The Vegan Post

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Above: Simone's MCR

With Veganuary now approaching the end I wanted to share some of great day to day experiences, food and products I use. Along with general help and suggestions for anyone looking to continue on from their 31 days of living cruelty free. I completely understand that everyone who has ever tried the Vegan lifestyle starts their journey in a different way, so I am just going to be writing these posts considering what I would have wanted to know 21 months ago when I decided to "see how long I could go without cheese before having a breakdown."

One factor that helped me an immense amount is that I initially went Vegan with a significant other. Not going it alone is great, you can support each other whilst shopping and cooking together... or on the other hand if you're competitive like me you just don't want to be the one who breaks first. In all seriousness having someone in the same boat as you does make it easier and I was extremely lucky, however if you are flying solo right now fear not - you'll have plenty of time to meet other Vegans(if that is something you are interested in doing.)

Left to Right: Tampopo / Zizzi / V-Revs / Teatime Collective / Bakchich / Yo! Sushi

So when the question of "Why?" decides to show its face(usually at the dinner table) the answer is simple: animals. I simply love animals too much to want to harm them in any way or to allow someone else to do it for me. Along the way I have discovered so many other benefits for the environment to my health, but animals will always be my turning point. No matter how many times I hear "But what about cheese?" I definitely will not suddenly think it is worth the suffering and pain caused by the dairy and meat industry. Animals are simply not ours to use.

From a very young age I struggled to not see the animal placed down in front of me during a meal. Whilst I understand thinking about "food" in a different way isn't always the easiest task to begin with, people enjoy the taste of meat/dairy and it doesn't exactly look like your pet dog when it's on your plate - out of sight, out of mind. But when you really consider what you are actually eating, where it came from and what it took to get there, it does become pretty difficult to ignore.

Another major help is that there is literally alternatives for everything(everything!) Whatever you are missing or begin to crave you will definitely be able to source. Alternatives are not for everyone, and you will no doubt have to trial and test various brands before you find your go to fake "cheese" or "sausages", but I really think that it is a small price to pay. Your casual grocery shop may become abit more hectic, with only certain stores stocking certain products and checking the labels of absolutely everything(I am first to admit I initially found this a complete nightmare) but you eventually do get the hang of it. And with supermarkets like Sainsburys now stocking their own Vegan "cheese" and large brands like Quorn producing more and more Vegan friendly products it definitely has become alot easier. 

When eating out the best thing to usually do is ask a member of staff for options to meet your dietary requirements, so far I have only had good experiences with extremely helpful people. If this is something you are not comfortable with right away that's fine! The majority of restaurants will have menu's online or you can always ring ahead if it is not a spontaneous trip out. I have listed a few of my favourite places in order to try and show not only a range of cuisines but a mixture from both independent(Manchester based) and chains.
Left to Right: Grano MCR / Zizzi / V-Revs / Teatime Collective / The Pasta Factory / Fig + Sparrow

I hope this post is of some help to anyone currently going through the struggle. Remember that everyone slips up, you just have to move on and continue. There has been times when someone has accidentally put the wrong milk in my coffee or I have missed an ingredient listed, you just have to keep trying. And whilst this post is mainly based around food I do hope to post more including Vegan fashion, cosmetics and household products. So take the plunge! Swap to a plant based milk or take part in a "Meat free Monday" - it really isn't that difficult. 

Bundles of Love,
HE x

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Hannah Elizabeth

Hannah Elizabeth

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22 year old stylist and student studying at Manchester School of Art. Keen knitter, vegan and cat lady. Collector of knick-knacks and lover of all things kitsch.

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