Hello! We’re two mates and mums living in Sydney who really love food, cooking and eating out. We’re also transitioning vegans.
Say what?! What we mean is; we used to eat meat, eggs, dairy and honey by the shedload and now we don’t (aside from occasional slips – days on which we call ourselves ‘bad vegans’). We’re also looking beyond food and making more conscious choices about household and personal items (ummm…feather doonas? and leather’s got to go), and we’ll be addressing those issues on our blog too. But the everyday challenges for us with families to look after, are mostly about diet; and we’re continually trying to be better vegans today than we were yesterday.
We gave it all up in late 2016, and prior to that if you had told either of us we would be converting to a plant-based diet we would have laughed in your face while reaching for another wedge of triple cream brie and some prosciutto. We both grew up on diets where meat or seafood were always the main event; with dairy and eggs not far behind, behind, and we’re surrounded by friends and family for whom this is still the case. We’ve both recently had our third children and we don’t have a lot of spare time up our sleeves.
So, why the change? Why put ourselves through it?? How we arrived here is slightly different for both of us, but essentially we’ve both been vaguely aware of the notion that animal heavy diets are no longer considered optimum, with ‘meat free Mondays’ and ‘eat more veg’ messages coming at us from all angles for a while now, but like most people, we really only gave it fleeting moments of consideration. Yes vegetables are great for us, no news there. And yes maybe there’s something slightly off with befriending a dog and eating a pig, but we pretty much kept munching in ignorance. ‘Cause we need meat for iron and protein, and dairy for calcium, right? (let’s face it, vegans always look like they need a good burger)? And if it tasted good it couldn’t be that bad, could it? And I don’t eat THAT much meat… And livestock are bred for human consumption so it’s OK…. etc. etc…
And then one day, our general curiosity led us to watching Cowspiracy and Forks Over Knives (available on Netflix, get watching if you haven’t already); and what resulted was some pretty convincing reasons to get on a plant-based diet path, immediately. We could no longer continue to turn a blind eye to what was suddenly glaringly obvious: that the consumption of animal based products is bad for the planet, bad for our health, and cruel to the animals. Going plant-based was a complete no-brainer and we couldn’t believe we hadn’t found out about it beforehand. With families of our own to raise, and kids (and one-day grandkids) to want to enjoy well into the future on a planet worth living on, we could no longer do nothing. After all, if our kids look us in the eye in the future when the planet has gone to shite or we’re sick with preventable diseases, are we going to be able to look at them back and say “Yes, we knew, we had all the evidence, and we did nothing.” ??
Since that point, we’ve been researching veganism extensively, to check if there really is an argument for it over traditional living. And time and again the proof points are there. Obviously we’re all aware that meat and fish results from an animal losing its life; but the little known horrors of the dairy and egg industries; animal agriculture being one of the main causes and continuing contributing factors to climate change; and the increased risk of cancer, heart disease and other preventable diseases caused from too much animal protein – these are just some of the many other shocking truths we discovered. In fact it’s been predicted that the future of all human diets will be vegan, not even from choice but out of necessity due to global warming and other environmental factors like not enough land or food for farming animals, and oceans being depleted of fish. So while we are choosing to eliminate animals where we can from our menu now, it’s possible we may actually live to see it become a reality for the majority of the world population – wild right?
And while going vegan overnight might be easy for some, for others like us it’s just not practical.When you’re pressed for time, on a budget, already cooking separate meals for fussy children, and new to the whole vegan thing, of course you’re going to make mistakes, give in to a craving or not want to waste food that’s already in your kitchen. We’re not beating ourselves up about it though because we know where we ultimately want to go – plant-based wholefoods. Technically you can be vegan if you survive on coca cola and potato chips, but that’s a sure way to die fast so we’re also reducing sugar and processed foods as much as possible as part of the switch.
And our families? We’re not making our children follow a vegan diet (we’ll let them decide themselves once they’re older), although we are significantly reducing their meat and dairy intake, and they are being exposed to more vegetables and plant-based meals than ever before, so who knows what the future holds. They’re too young to understand the issues around veganism but we still think it’s important to be the role model they’ll one day choose to follow when it comes to their diet and conscious living, generally.
When people ask us about veganism, as friends and family increasingly do (almost always to our pleasant surprise), we give them a nudge towards the documentaries mentioned because they’re pretty compelling and inspirational, but we also largely we say that if you’re interested, jump on the web and start digging. The evidence is there.
For us now though it’s an exciting journey and one we thought worth sharing with others who like us, want to do the right thing and eat more plant-based food, but might not know where to start. Sorry but you won’t find any snaps of elaborate or expensive creations decked out with edible flowers here. We’re not perfect, this is the real world and we’re as real as you can get; so we’ll just be passing on our favourite recipes and what we learn as we navigate our way through the meat-clogged world to becoming vegan. Hope you enjoy!
Are you thinking about becoming vegan? If you’re vegan already, what compelled you to start?
Image credits: Brain on Hugs