I became vegetarian when I was only six years old, simply because I didn’t enjoy eating meat. Even when I was younger I didn’t like the idea of eating animals. However, vegetarian products like eggs and cream cheese seemed harmless. As I got older I was very ortunate in that I didn’t experience any health issues as a result of my diet.
When I was 24 I had my blood analyzed because I had been feeling weak and dizzy for a couple of weeks. My doctor told me that I had become anaemic and was vitamin B12* deficient. I was prescribed multiple B12 shots and recommended to include meat in my diet. I remember that moment being a complete nightmare.
That’s when I began to read more about nutrition (Vitamin B12 especially) as well as a different type of diets. I also watched a few YouTube videos & speeches* about veganism, and learned about the results of the J.Poore & University of Oxford Study. All of this left me in a state of disbelief about one, how media and society hide the impact of animal agriculture on our planet and two, the impact animal products have on our health.
I considered staying non-vegan for a while. In fact, it’s a normal sociological reaction to refuse and to be upset after hearing something that contradicts one of your core values or beliefs. My comfort zone, as well as a combination of convenience, bad habits and a little bit of fear of the unknown, were holding me back from making the full transition. I often thought to myself, is vegan the only option for me? What about humane farming or organic products? I remember all these doubts started creeping into my mind. I didn’t have the answers but I realized I wanted to live vegan because it felt right.
For the first three months, I didn’t have a clear idea of what I was doing and as a result, I didn’t feel that great. My diet was not balanced and I also didn’t know where to buy proper vegan products like shoes, wallet etc.
The beginning wasn’t easy but with the help of many vegans (including doctors, vegan activists and social media) things became progressively easier. I can firmly say that today I am the healthiest and in the best shape of my life.
*B12: To maintain meat a source of B12 the meat industry now adds it to animal feed, 90% of B12 supplements produced in the world are fed to livestock. Read more here.
** A speech that played a huge role for me when turning vegan: