Why did you become vegan?
I’ve become a vegan to help prevent all forms of exploitation and cruelty to the animals for food, clothing and any other purpose. Being a vegan is the easiest way to prevent suffering by switching to animal free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment.
I went vegan overnight after seeing a video of a baby lamb bleating and running after its mummy being dragged for slaughter. Seeing that lamb and the mum hurt me to my core and decided that I was not going to contribute to an industry that exploited animals.
My lifestyle and choices were further shaped by my flock of Shetland sheep and 2 Saanen Boer pet goats. I took over the flock to stop them ending up in the market. The more I learn about animals though my sheep and goats, the more I want to do something to end animals suffering.
How and when did you become vegan?
I was a vegetarian for a number of years before going vegan. I was never a big meat eater to begin with. It wasn’t difficult to give up meat and dairy products, though it took some time getting used to having tea with soy milk. After a while you don’t even notice it.
What are the best things about following a vegan lifestyle?
From an ethical perspective, the best thing about being a vegan is that knowing you are no longer contributing to the suffering of animals. Eating plant based food is much more beneficial for our health and easier to maintain. I definitely eat more fruit and vegetables than I ever did before.
What are the worst things?
Generally ethical fashion proved more difficult than I’ve expected. I still find it extremely difficult to buy stylish comfortable vegan shoes. I am hoping by the time I wear out my old shoes, the vegan market will catch up and have more choices available in the market at reasonable prices.
Do you wear/use wool and leather etc.?
I buy animal free alternative clothing and products. I have access to wool every year from shearing the flock. I give it to local charities or people who knit. I kept some wool from little Precious the sheep in the hope I’ll make a cushion one day, but have not had the time to do it yet.
What do you eat apart from grass and soil? Can you give us a typical day?
Breakfast: Normally a chopped apple or banana with soy yoghurt
Elevenses: A cup of tea
Lunch: A slice of toast with peanut butter and jam on top
Snacks: There isn’t anything in the house that I can snack unless I’ve hid them from my husband.
Dinner: A large bowl of salad and some bread
Drinks/alcohol? Not a massive drinker. Occasionally have a glass of red wine
What are your guilty secrets?
Crunchy peanut butter
How do you find eating out and what are your favourite takeaways/restaurants?
There is more choice nowadays. I find that the most unexpected places have some really good vegan options, for example the pubs!
What else are you passionate about?
My greatest passion is improving the lives of animals and end animal cruelty. I am a founder of a UK registered charity transforming the lives of street cats and dogs abroad. I spend a significant amount of my time coordinating rescue operations, fundraising activities and finding homes for the rescued animals.
Over the years I’ve become much more conscious of how much we consume and buying stuff we don’t need. Last year, I challenged myself not to buy any clothing for one year and I succeeded in that. It just proved that we buy far too much and don’t repair our clothes. I’ve got a sewing machine where I fix some of my clothes to get more out of them. I go through a lot of outdoor clothing because of my animals, so it’s no point buying new ones as my cheeky sheep jump on me and rip it into pieces and cover it in muck.
Recommended reading or viewing?
Sapiens, a brief history of humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.
What would you say to anyone considering a vegan lifestyle?
Adopting a vegan lifestyle isn't necessarily difficult. There is so much more info and food choices available for people to go on the journey. In this space you would find passionate and diverse people from all kinds of different backgrounds. Veganism is much more than a diet, it is a compassionate lifestyle.