Over the last 8 years I have lived in many places around the world including my hometown of Vancouver, Queenstown New Zealand, and Astoria, NYC. Since moving to London in January 2016, I have completely fallen in love with the city and the endless travel options that living in Europe brings. I currently live in East London with my partner and our rescue pup Remy aka Remus aka Remmingway… you get it, I love him.
I am vegan for the animals and the environment, so I have no problems with having a drink and indulging in all the vegan treats, while trying to maintain a generally healthy lifestyle.
My intentions for this blog are to explore London from a vegan perspective and share my finds. I will be covering hobbies and interests of mine such as cruelty free beauty, running, yoga, travel, reading and writing, using my experiences to be a resource for new (or new to London) vegans and the veg-curious alike.
My Vegan Story
My vegan story begins back in January 2015. I had recently moved from Vancouver, Canada to New York City, where I was taking a year off from working to volunteer at a variety of places. I say “taking a year off” in reality, I couldn’t get myself a work permit, and decided to move anyway when my partner got transferred for work.
While living in Canada I had been vegetarian for the previous 2 years, eating cheese with almost every meal and eggs at least 3 days a week. It never occurred to me that I would have the same feelings about dairy and egg farming that I had towards the meat industry. Animals aren’t harmed in the process of milking and collecting eggs right?! Especially not in Canada..
I had seen footage of factory farms but assumed these places only exisited in the US. So when I moved to NY, one of my first tasks was to look up brands of cheese and eggs that I could feel comfortable knowing that the cows and chickens were organically fed and given a nice life. This search changed my life. I quickly found brands that were promoting themselves as “organic” and “free range” made little to no difference from an ethical standpoint. For about a week, much of my spare time was used franticly searching for more information about farming and what is considered standard practices. I soon realized that there was no such thing as a farm that treated animals as anything more than a way to make money. This feeling overwhelmed me and I dove into the world of documentaries. The final straw for me was watching one of Gary Yourofsky’s speeches followed by Earthlings. My partner got home from work that day and I told him, “I think I’m vegan now.” Back then I would have considered myself a cheese lover, my favourite food was brie, but after having my eyes opened to the reality of the situation, I couldn’t even finish the dairy products that were in the fridge. It was tough at first making things work with my pescatarian partner as he had not seen what I had seen and was a bit shocked with the dramatic change in my fundamental beliefs, but he respected my choice to no longer buy or cook dairy and eggs and he happily ate vegan food with me at home.
As months went by, my vegan views overwhelmed me. I felt isolated socially. Whenever the topic was brought up by friends, my emotions took over and I couldn’t verbalize my thoughts on the matter properly, often leading to heated conversation, which as someone who avoids confrontation, was incredibly stressful. About 9 months after I went vegan, I told my partner about a documentary I had seen which was about the impact of animal agriculture on the environment, and suggested we watch it together. Knowing that he thought very consciously about the environmental impact of his life, I had high hopes. Lucky for me Cowspiracy did exactly what I was hoping it might and he immediately told me he was going to try veganism for a month. About 3 weeks in, he made me the happiest lady in the whole world and told me he was a real live vegan now. That played a huge part for me in becoming more comfortable conversing about veganism in a more rational way, as I now had someone who I could share my feelings with, without judgement and now shared my life with someone who had my back and shared (most) of my beliefs.
About a year ago we moved to London and at first I was scared to leave my bubble, and thought veganism may be more difficult in the UK, but thankfully it has been the opposite. London especially has so many incredible vegan restaurants and in general it seems like a much more socially acceptable way of life.
As far as the benefits of being vegan go, I would love to say I have lost 30 pounds, and now have flawless skin but alas that is not the case. I did loose some weight, maybe 10lbs overall without trying, which is the first time that has ever happened for me, and I do find it much easier to maintain my weight, even if it is still a few lbs more than I would like. I no longer have to count calories which is a huge relief to my already anxious brain. I now focus more on getting enough nutrients, helping fight off the bombardment of cold an flu germs I take on daily, working with children. Though the most impactful change veganism has had on my life is a sense of purpose. I had never cared so deeply about something before and always felt my life was a little bit aimless, I was having fun, but I didn’t have anything I was excited about to pursue. I had always loved reading and writing and kept a journal since I was a child but was very nervous about showing my writing to anyone. This new sense of purpose as well as supportive friends and family, built my confidence enough that in January of this year I started my own blog about veganism. This outlet has helped improve my writing and has made me feel that I am contributing positively towards helping veganism become accessible and normalized. Having a blog and putting myself out there on social media has also helped me become part of a supportive community that was much needed in my life.
Thanks for reading my story 🙂 I’m sure some of you can relate to it or is your story totally different? Let me know! I love hearing how people from all over the world have come together in sharing the vegan way of life.