Switching to a vegan lifestyle: a year after Veganuary 2017

Hello and Happy New Year everyone! Time really flew by quickly, whether you were having fun or not (between Christmas and Hogmanay, I was bedridden with a bad case of the flu and I’m still recovering), but I know this is set to be an exciting year and I can’t wait to see what vegan offerings will be on the table!

So a year on after Veganuary 2017, what does this mean for me?

On 1st January 2018, I celebrated my second New Year’s Day (the first one being 2017) as a vegan. On the evening of Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve), I made the switch to being vegan at midnight on New Year’s Day 2017 and I’m proud to celebrate the fact that I have now been vegan for just over a year. Many thanks to my friend Emma at Vegan Edinburgh for the special mention (here) and Female First for sharing my story (here)!

I had no regrets going vegan for Veganuary last year, they have been very supportive with daily e-mails that helped prepare me for January 2017 and continued to provide e-mail and Facebook group support throughout the month. To this day, I still believe that becoming vegan is the one decision I’ve made in my life that feels most right. I know in my heart that it is the best life decision I’ve made for myself and the animals I’m saving and not once have I ever felt any regret for making the switch; the only real regret is that I hadn’t done it sooner.

Last summer at the Edinburgh’s 70th Fringe Festival recent post on sister blog, I was fortunate enough to attend a comedy show by Dave Chawner called C’est La Vegan on my sister blog, A Blogger’s Musings, (see here) which was a revelation in itself. We live in a society that tends to point out what people are doing wrong rather than focusing on the positive and what people are doing right. Any vegan will tell you at some point in their journey, they will have been asked by non-vegans asking where vegans get their protein from, what’s wrong with eating dairy and eggs, and are accused of ‘preaching’ their beliefs.

Being vegan is a continuous journey. There is no such thing as a perfect vegan and every one of us is trying to do what we can to reduce our impact on the suffering and pain caused to animals. Dave spoke to the Head of The Vegan Society who rightly said, “A true vegan is a dead one”; it not possible to live and be a perfect vegan in the society we live in. Everything we buy and use or consume has some form of animal product in it, including our TV and phone screens. The idea of ‘perfection’ is subjective anyway, there is no way of measuring what a ‘perfect’ vegan should be.

All vegans are fighting for compassion for all living beings; there’s no difference between a pig, cow, dog or cat. We’re all living, sentient beings who feel fear and don’t want to die. The agricultural and advertising industries, for the longest time, have made us believe that the animals are happy and content, but what animal will be reared in a happy environment where they are allowed to roam free and live happy lives when, for commercial reasons, they’ll need to keep costs low to make a profit? What animal wants to die at a young age against their will? Does the taste of an animal’s flesh justify our desire for taking their lives and causing them immense pain and suffering? This knowledge is what makes us compassionate human beings and as vegans, we want to share our knowledge with non-vegans so you can make the connection too and see the truth that we’ve learned to accept.

Is there a vegan community? I believe there is, We might not be perfect and we might differ in our stances when it comes to what our personal beliefs about what being vegan should be about, but as with any community, there are people from all walks of life who can come off aggressive. We’re no different and we’re united in our beliefs of fighting injustice towards all species, to end pain, suffering and unnecessary death of agricultural animals for human consumption.

Despite the fact that there are a few loud and aggressive vegans doesn’t mean that the other 98% of the community don’t support each other and help new vegans on their journey. A lot of Facebook vegan groups are very supportive and open to answering each others’ questions, whether seasoned vegans or not. We are united in our desire to make the world a better place for all and this is what I chose a year ago and still firmly believe.

This is my choice. This is the path I chose to live and follow.

Have you decided to go vegan? Not sure where to start? Try Veganuary or Challenge 22+ today.

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