The Vegan Dilemma: An Update

I recently posted about the dilemma I faced in whether or not I should be a vegan, given that my general moral stance where animal welfare is concerned is at stark odds with my previous consumerist habits.

This was born partly out of ignorance (I had absolutely no real concept of the reality of dairy farming, for example) and partly out of my head being firmly in the sand about what it was that I was eating, or wearing. 

I'm not going to go in to it all again in great detail now, but if you missed the post, you can catch up with it here. For those who've read it already though, I'm sure you want to know whether I made a decision.

Since that post I've been pretty much dairy-free. I'd flirted with dropping dairy anyway because I began to recognise it as a trigger for my acne, but having taken a bit of responsibility for my own eating habits, and educating myself on the production of dairy products, here in the UK and around the world, it really makes me feel pretty sick these days. I've found it surprisingly easy to drop dairy, even as a great lover of cheese. The cheese I've yet to really start missing, but I've found that replacing the cow's milk in my tea and coffee with soya is just as tasty, and oat milk in porridge is the most amazing thing ever! I've started using a dairy free butter alternative and it's perfectly nice too. 

I've also pretty much stopped eating eggs, temporarily, until I can find eggs which sit comfortably with my ethical stance. I'm finding out more about where my eggs come from; previously I'd got my eggs from Nethergong, the guys that supply my vegetables, so I'm doing a little more research in to where those eggs come from, so that I can find out more about the lives that the hens lead. In the mean time I'll only buy eggs from pet hens when the opportunity arises. If someone has six hens pecking around in their garden - and they've got some eggs going spare - I'm all over that!

Meat, meat meat meat. It's not that I find it "difficult" to give up meat. I went veggie for a month last year as something of an experiment, but at that time I was eating out in restaurants a lot and just found it boring. However, at the moment I'm still allowing myself carefully researched and sourced meat. I'm still not 100% comfortable with this, and I'm continuing to do more research to work out whether or not I'll give it up for good. I am certainly eating more vegan meals though, and only having meat a couple of times a week. On those occasions I'm sourcing locally, but still, I'm not entirely comfortable, and it probably will be wiped out of my diet entirely. 

Cosmetics and household cleaning products were already totally vegan and are staying this way. I'm gradually using up any old pre-gan products that are lurking, and replacing them with cruelty-free alternatives. I'm still loving Original Source and Lush for all of my smellies. I recently picked up one of Lush's vegan solid deodorants and it's amazing, better than anything I've tried before. 

I've also had a word with my wardrobe. I'm no longer comfortable with buying wool from unknown sources. Whilst sheep aren't generally killed for wool, they do die and suffer as a result of large scale farming, and I can't support that. I've visited a few small farms where I know the animals don't suffer for their fluff, and those I'll continue to support where they sell their own products. Silk is out as well, along with leather, suede and fur. I just can not justify wearing animal skins when there are a) brilliant alternatives available and b) I'm not a bloody Inuit. 

I've still got a stack of books on Vegan lifestyle to get through, and I continue to research everything from farming practices in the UK through to awesome recipes. I'm not describing myself as anything at all other than "conscious" at the moment, and you'll have to watch this space regarding the eggs and the meat, but I definitely feel more confident in my choices than when this dilemma first raised it's ugly head!

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