all about it. Now, I still loved my milk at this point, but I wrote to the Vegan Society and found out how bad the dairy and egg industry was and still is. Although the animals aren’t being slaughtered, they’re still being tortured and raped constantly, and I realised that, if I was following vegetarianism for ethical and moral reasons, then I had it wrong, and I surely had to become a vegan! 36 years later and I still feel amazing!

In contrast, James, who’s been a vegan for 5 months, is the worst footballer I’ve ever seen…

I had a bit of an epiphany when I was 21. I realised how I constantly felt tired, didn’t have much drive, and generally felt pretty crappy. A few friends had spoken to me about veganism and how much it had benefitted them, so, together with my girlfriend, I thought I’d give it a go!
I did love my meat, and I found it really hard to begin with, but eventually, we learnt new recipes, and it got easier and easier. Eventually, I realised how much healthier and driven I felt, so I decided to make the switch full-time!
However, despite all of the health benefits I’ve noticed, the most important thing to me is that I’ve realised the terrible impact of our consumption of animal products. Animals are tortured, killed and raped for our appetite, and it’s killing our oceans, our land, our atmosphere and our fellow earthlings.
To me, veganism is more than just a diet; it’s made me a better person inside and out, and I feel so good knowing that I am helping towards a better future.

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