Better with friends.

In the perfect world we would all be vegan and the word wouldn’t even need to exist but of course we are long way from this. In my own personal ideal world all my friends and family would be vegan and I would be surrounded by vegan restaurants and it would not be a ballache every time we went out.

Alas! this is not the case and in my short time as a vegan I have definitely felt a little lonely, left out, the weirdo. So, last Christmas I made it my new years resolution to make some vegan friends! Making friends as an adult is always a little tricky and then to make them a specific sort of people is even trickier but on my mission I went!

Lucky for me there was a small community of vegans in the nearest town to me and one particular little vegan, who is determined to change the world one non-vegan at a time, organised a social event and off I went, on my own, feeling very new girl at school and met my first vegans! Since then, that one vegan has become one of my best friends and I have met a handful more vegans who are pretty awesome and every now and then when I feel overwhelmed or disappointed by the world we live in we go out for lunch and have amazing food and I don’t have to choose the beer and salad and explain why killing animals is wrong!

This is probably the only new year’s resolution I have ever achieved but it was a game changer.

Next year´s new years resolutions:

  1. Find more vegan friends
  2. Learn to handstand.
Advertisements

Just a story..

My brother is not vegan nor vegetarian and he loves to make fun of me so I´ve never had any great hope of him following my lead and becoming vegan. I simply allow him to make his jokes and keep doing my thing.

We have only had incident when we were walking my pups and he said he was trying to eat less meat (only for climate purposes of course because admitting you give a shit about animals is just cringe) and he was complaining that when he goes to buy his lunch at the supermarket all the sandwiches had some kind of meat or cheese. I was excited and suggested, very calmly to my mind, that he could just make his own sandwiches at home and save on the plastic. He said I was being aggressive and interrupting him. I was not but then we argued about the definition of aggressive so who won there?!

Another thing I need to say about my big brother is that he is the only person on the planet allowed to bully me. If someone else were to make a joke or insult me.. well they are a dick and must be treated accordingly! Which leads me to my story. I periodically get brought up in conversations with his friends as an example of a vegan and people are either only vaguely interested or they throw out one of the classics. We all know them about B12 or protein but my brother was faced with a new one for him. The one about cows and pigs becoming extinct if we all stopped eating meat.

He told me the story later that week and declared he almost went vegan on the spot just to spite the person who had said such a dumb thing. Olé! Becoming vegan to spite idiots works for me!

Just to address this person’s reasoning as its one I have also faced. My initial response is to say that this is not the right question. The notion being that thanks to the human race overbreeding these animals they owe us the favour of giving us their flesh and meat. Never mind the fact they live a life of pain, fear and torture this is somehow inherently preferable to not existing at all? We must also ignore the fact that woodlands are destroyed to make space which leads to other species becoming endangered such as wolves.

I don´t know if these animals would go extinct. I only know that this is no justification for what happens in the meat and dairy industry nor the detrimental effects it has on the environment.

Now, who else can I get to irritate my brother into becoming vegan…

 

What do you even eat?!

I live in Spain and I love it. My partner is Spanish and I love him. My in laws are Spanish and I love them. I love being vegan. So, a lot of love flying around. However, the Spanish side of my world and the vegan side don’t mesh well.

I am accepted by everyone and they do their best to accommodate my picky eating’but they simply don’t know what I eat. No matter how many times I list all the great stuff I cook and enjoy the same conversation comes up at lunch. Spanish food is centred around meat and eggs and cheese. I hate it. I hate it so much I have to brace myself to sit at the table.

I offer to cook and plan a beautiful meal and then they bring plates of prawns and ham because ‘there won’t be enough food.’I take a deep breath and thank them because I love them and they love me. I hate it. I hate that veganism is still seen as a fad, fussy eating or just pointless.

Now, I am planning my wedding to my best friend. He isn’t vegan but he is a great cook so creates great meals. He supports me but doesn’t fully understand me. Recently he told me that I used to be chubby and fun and now all I do is yoga and veganism! It did make me laugh!

Last night we had our menu tasting and I was close to tears at least twice and maybe once more but I think that was the white wine that I was throwing back to get me through the whole experience! This catering company have 14 years of experience but they seemed to have been thrown through a loop when I asked for vegan aperitivos. We were brought spring rolls, empanadillas, cocas.. basically anything that was beige and fried. It was so disappointing and uninspired and ….. beige! Weddings in Spain are huge and the food is THE MOST IMPORTANT part. My partner was furious and wanted to change venues and I felt it was my fault because I wanted vegan food on my special day. I should not feel like this. I should not have to explain why I´m vegan. I should not have to laugh at hurtful jokes. I should not have to tolerate eye rolls.  But, I do. And I will continue to have bad experiences. Then I will come home and cook beautiful meals and spend time with my vegan friends and continue trying to educate the world gently and kindly. One day veganism will be the norm and the weirdos will be the ones who have lobster for their weddings!

Paying the price of sustainability.

One of the side effects of becoming vegan is becoming environmentally aware. I personally became vegan for the animals then discovered the incredible health benefits and following on from this I  discovered that I was saving the planet, which was nice!

Having done an online test I discovered that just be being vegan my carbon footprint was lowered by a huge amount. This got me thinking about what else I could do.. We all know that recycling is good but in reality depending on the country in which you live it is not always true that this rubbish is managed correctly or even recycled. The big trend at the minute is to reduce our plastic consumption by not using straws or bags in the supermarket. These are all great things but next time you do your weekly shop look at how much stuff is in plastic. It’s bonkers!

I have bought some reusable bags for my veg, I have a coffee cup to take to coffee shop and of course I have my own shopping bag with me at all times. Recently, to my absolute joy, I have discovered a bulk buy shop. Lentils, rice, chickpeas, spices, dried fruit oh my!

However, these shops are usually small businesses so prices are higher despite the fact that I’m not paying for the packaging. So, this is my question; why is it acceptable that healthy, sustainable options are always more expensive to the consumer? Why are we penalised for wanting to do what is essentially saving the planet?

I will continue buying in bulk and carrying my odd shaped tupperware pots and wait for the day when this becomes the norm and not just a trend.

Trying to convert the unconvertible..

I am a very happy vegan. I don´t miss meat or dairy. I don´t feel I´m lacking any nutrients and in fact feel great and my skin is clear for the first time in 15 years.

However, I do feel sad and frustrated when I see loved ones with health problems and I know that by adopting a vegan lifestyle they could solve a lot of these and feel incredible! But I´m faced with tuts and eye rolls and the usual comments that meat eaters make.. I need protein… I don´t want to take supplements… humans need meat… I quietly sigh because if I do anything else I am accused of being aggressive. Another inward sigh.

I try to respond to these protests by explaining that we only need 15 – 20g of protein a day and these are easily found in beans and tofu. I don´t need any supplements as everything can be found in plants, you just need to do a bit of research. In fact it blows my mind that so many people believe that meat actually provides anything nutritional and positive! Animals eat plants and absorb the goodness and I just go directly to the plant and cut out the torture and suffering and planet destroying middle man.

My boyfriend is a great cook and is really creative in the kitchen but he doesn´t feel that a meal is complete if it doesn´t include some kind of meat. He has recently had some health issues and the doctor gave him a list of foods he could and couldn´t eat. Oil, fried food, chocolate, sweets, salt and all the usual suspects are on the banned list. Veggies, beans and MEAT are on the OK list. (face palm)

So, I´ve gone into overdrive creating new dishes for him to try and prove that meatless is still filling and delicious. Unfortunately, he isn´t used to me cooking for him and he certainly isn´t used to the flavours I´m offering which are lighter and not meaty. Yesterday I made a beautiful curry with coconut milk and I listened patiently while he politely nibbled at it and said he wasn´t hungry. Thus began my mission to become a cook as talented and creative as him and convert the unconvertible!

HERE WE GO!!