I don’t remember the exact date that we decided to transition into a Vegan family – what I do remember is that all it took was one vivid dream in the early months of 2016. The exact details of this dream are kinda hazy in my mind now, but the feeling I woke up with has never left me and I’m sure it will stay with me for some time to come.
The dream took me & my daughter (then 3yo) to some kind of field / farmland – it could have been any farm, but it seemed very open with animals roaming free. Perhaps it was somewhere in the New Forest as my partner is always telling me – to my amazement – that Wild Pigs can sometimes be found there wandering with the Cows, Horses & Donkeys. Anyway, in the dream my little girl had very quickly developed a deep bond with one of the Pigs during the time we were there. The dream moved forward rapidly and suddenly the Pig was being auctioned off and dragged away, presumably destined for slaughter. The tears of my daughter, albeit a figment of my imagination, tore right through me as she screamed at me looking for answers, slowly realising what was happening to the Pig.
And that was it.
I woke up quite distressed that morning but somewhat relieved it was only a dream, calmed by the realisation she didn’t actually have to go through that. This is when it struck me – something clicked in my mind – if I can’t tell my child the truth about what was going to happen to the Pig and if the truth upset her so much that it also affected me, that’s surely a pretty good indication that the whole practice is not right, right?!
Okay, so it wasn’t as random as it sounds and ‘Vegan seeds’ had been planted in my mind over the previous months which I guess helped lead up to this dream. We had already decided to go Dairy Free after gaining an insight into the effects it can have on the body after researching potential causes of my daughter’s stomach pains that only seemed to occur after she had been to nursery (and had been given a carton of Cow’s milk!). From this, we learned how calves were taken from their mothers at birth so that human’s could drink their milk. We learned that milk wasn’t really just milk, it was pumped full of hormones & pus. We learned that truthfully, Humans were not built to drink the milk of another animal and it certainly was not something that our diet requires.
So the first step of our Vegan journey was to remove all other animal products from our diet to go with the dairy which we had already ditched. We weren’t huge meat eaters anyway so this wasn’t so difficult. Considering we’d already managed to get over cheese (read up on casomorphins to understand the difficulty of cutting out cheese!) this was honestly a small step in comparison.
Once we had fully transitioned onto a Vegan diet we thought GREAT we’ve done it! We were eating better, it felt like we were spending less money as we were choosing fruits & veggies over nuggets & chips (honestly, the main reason was because they were hard to find in our area) and we could do this all guilt free. Time passed by for a while when we began to notice how common animal products were in everyday life – not just our food products! This was something that we of course wanted to avoid now but quite honestly it was a lot to take in and we did wonder how we would find replacements for everything..
Now, something I’ve never understood about us vegans is the tendency to judge other vegans/would-be vegans on ‘how vegan’ they actually are.. I strongly believe we should be supporting each other regardless of diet & lifestyle even if that includes meat-or-dairy-consumers – you never know what stage of transition they may be in and a negative comment from a Vegan could be the thing that puts them off changing.
Let’s go back to when you first decided to make the change – did you immediately throw out all known animal products you owned (e.g. Leather, Wool etc)? Probably not! It has taken my family & I about a year and a half to fully transition into a 100% Vegan ‘lifestyle’ to compliment the diet, meaning we no longer knowingly purchased animal products of any kind. In most cases it would be far more wasteful to dispose of a product you purchased pre-vegan (e.g. leather belt) than to continue using it.
We became more aware of the different terms used in the industry and the types of products they were used in and this is how we started to live, in order to avoid contributing to suffering beyond that of the animals ending up on people’s plates. As the time passed this became much easier and just what we naturally did.
Where Are We Now?
If you’re still reading this far down firstly, thank you! I’m humbled. By now you’ll have learned how my family’s Vegan journey has evolved from a simple dream to change our diet and now into a fully fledged Vegan lifestyle. Our views on many aspects of life have changed dramatically and we are certainly more open minded and feel completely free physically, but equally free emotionally.
We are now looking at ways we can actively contribute to the rise in Veganism by spreading good vibes & education. We are not preachers but we love to debate and educate with those who are interested in talking to us. It’s 2018 as I write this and I will continue to update as we evolve and explore new paths.
Thanks for reading ☺
Go Vegan – For the animals, for the planet & FOR YOU!