Going Vegan

Long term readers will remember that last year I faced something of a moral dilemma, when I realised that most of my personal values were entirely at odds with my omnivorous diet. I began, by giving up dairy - partly due to my objection to the modern dairy industry, and partly because cheese made me spotty. I also ditched non-vegan cosmetics and household cleaning products, as it was impossible to know who the animals were whose products had ended up in my lipstick, or laundry powder.

I tried to limit myself to traceable animal products, buying from independent retailers and directly from the producer where possible, in the hope that I could justify eating meat and eggs by acknowledging that the animals had been well cared for in life. Generally speaking, this is referred to as "high welfare" meat, eggs and dairy.

When I fell pregnant with Quinn, my dairy free lifestyle pretty much went out of the window, and I started consuming massive amounts of dairy; pints of milk, cheese, chocolate - and oddly, it no longer caused my skin to breakout, which only made me enjoy dairy in even greater quantities. I basically ignored my niggling conscience, despite knowing that the dairy industry was one of the most cruel in terms of farming methods, and turned a blind eye to the blatant suffering that went in to pretty much everything I ate and drank.

Anyway, this isn't a preachy post. Once Quinn made her entrance in to the world, I no longer felt a longing for milk, and my consumption of dairy had gradually begun to dwindle again. I did however begin to struggle with a few pesky health complaints, nothing really bad, slow digestion more than anything and headaches.

I've now decided to look more closely at the ethics behind my food as well as the possible sources of my health issues. I wanted to try cutting out meat to see if it would alleviate digestive issues (meat takes a lot longer to digest than plant based foods and tends to sit in the gut for a long time, leading to discomfort). In looking in to this more, I had to make more of an effort to consider the meat industry, and whether high welfare meat really was a positive choice. I still consider looking after an animal and then killing it, to be bizarrely preferential to abusing an animal and then killing it, but either way, there's still killing involved, which I no longer want to be a part of.

I've decided to adopt a completely vegan lifestyle. I've spent the last year really at something of an internal war between the convenience of being an omnivore (the entire world we live in is tailored to support an omnivorous lifestyle) and the moral attitudes of a vegan.

Continuing to eat and use animal products has felt like a betrayal for a long time, but more so in recent times as I've read more and more vegan literature.

Going forward the blog will only include vegan products, which won't change what you can expect in terms of content, it simply means that anything that I review will be as cruelty free as possible and practical - which can't be a bad thing. Posts about my day to day life with the children will reflect the fact that we'll no longer live in such a way which could lead us to be considered responsible for, or complicit to, violence towards or the exploitation of, any living being (including humans). That doesn't mean however that I've suddenly thrown my children into veganism!

It's a pretty simple code to live by, and I'm looking forward to growing in this direction and sharing a lot of that with readers old and new.

Previous posts that may be of interest:
The Vegan Dilemma (Nov 5th 2014) in which I realise that I'm a spiritual vegan and a physical omnivore.
The Vegan Dilemma - An Update (Nov 25th 2014) in which I decide to give up dairy, eggs, non vegan cosmetics, and crap meat, but still don't really know what to do.
10 Facts About Dairy That Aren't On The Label (Dec 7th 2014) in which I realise how much I really shouldn't be drinking milk.

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