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A recap on Veganuary and some general pondering




I didn't publicise it particularly heavily but during January I attempted the veganuary project - where you go vegan for the first 31 days of the year.

As some of you may know I've been flip flopping with veganism since mid-2012 after having been vegetarian since 2011. I have successfully went vegan in my home life and all my home cooked meals are vegan and have been for about half a year now. A drawback was created when nearer the end of 2012 I decided to stop ignoring the bloated feeling in my stomach after eating certain foods and admit I have a soya intolerance; making all my meals almost 'raw' as they became mainly made up of pasta and vegetables.

But when attempting veganuary the same issue cropped up that always has: being vegan outside of my flat and in the real world. I usually do make myself packed lunch for work but on some weeknights I genuinely didn't have the energy to create something and became stuck with whatever looked vegan in Tesco's. And picking something wasn't always easy - they sell the Innocent curry pots and they have one vegan wrap from what I could tell. And then eating out at restaurants, which I do a lot, I found myself resisting the urge to become the kind of customer I despised during my own waitressing days (which led to me guessing what looked vegan instead of asking for adjustments).

This past month I did find myself pondering vegetarianism and veganism in general. Whilst Glasgow has been rated 'the best city in the UK for veganism', when I first started toying with veganism in my final few months of living in Dundee I did find myself wearing my vegan badge with a bit more pride. Back in Dundee I had a veggie crew, who I could really discuss things with, rally together to complain about the same fryer in the union being used for both meat and non-meat foods, and even began the building blocks of a veggie society. We did however not have much in common outside of our plant based diets so after university ended it was expected that we would go our separate ways (which we did). And now I don't really have people I can bond with over these interests outside of my digital life.

I sometimes do think that if I had continued to live in Dundee I could have easily made the final switch to veganism. However the jobs for my niche are on the west coast and Glasgow has a lot of to offer someone who yearns for a plant-based diet. All my close friends are meat-eaters and, don't get me wrong, I love them to bits and some of them are exceptionally respectful of my lifestyle choice. But it isn't the same as having a natter with a group of similar minded people where you don't feel like token minority.

The day could come when restaurants provide a vegan meal as standard like most of them do now with vegetarian options. We can see the tide turning with supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury's introducing vegan labelling (though it's still recommended that we read the ingredients list anyway) and Alpro no longer being restricted to Holland & Barratt, the latter helped by the food allergy community who's voice has also gotten stronger in the past few years.

But in order for this to progress, those of us contemplating veganism need to be strong and stick to our guns to move our lifestyle into the mainstream. Veganism and feminism regularly get linked together and it does embarrass me to say I didn't feel comfortable publicly calling myself a feminist until others had pushed it through into the mainstream. Let's make a promise in this blog post that I won't be someone who waits until it gets pushed through, but be someone who helps push it through.

And that concludes my most rambly blog post to date, haha.

Morag x
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  1. Hey Morag,

    This is a really interesting post and one I agree with wholeheartedly. I find it very easy being vegan (I'm also allergic to soya and gluten so avoid those) but I live in an area of North London where there a huge amount of ethnic and health food shops as well as a lot of vegan or at least veggie restaurants who don't mind doing vegan options. I can get soya milk, almond milk and rice milk in my local newsagents rather than having to go to Holland and Barratts but back at my hometown it's not so easy. When I first went vegan it was very difficult and it is always harder when I'm back at home. Since blogging about my choices and diet I've heard from 3 others who were convinced enough to try it and I feel like every couple of months another veggie friend makes the switch to vegan and it's really gratifying to see that happening and it's kind of like we're all in this together and can draw encouragement from other vegans. I guess what I'm saying is good for you for attempting it and I hope you can continue - although it sounds like you're in a difficult place if none of your friends are vegan and it's hard to access food so I totally feel for you! All the best XX

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