Veganism. What does it mean? To some of you it might be a completely new word and it’s certainly a word I have only become familiar with in recent years. A vegan diet is one that contains no animal products. That means no meat, no milk, no cheese, no eggs ... sounds terrible, right?
Not necessarily. I myself became interested in the vegan lifestyle a couple of months ago as I was surfing videos on YouTube and came across a woman who called herself Freelee the banana girl on the site. This woman was a vegan. Her diet was a little more special than that, however. She claimed to regularly eat around fifty bananas a day in order to stay healthy and promoted a largely fruit-based diet. Fifty bananas! I quickly realised that this was not the diet for me. What she was saying about veganism did, however, pique my interest and I went on to watch many more of these vegan videos and eventually made the switch to veganism about six months ago.
So what do I eat? My diet at the moment is split roughly equally between fruit and grains such as rice, pasta and potatoes as these are the two main sources of fuel for vegans. In a typical day I start off with a fruit smoothie made of bananas, mixed berries and orange juice. For lunch I typically have potato fries with a sweet chilli sauce which is honestly delicious and for dinner I normally have rice or pasta with a tomato sauce and some vegetables. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? I even make tasty vegan puddings. One of my favourites is coconut cream mixed with cacao powder and sugar. Truly sublime!
While veganism is often associated with deprivation, that is certainly not the case. I have discovered a tonne of yummy vegan products, which one might never consider as vegan, and certainly not associate with deprivation, such as breads, falafel and even Oreo biscuits (thank heaven!).
Now I’ve shown that veganism does not have to equal deprivation, then, in what ways is it actually beneficial? I personally found that eating this way has given me much more energy and a much more positive outlook on life. Other, more long-term vegans have had even more astonishing results. The account of another vegan YouTube blogger, FullyRawKristina’s encounter with a black widow spider is one of the most striking. Kristina, bitten by the deadly spider, was not given the medicines required to have any chance of surviving the bite, yet made a full and speedy recovery. This is something that she attributes to the magic power of a vegan lifestyle.
So, I hope I have given you a small introduction to veganism for those who may not have encountered it before. I hope that this article has perhaps piqued your interest, as YouTube videos did mine, and you might be encouraged to have a look deeper into the topic, even if you decide it isn’t the lifestyle for you.
What do you think of veganism? Would you like to learn more about it? Why do you think it’s becoming more and more popular in places like the UK?