So as most of you know, I am(was?) vegan. Although admittedly not for very long, it’s sorta wrecked me about a little bit. This blog is entirely about my history being vegetarian/vegan. You could potentially find it very boring, in which case wait for the next blog. I’ll find puppies or something
Here’s a liiittle bit of backstory on me and being vegetarian/vegan. When I was younger, <16 years old, there was quite literally no food that would phase me. I had eaten meat off of most animals you can legally get on the market in Australia, adult or otherwise. I’d also eaten weird parts of animals, or at the very least, eaten a few weird parts of animals and just been convinced by my Russian grandparents that I was eating weirder parts of animals than I was…I remember a dish called demunkee, which they told me was monkey brains. In hindsight, I know it was just really ugly eggplant casserole but it excited me to eat that part of a cool animal.
Then I think it was the morning of or the morning after my 16th birthday I came downstairs to my parents and told them I wanted to be pescetarian (that is, eating no meat but still eating fish/shellfish), which, in hindsight, considering that I practically substituted every meat meal for a fish meal, I wasn’t helping at all :p I don’t really remember but my parents said that I said, and I quote, “I feel the animals pain, I feel their suffering when I eat them.” So this whole process lasted about a year and I got outrageously skinny during this time. It was during my newfound ethical diet that I began smoking and also drinking. And drinking far more than a 16 year old should legally be able to do, but not anywhere near as much as some do.
The point is I began an unhealthy lifestyle and combined with suddenly cutting out eating meat 7 times a week, I became very, very thin and my body went absolutely insane over it. Everywhere I’d go I’d be craving, craving, craving meat. Didn’t matter what meat or dish, what time of day, I was craving. Eventually, at somebody’s birthday shortly after I turned 17, I was really beginning to lose it. I’d made it a year yet my body was still pissed off over the whole ordeal. Anyways, we were at yum cha and my family was ordering a plethora of the most amazingly scented dishes, as far as I was concerned, on the entire planet, and somebody gingerly says, “Toby, have a pork bun.” I insist no, they insist yes, I’m weak, I lose, I eat the pork bun then go home and eat an entire meatlovers pizza. Rome wasn’t built in a day but I certainly knocked it down that quickly.
After that my diet was literally of no concern to me whatsoever for the next 3 years. Ethical food, unethical food, animal, plant, it really didn’t matter to me. Then the start of this year I went on a Netzer camp, which is strictly vegetarian (but with plenty of vegans about the place too). I’d been hanging around with a lot of leaders(being one myself) and loads of them were vegetarian and I remembered how I used to be sorta vegetarian and missed it. I did, I missed doing good for the world every day (even though too much fish..yeah whatever we’ll ignore that for now I didn’t know at the time) just by eating better. So I wanted to see how difficult being veg was on camp…and it wasn’t. 10 days passed and nothing bad happened, got home and another few days passed without eating at home(i.e. meat) and nothing bad happened. So I told my parents that I wanted to go vegetarian again. Dad: “Bullshit you are, not again. Not while you’re living here!” He got over it in about a day or two but it was a good giggle at the time.
So, 5 months down the track from this and I move to London. I’d always wanted to be as vegan friendly as possible but had no idea how to live without certain animal products, so I started cutting things out slowly..drinking soy milk instead of normal milk in my drinks, soy butter etc. The idea was to cut out one product every two weeks. Well, about 3 weeks into being here, I started doing a heavy amount more research on veganism and found myself one morning to be completely disgusted with the commoditisation of the animal industry, and how in most instances by buying eggs or milk you were in direct support of the meat industry and in almost every instance of abuse towards animals. I felt sick, I wanted to cry. I’m fairly sure I did actually. I went downstairs, looked my only one day old jar of nutella square in the eyes and said, “I’m sorry my friend.” That was it, vegan!
So that was roughly a month ago, when I weighed roughly 56kg. Which is quite a small amount but not devestatingly low, it could be worse. Thing was, it got worse. So I have this little issue of when I’m depressed or under stress I can’t eat. I physically can’t, my body just rejects everything. So, living in a new city literally halfway around the world, I was homesick for my friends and family, lovesick for a crush and I’m fairly sure physically sick from not taking supplements and assuming my B12 etc. would be fine. I lost a huge deal of energy and I now weigh just under 51kg. My BMI is 2 and a half points underneath what is considered healthy.
And so unfortunately ends my first attempt at veganism. The only products I’m having animal related are; I’m drinking milk, eating pastured/more ethically sourced free range eggs and whey protein (for gym to help gain weight.) And that’s only at home, whilst I’m out strictly vegan. I can’t do anything to help save the earth and animals I love so much if I’m sickly can I? No sirree, not at all.
So I’ll stick around for a bit longer, try and pick myself back up and just keep doing what little things I can to help my furry/feathery/scaley little friends ❤