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Wednesday, 20 January 2016

LIFESTYLE | Why I'm doing Veganuary 2016

You might be wondering why I'm doing Veganuary. I'm the least likely person ever to give up meat and, as selfish as it sounds, I've never really given much thought to why people go Vegan or what happens to animals to make meat. The thought of animals getting killed for meat made me sad, but I was just ignorant to it.

I'm fast approaching my third week of being Vegan so I thought it might be a good time to reflect on why I'm doing this.

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Admittedly, for the most part, it's to feel better in myself. It's a new year, so time for a new start, and I'd been making some conscious decisions even in the run up to Christmas to be more healthy. I hadn't done anything quite as dramatic as giving up meat, but I'd been making healthy lunches for work a lot more (ironically I think now that I'm Vegan my lunches are less healthy then they were, because I often find myself reverting back to cheese and onion sandwiches, sometimes with a packet of crisps. Before, I definitely had more salad based lunches), and trying to incorporate more exercise into my life.

I think this was a change I was personally ready for. I don't think I could have gone from completely unhealthy, without these prior changes, straight into being vegan. It would have been too much of a big change for me and my heart simply wouldn't have been in it.

Since I'd already been feeling fairly good in myself for taking more healthy options, this helped me tradition to something a bit more dramatic.

After losing my mum also, it's made me realize just how important it is to look after yourself. Although the cancer had spread by the time she had passed, and although there's no way to tell really if it was that first form of cancer that had led to what happened, the day I discovered my mum had bowel cancer petrified me. 

So I've tried my best to look after myself and with the world filled with so many misdiagnoses of IBS and so many more young people (very bravely) baring their Colostomy bag, it does hit home. It makes me realize that these kind of issues are a lot more common then I already thought and that looking after my diet and my body is more important than ever.

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And for the less selfish reasons...

ANIMALS
Being vegan means giving up meat, obviously. Although I'm just one person, by choosing not to eat meat, I'm still making a small difference by not eating meat or dairy that has come from a tortured animal.

"Two of the worst culprits are the dairy and egg industries. Research tells us that chickens probably suffer the most miserable existence of all factory farmed animals. Yet their eggs are consumed on an overwhelming scale. Dairy cows have their calves removed from them only hours after giving birth, after being forcibly impregnated to ensure they produce milk. Like any mother, they grieve. So too do their young." [Veganuary]

ENVIRONMENT
By going vegan, I'm reducing GHG emissions, saving water, protecting nature, reducing pollution, saving energy AND saving wildlife. I'm saving water, for example, by choosing food that needs less water to be made. Animals need water to drink and wash, to clean their living spaces and to cool them during hot periods. A beef steak uses 4650 litres of water, whereas an apple uses simply 70. That's a huge difference.

These are just two big examples of how much difference I'm making by giving up meat, if even just for a month, and I have to admit, that feels good.

Choosing to go vegan could have already saved 4650 litres of water and help an animal avoid getting killed for food.

That's kind of good to know!

So this is just an example or two of some of the reasons for me taking up this challenge and I'm pretty sure it's one of the best choices I've ever made.

Keep your eyes peeled for tomorrow's post summing up my third week!


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*This exciting challenge is in collaboration with Veganuary 2016 at Veganuary.com

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