As you may or may not know, November is World Vegan Month. Since becoming vegetarian I've considered the idea of going vegan. One of my main reasons for going veggie was because I disagree with the way animals are treated before they're killed for meat. I don't think it's wrong to eat meat, I just think that meat deserves to have had a happy and healthy life beforehand. The same goes for dairy cows, for example. I don't really think it's wrong to drink their milk, but I think that us drinking their milk shouldn't impact on their lives, which it clearly does in this day and age with the huge demand for milk, cheese etc.
This is where The Great Vegan Challenge comes in. For the month of November, I have signed up to go vegan. It's meant to be a 30 day challenge, but seeing as James and I are going to stay at his parents this weekend I've decided to postpone my start until we get back, as I don't want to turn up at his mum's and suddenly say 'Oh by the way, I can't eat any dairy or eggs, etc.' so this will be more of a 28 day challenge for me.
I signed up in early October, which meant they sent me a great information pack with plenty of tips and recipes I can use. One of their tips was to buy lots of the things you'll need beforehand. Seeing as I use almond milk instead of cow's milk anyway I'm already stocked up there. I've already got dairy free margarine in my fridge, and today I picked up some soya chocolate yoghurts. Seeing as I'm veggie I've got a plentiful supply of Linda McCartney sausages. I think I'm good to go for now!
Another of their tips, which is to take a trip to my local healthfood shop, is definitely first on my to-do list when I return from James' parents. There's a great shop right in the City centre, so I'm going to pop in and pick up some bits and pieces so I can make myself some nice vegan treats. The one thing I am worried I'll really miss is cheese, so I'm thinking of picking up some nutritional yeast as I've heard it's great to sprinkle on food to give you a cheese-y taste, and apparently you can make a nice 'cheese' sauce from it too.
I'm most worried about what I'm going to eat at work. We get a free lunch/dinner when we're on shift, and I like to take advantage of that seeing as it saves me money. There are some vegan options, we have houmous and roast veg readily available as well as salad leaves so I can have salad. It does get a bit boring and same-y though. We also have veg crisps and a vegan cupcake, so I should be ok. I might bring in rice cakes to have with the homous and veg to change things up occasionally as I don't like to have bread very often.
With any luck by the end of November I'll be loving being vegan and won't be able to imagine eating dairy ever again, just like I can't imagine eating meat again. But obviously my sanity comes first and if I'm miserable I'm not going to carry on with it. I'll definitely always try to keep my dairy, egg, etc. intake to a minimum where I can. I also don't want people to worry about what to cook me if I come round for dinner, so even if I stay vegan I won't refuse a meal from anyone cooking for me if it has cheese or whatever in it.
I'm going to write updates throughout the challenge, and post any good recipes I find. If anyone has any good tips or easy recipes for me, let me know. Or if you're doing the challenge too, drop me a message and we can keep each other motivated when we want to reach for the cheese!