Every path to veganism is different, but as Siobhan Gale from Vegan Babe Life discovered, it’s always better when it’s shared with others.
My journey to veganism started about three years ago when I started getting more vegan friends and seeing how they lived. It started to peak my interest and made me look at how I was living very differently. Then a few years ago I got the worst food poisoning imaginable from KFC (gross I know) and I just couldn’t stomach meat again, I didn’t want to. I started eating a pescatarian diet, as I couldn’t even look at chicken anymore. The relationship I had with meat had completely changed from that moment and chicken was completely out of the question. Gradually seafood started to fall away and I was more of a veggie/vegan. I continued this way for a long time as veganism full time seemed like it would be expensive and inconvenient. For someone who was quite new to this, and who didn’t have friends that lived close by for support and guidance, it felt a little daunting.
This year I made it official and started my 100% vegan journey, clearing out my food cupboards and sorting through my toiletries and so on. All my vegan friends thought it was great and I’ve met so many amazing like-minded vegans already. It’s been great to share my story and hear about how other people came to be vegan themselves and why. Even though illness was the catalyst for my choice, I choose to stay vegan for my health, the animals and the planet.
Once you know what great stuff is out there and where is best to shop, it starts to become routine. Before you know it, you’re on vegan autopilot when you go food shopping or to a restaurant, it just comes naturally. It really isn’t as hard as you think. At the start it feels like a big adjustment, sure, but that feeling fades and there are so many great resources out there for new/transitioning vegans.
You can find vegan groups on Facebook (I’m part of the UK vegan and Brighton vegan group), accounts on social media (Deliciously Ella, Oh She Glows, Accidentally Vegan UK, Vegans Of Ldn, Aine Carlin and Peta UK are some my favourites), tons of vegan blogs (mine included), The Vegan Society and Veganuary also have great recipes and guides.
As a child I wanted to be a vet and loved animals more than anything, dogs in particular. My family always had dogs and my grandparents had a farm, where I lived for a time. I spent many happy days helping granddad on the farm, taking care of the animals, walking the dogs. The countryside with the animals was my happy place.
I’ve always been a huge Disney lover and enjoyed the films with animals in the most. I loved Percy from Pocahontas and 101 Dalmatians. I never realised that every day I was consuming the beloved characters from the films I cherished. I didn’t understand where meat came from, I was brought up eating it, so I never questioned it.
Write what you know
I’ve always maintained that I love animals and that’s more true than ever, because I don’t eat them and live a completely cruelty-free life. I’ve educated myself and make better, more informed choices. I don’t eat, wear or use any animals products. It’s easy to obtain vegan cosmetics, leather, food and any other vegan product these days.
I started blogging and doing freelance writing work about my vegan journey this year. I cover a wide range of topics, not all centred on veganism, so there’s something for everyone. I’ve worked with several brands already and hope to continue to spread the word of veganism through my writing.
I’m a massive foodie and feel like I experiment now more than I ever have with my cooking. I’m trying so many new things, as there’s so many great vegan products – you’re spoilt for choice! I want to expand on my recipe creation and have more of that content on my site, but that’s probably the most time consuming of all projects that I undertake, so that will gradually grow.
Becoming vegan is amazing and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done, combined with writing. I wish I had done it sooner, that is my only regret. I feel good knowing I’m making a difference every single day with just how I live my life. People I know ask me for recipe ideas and I’ve even got a business to start using vegan leather and discontinue its animal products. Things like that and seeing the impact you make just makes it all worthwhile. I hope people will continue to be inspired by my journey and that as my online following grows, I reach more people, showing them how easy and great it is to be vegan. I wear this label with pride.
For recipes, reviews and more information on living your best vegan life visit Siobhan’s website at www.veganbabelife.co.uk