We asked Vegan blogger Ela Gale to share some of her wisdom when it comes to changing your lifestyle and adopting a vegan diet
Ela debunks the myths associated with living and eating a vegan diet, sharing her wisdom with us this National Vegan Month.
“‘I actually like this…and I’m not even vegan!’ Amazingly, this is a sentence I have heard on multiple occasions,” Ela shares, “as if vegan food is bland, boring and unpalatable.
“But, this outdated view could not be further from the truth. I am a firm believer that food without meat & dairy products can still be great food, even before considering the up soar in vegan-friendly dining experiences. In and out of home plant-based food is a phenomenon with restaurants springing up round the country and supermarkets such as M&S, Aldi and Tesco expanding their vegan-friendly product ranges all the time.
“And whilst I admire those who are committed vegans, I also recognise that for many the concept of going full-vegan seems unachievable. It’s a defeatist point of view to think that an all-or-nothing approach is the only way to make a different, setting many up for failure & leading most to give up on the idea before even trying it: ‘I would be vegan but I could never give up cheese’ – ring any bells?
“Could the answer be a happy in-between? – a more flexible approach; a diet that encourages us to take responsibility to reduce the negative impact our meat and dairy consumption has on the world, but is not so restrictive that it deters omnivores, flexitarians or vegetarians from giving it a try?”
“Annually, one vegan could save 3,322kg of CO2. That’s scary. What that also means is that a flexitarian – that is, a person consciously reducing their consumption of animal and animal products – could have a real positive impact if, say, they cut their meat and dairy consumption in half.
“Vegan-friendly milks use less land, water and generate less CO2 than dairy milk so a simple switch can do a lot of good. There’s so many alternative options to chose from too!
“If that’s not enough, there’s been numerous studies to show vegans live longer, healthier lives – so that’s got to count for something!”
‘But humans are supposed to eat meat!’
“Although our ancestors ate meat, their meat consumption was radically different to modern day factory farmed, mechanically reconstituted, processed, hormone injected meat that is on the plate today. Unless you are hunting your own deer or wild boar (unlikely) this point is moot.”
‘Okay, I’m interested, but where do I start?’
“A day, a week, a month eating as vegans do will engage brain to pay attention to the food we are consuming and recognise it for what it is and where it’s come from. What better time to do this than National Vegan Month or sign up for Veganuary?”
Ella’s Top Tips for reducing meat & dairy consumption this National Vegan Month
#1 Be mindful of the ingredients you are using & where they’ve come from#
#2 Get creative in the kitchen – try new recipes and substitute ingredients with the multitude of plantbased alternatives now readily available
#3 Enjoy the food! What we eat is a huge part of life so find ingredients and dishes you love preparing, cooking and most importantly eating. Vegan can be delicious!
“In summary, flexitarianism has backing by environmental and social sciences and you will lose nothing by giving it a go. If you aren’t open to becoming vegan or vegetarian, at least be a vegan ally by learning more about the cause and trying some new recipes; you just might enjoy it!”
Ela runs the @lentilface blog – which aims to promote vegan recipes for all. Check out her mouthwatering recipes and try some with your friends and family this National Vegan month.