Sitting in my beautiful kitchen in a small village in the countryside, it’s hard to believe that I’ve spent the most part of a year living on my own in Bournemouth. I decided that I would turn vegan on the first day of uni and for a few days wondered if I had made the right decision. Turns out I did!
I know lots of people say this – because it’s true – but this really has been the best year of my life. I’ve learnt a lot about myself, veganism and a bit of journalism as well. If I hadn’t made the radical change to cut meat and dairy products out of my life, I don’t think I would have gained so much from university. There has been ups and downs, of course. My stress and anxiety levels have been through the roof all too often and I didn’t think my body could cope with another hungover law lecture but the positives really do outweigh the negatives when I look back. When else in my life will it be socially acceptable to nip to the shops in my onesie or lie in bed eating chips all day?
I’ve found that having strong beliefs can open you up to a lot of judgement from other people, mostly positive and understanding but the few instances where people have been dismissive or rude just show ignorance and obliviousness to how the farming industry works. I try not to be too preachy but I think my housemates have cottoned on to my love of cat videos and ‘happy animal’ searches on Tumblr. Another important lesson I’ve learnt is to accept other people’s beliefs, I naively thought that everyone would be the exact same as me and although it pains me to see some my friends eating KFC, I have to remember that revolutions started small and I’m doing my little bit to minimise suffering in the world.
It’s been a year of drinking, raving and most importantly – eating – and lots of it! Take a look at my year in pictures.
If you’d like me to post any of the recipes starred, let me know in the comments!