It’s not far off one year since I went from vegetarian to vegan (read my post from a year ago here) and I’ve stuck at it !! After 27 years as a veggie, I took a month long vegan pledge in March 2012 with the help of Exeter Friends for Animals (EFFA). The annual pledge month is coming up again in March so let me know if you’re interested in trying it by adding a comment at the end or simply click on the image below to go directly to the EFFA page.
So why did I make the change to veganism? Well – day old male chicks being dropped live into mincing machines and unwanted male calves being shot shortly after birth so I can eat eggs and drink milk was a fairly big factor. I’ve done what I can as a veggie for almost three decades but I couldn’t escape the deeper consequences of the ovo lacto vegetarian foods I was eating any longer really. Almost a year on – my conscience is a lot lighter although I’m still wrangling with things like wearing wool and eating honey.
One of my reasons for trying a healthier vegan lifestyle was to lose weight and I have lost just over a stone so far which I’m really pleased with. One not so good consequence is having low Ferritin levels – although this could have been the case for years as a veggie, it’s only this year they were checked as part of a blood test after I had a virus. The amount of ferritin stored reflects the amount of iron stored and although I’m not anaemic, I am watching my iron levels a bit more closely and trying to eat more iron rich foods. I’m also taking a multi vitamin with iron.
After an adjustment period at the beginning, trying to find the nicest milk alternative and trying vegan cheeses etc I do find that my diet fits in pretty well with the rest of the vegetarian family meals. The trickiest part is eating out as most places can manage a veggie meal but find vegans rather challenging. It is always worth asking though as I did have the most amazing salad made for me at Toast recently when I told them I’d like lunch but there was nothing vegan on their menu. This didn’t work so well with Otter Nurseries who have an enormous menu but couldn’t offer anything more than chips for a vegan! They’ve assured me there will be options next time I go for lunch but I’m not sure I want to risk it. I tend to stick to places I know do vegan food (and soya milk hot drinks) now like Boston Tea Party (Honiton & Exeter), Toast in Honiton, Honiton Wine Bar (lovely hummous & bread), Herbies and The Plant Cafe in Exeter. I also tried Pea Green Boat in Sidmouth. So…..don’t forget to get in touch if you fancy giving the vegan pledge month a try & if you don’t live near Exeter, you can do it via the PETA website – see http://action.peta.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=5&ea.campaign.id=14806