The vegan lifestyle is everywhere at the moment. There has been a huge movement that’s literally rocked the culinary world – and everyone’s talking about it. Now, I’m not jumping on the vegan bandwagon, nor am I out to slate vegans. I guess it’s somewhere in between.
You see, I keep coming across these eye-popping stats and heart-wrenching videos on social media of animals suffering. I was wondering why it’s specifically bothering me now when it never has before, I’ve always been a proud meat eater. And I’ve figured it out. It’s not that my attitude has changed – I’m just exposed to the truth more.
Our parents didn’t get bombarded with social media campaigns, horrifying videos and online petition after petition like we do. I bet my mum never really thought much about the pork she bought from the supermarket.
I bet she didn’t have to watch a video showing dehydrated pigs locked in a lorry on the way to the slaughterhouse. And she probably didn’t have access to films like ‘cowspiracy’ on Netflix. Just the other day I was watching some series called ‘Easy’ and in the episode I was watching a girl trying to convince her girlfriend to go vegan was showing her this shocking video of a pig being killed. They showed it being tossed around a grinder thingy.
I don’t even know if this really happens and the truth is, I can’t deal with the truth if it does. Whilst I don’t have the balls to go online and see what’s really going down, I know it’s going to be bad, really bad. And I’ve seen enough damning evidence that I want to make a big change. Sitting here thinking about it all is making me feel physically shaky and sick.
But I’m not ready to ditch all meat and animal produce and go completely vegan. I think for a lot of people, at least at first, it’s unrealistic. Too many people get influenced by its popularity on social media and then suddenly try and cut everything out and often to look cool, not because they want to help animals.
For me, if I’m going to make a change, it’s going to have to be gradual. So for now, I’m not cutting out meat, eggs and dairy, or even going vegetarian. My first step will be to cut out certain meats. This will still make a small difference. I’m not going to eat pork, beef or lamb. I guess I’m going to follow a sort of pescetarian diet, which I think is much more doable. In case you’re wondering what a pescetarian diet is, it’s where you don’t eat meat apart from fish. But I’m going to tweak this diet to fit me and include chicken and turkey as well.
Red meat is pretty hard for your poor tum to digest. I think the key message should not be cut all this stuff out your diet, it should be ‘try to eat everything in moderation, and make small but meaningful lifestyle changes.’ White meat like chicken and turkey is lower in fat so it’s hopefully going to help me lose a few pounds too.
I’m also going to swap cows milk for coconut, cashew or oat milk. I already do this anyway, but I’ll still occasionally buy normal milk if I’m in a shop that doesn’t sell alternatives. I will also try to buy goats butter where possible. But guys, I’m sorry, there’s no way I can cut out cheese. Not yet. Most people are addicted to chocolate, but my love affair is with cheese. Oh camembert, you cheesy wonder.
I’m hoping that by making these small changes, I will still be able to make a difference. And I’ll feel better in myself and mentally more at ease. When I see those videos of malnourished cows hobbling feebly across a field, I’ll know I’m not eating their meat. I can’t pretend I’m doing everything I can just yet, but as the weeks and months pass, I might gradually do better.
Your diet doesn’t have to be a set thing that fits in with trends or what all your friends are eating. You can pick and choose which things you want to give a miss and which things you (probably) can’t live without. So here’s to my new pescatarian plus chicken and turkey coconut milk and goats butter diet. Touché.