“Vegan is not about being perfect. It is about doing the least harm and the most good possible” – Anonymous.
House of Herbivores
How it all began……..
Three years ago we were a family of meat eaters……oblivious to the alternatives, whether that was by choice or through societal conditioning who knows? My parents ate meat, Matt’s parents ate meat, I didn’t know any vegans and only a handful of vegetarians but all I do know is that we were meat eaters, every meal would involve meat…….end of story! I was also four stone heavier and chronically ill, pumping myself full of steroids amongst other medications to try and get well again. My face was sore and swollen, I felt depressed and so poorly. Something had to change.
In 2015 after a terrible flare of Ulcerative Colitis I was forced to reconsider my relationship with food in the hope it could help me on the road to recovery. Matt after hours online looking for ideas for ways to to help me discovered a strong link between eating a plant based diet and a reduction in symptoms of IBD and sufferers being able to maintain remission longer when eating a healthy, plant based diet. I had nothing to lose so embarked upon this lifestyle change with a feeling of dread in total honesty, I felt I was giving up so much of what I loved (namely cheese) and was having to replace it with boring, bland food. After a little while of sticking to the ‘diet’ then falling off the wagon at weekend only to start again on Monday I realised I needed to change my attitude and delve deeper into the world of veganism if I stood a chance of it benefitting my health.
Good god am I glad I did! The more recipes I studied, adapted and fell in love with the better I felt and I began to love my new lifestyle. I started to learn about animal agriculture, welfare and ultimately the horrendous, unnecessary suffering animals endure and quickly came to realise I wanted absolutely no part in that whatsoever for the rest of my life. I had gone from a part time plant based person in it for myself to an ethical vegan who will no longer buy any product that has been derived from or tested on an animal in any way.
I lost four stone, my skin returned to normal after being on steroids for so long and I managed to reduce my medication to just one injection per fortnight from taking 30+ pills each day at one point. My medications have had to be changed over the last few years but that’s another story for another day, at the moment I just take probiotics and a B12 spray but ultimately with the progression of my Ulcerative Colitis that may not be enough to keep me well long term.
This new found wellness and love of all things vegan was all well and good but I was the proud mum to two mini carnivores and wife to Matthew who at 6ft 6 was very dubious about how he could possibly feel full and not drop weight if he were to make the switch too. Oh and of course lets not forget the numerous times I was told it’s simply not healthy to deprive the children of their much needed dairy sources of calcium and protein rich meat.
I had done my research, I knew that vegan nutrient rich food sources were far preferable for my children’s tums and I made the decision that I would no longer buy or cook anything that isn’t vegan for anybody else. The timing of this was pretty perfect as Beau had been learning about Lent at school and had decided to try switching to a vegan diet for Lent and Skye soon picked up on this and not one to be left out wanted to join in too. Luckily Matt has always just eaten what I put in front of him so as long as he feels full and doesn’t drop too much weight he’s happy. Lent came and went and the children decided to stick to it for good as they had loved being mini vegans so much they said they never wanted to stop. They said they felt healthier, stronger and had more energy and also said they loved not hurting animals anymore so felt kinder. What’s not to love about all of that?
So how did I make it appealing for two carnivorous youngsters (and let’s face it kids are set in their ways and creatures of habit at best or awkward little sods at worst) to make the switch?
Take a peek at my article – House of Herbivores Top Ten Tips for Switching Children to a Vegan Diet to find out how I went about transitioning Beau and Skye to a vegan way of life to find out.
You can follow me Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @houseofherbivores or join my private group House of Herbivores on Facebook to keep up to date with any child friendly activities that are going on in and around the UK.
Thanks for reading! Best of luck with your vegan journey, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.