Friday, 27 January 2017

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan.

2017 marks 10 years since I went vegan.  It's my veganiversary! 

In February 2007 I was 22 and I went to live in Spain with my friend for a while.  She's vegan, so I ate the same food as her, found it was easy and yummy (despite the lack of convenient vegan alternatives in Valencia 10 years ago!) and cutting out dairy and eggs cleared up some health issues I was having (twice weekly migraines, tummy troubles and rashes).  Veganism was something I'd tried before but failed when I discovered soya made me super itchy and poorly, it was so good to go vegan with the support of my friend.  I'd been veggie since I was 12 and I knew veganism was the next step in helping myself, the environment and animals.  I'm so glad I took that step.

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

I thought I'd treat you all to some photos of me eating vegan food for the last 10 years too!

IT IS SO MUCH EASIER TO BE VEGAN NOW!
You guys, we have everything vegan now, ice cream, cheese, yoghurt, marshmallows, cheese and onion crisps, it's so good!  When I was a new vegan in Spain requests for vegan meals or products were met with a 'Que?' or more usually a 'Por que?', now there's vegan convenience food in the corner shop!  It's amazing!

You can actually eat meals in restaurants!
I no longer have to order a side salad and chips, or baked potato with beans when I'm out.  Lots of my favourite places have special vegan menus, I love Las Iguanas, Novello Lounge, Pizza Express, and even Wetherspoons, they all have special separate vegan menus with lots of nice choices.  There are also loads more completely vegan or vegetarian cafes and eating places - yey!

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

You can avoid being or interacting with the 'vegan police'.
I try to be pretty chill with my veganism nowadays.  I'm sure in my animal rights demo days I was a bit pushy with my beliefs, and I've definitely been on the receiving end of shouty vegans which isn't pleasant (once when I was 'just' vegetarian a guy giving me a lift to a demo said I shouldn't even be there because my doc martens were leather, I was about 18 and mortified!).  It's easier to be nice and just live in the way you think is right, plenty of people will be curious and ask you about your lifestyle without you ramming it down their throats.

Vegan cheese!
I definitely appreciate vegan cheese.  I remember when Cheezly was the only choice, and that stuff makes me shudder!  Now I'm Violife for life.

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

I don't wear my vegan jumper any more.
It still fits, I wear it to do the gardening, but it seems a bit to much to wander round in public proclaiming what I eat in such big lettering.  I have some awesome, slightly more discreet, vegan pin badges though!

Social media is a vegan's best friend.
As soon as a new, exciting vegan product hits the shelves you can guarantee a vegan somewhere will be Instagramming and Twittering it.  The vegan network is strong.

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

Vegan magazines are awesome.
Veganism can't be that much of a weird thing any more if you can wander into your local newsies and pick up a lovely, glossy vegan magazine full of recipes and articles.  I prefer Vegan Life Magazine for my monthly dose of vegan inspiration.  

Being vegan makes you a better cook.
It's true!  I cook so much more and have to cleverly substitute vegan ingredients.  In the last few years there's been loads of vegan cookbooks out too, with lots of lovely vegan recipes. 

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

Vegan street food is a thing now.
And that's totally fine by me!  We go to an event in Digbeth quite regularly with street food trucks, and every single truck has a vegan option.  So good!

It's possible to marry a non-vegan!
Yes, if I'd have told teenage me I'd marry a meat eater I might not have believed it, but I have married a man who eats meat, and we don't even argue about it.  We don't cook meat in the house, anything he eats out of the house I don't comment on, and he cooks me yummy vegan meals and looks up if there's vegan options on the menu before we go out.  I think he's a keeper.

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

Things I've learned and things I appreciate after 10 years of being vegan. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukveganblogger #vegan #veganblogger

Most importantly, being vegan helps the environment and animals.
Climate change isn't getting any better and animals aren't being treated any nicer.  Not eating animals is one of the best and easiest ways to help the environment and ease suffering, and that's why I've been doing it for so long!

Finally, here are some of my bestest vegan food blog posts, 

Vegan Thai spiced noodle recipe.

Graze box - for vegans.

3 ways to eat vegan yoghurt. 

Vegan buckwheat flour and coconut milk pancakes. 

What do vegans eat in Birmingham? 

What do vegans eat in Rio de Janeiro?

3 easy vegan potato recipes.

DIY vegan cheese and onion crisps.

Make your own vegan cheese, from nutritional yeast and pine nuts. 

Vegan leek, lentil and potato bake. 

Disclosure - I get a digital subscription to Vegan Life Magazine in return for giving them a shout out every month.  I only work with brands I like and all opinions and ideas are my own.  Vegan Life Mag is ace, you can subscribe here.


10 comments:

  1. Susie, I love this blog post and you know I am not vegan but vegetarian. I love your honesty and you blog post is so refreshing. I really dislike those so-called vegans who have been vegan only a month, wearing the Vegan Tshirt and spouting its virtues when they are still eating welshcakes made with butter and milk chocolate. I know more about veganism than she does. There is another vegan colleague like you a lot more humbler and honest, without acting high all mighty. I consider myself on the path to veganism, i am sort of veganish - 95% , but i still would never dare call myself vegan and don't know if I will ever wear that label. But I am proud of you and your discipline, its more than a lifestyle - its a choice. Your are right on everything , I think Veganism is what Vegetarianism was a few years ago and there are plenty of choices now when you go out - vegetarian or vegan, even in the town where i work when now in the last 3 years every place offers a vegan option, whether you like it or not is a different matter, but its a option that never existed before. My husband has given up meat because I make yummy veg based food, but he does eat seafood and fish, but never at home - only if we eat out, even then its not that often.

    I will end by saying , adore all the photographs - but the first with your flowy hair and the colours is captivating. thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Shaheen for such lovely words :)

      Vegan/vegetarian/something else, are all just labels, there are so many different ways to eat and to make a difference, I think 95% vegan is a great achievement too! :D xxx

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  2. Happy Veganiversary! Well done to you for sticking to this!!!!

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  3. I didn't realise your partner was a carnivore - it's good to know other vegan/carnivore partnerships exist! We do the same thing - our house is totally meat-free, but when we eat out I mostly order what I like (although I tend to save the rare steaks for when he's not with me!).

    Since I met Thomas 4 1/2 years ago I can't believe how much easier it's become to find vegan food, both to eat at home and when eating out. We used to plan our trips for months, with many references to the Happy Cow app, and now we know that wherever we visit in the UK there'll at least be a Wetherspoons or a Pizza Express where he can get a decent meal.

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    1. Yey for vegan/carnivore couples! It's funny, but every vegan I'm friends with has a meat eating partner (only the vegans I'm friends with though, not the ones I know but avoid because they're too vegan!) so it just goes to show it can work! :)

      And I'd completely forgotten about the Happy Cow app, it's been so long since I've had to use it!

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  4. Aaaah, I loved this post. You are such a bright shining light to many! Happy anniversary. I remember when I found you on the 'interwebs' about 5 years ago. You made this amazing chocolate vegan cake. It was my go to recipe for so long. xxx Love your gentleness.

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    1. Aw thank you so much Carolyn :) I'm glad you see your new blog! It looks very shiny and lovely! xxx

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