My life has gotten better since I made the decision to stop consuming meat, eggs and dairy products. I had my eureka moment about nine years ago when I woke up to the fact that my choice to eat meat meant I was actually paying someone to end the life of another living being – a being who, in all likelihood, had spent his or her whole life scared or in pain. I think I must have known on some level the impact that acknowledging that connection would have on my life, which is probably why it took me so long to acknowledge it. Between you and me, I was a cheese addict. I wish I had known that going vegan doesn’t actually make you feel like you’re giving something up (which was what I was scared of) but actually makes you feel more like you’re gaining something – maybe a deeper respect for life or for oneself.
Life is so much more colourful now. Paradoxically, I’ve found that instead of restricting my options, going vegan opened me up to a whole new world of culinary experiences. For the first time, I actually had to think about what I was eating. I ventured down shopping aisles I would ordinarily have skipped right past, and I ended up discovering a world of new tastes and delights. I started learning to cook with ingredients I had never even heard of. Instead of staying a boring routine, dinnertime turned into an adventure that I genuinely felt enthusiastic about.
I now find food really exciting, and when I hear that same old broken-record comment “You’re a vegan?! What do you eat?!” I just laugh, because nine times out of 10, I’ll already be devising my next gastronomic masterpiece.