STUDENT BLOG: Why I became a vegan

Veganism has never been so popular, especially among the younger generation. Sixth former
FRANK MORGAN explains why he decided to forsake animal products in favour of plant-based foods

BEING a vegan can change the way you view the world, like being on a holiday with a diverse new cuisine and a greater appreciation for the sanctity of life that your choice strengthens.

I know of several other vegans in school and there seems to be an increasing interest among students. It’s a significant lifestyle choice, however it is possibly the easiest choice I have ever made. 

Animals have always been important to me and living so rurally with the plethora of interactions with the natural world and with domesticated animals, when I learnt of the impact of my diet, I knew I had to change.

I had been a vegetarian my entire life, so the concept of a compassionate lifestyle was not alien to me. However, I had always seen veganism as very extreme and had never even considered it until I saw some footage of a calf being taken from its mother that brought tears to my eyes. Seeing this, I realised for the first time I was making a choice to cause harm to these sentient beings, and that was a choice I could not consciously make ever again. So, I stopped all consumption of dairy products, this went on for about a month; I swapped milk for a variety of plant-based alternatives which lead to some interesting tasting cups of tea! At this time, I was reading lots of recipes, to make meals that I could eat without falling back on the same two or three, they usually were linked with vegan websites, so I read more and more about elements of the dairy industry but also the egg industry which turned my stomach about my choice to eat eggs.

When talking about being vegan I am often asked: ‘How easy is it to go vegan?’. My response is always that it is amazingly easy, there is so much information today about it and the accessibility has never been so good. Although I bring a packed lunch from home into school every day, large chains like Pizza Hut, Greggs and McDonald’s are all bringing out vegan options as well as every supermarket offering a range. It really means it can be as simple as a non-plant-based diet. In truth the hardest thing about being vegan is not giving into the preachy vegan stereotype (something I regularly fail at) when you see friends or loved ones tucking into animal carcasses and cakes containing chicken ovulations.

The environmental impact of intensive livestock rearing is something that is catalysing people to move away from participating in the industry and this is important if we are going to tackle climate change. Going vegan is the single biggest lifestyle choice you can make to reduce your environmental impact. 

For our generation, who will to have to deal with global warming, one way or another this seems like a natural move to make.

My advice for someone flirting with veganism is just to give it a go and be open to experimenting with new foods and flavours; some won’t be great, others will make you question how you went so long without them.

Veganism is a simple choice for anyone with enough morality to appreciate that killing animals is wrong, and if anyone finds a half decent vegan cheese, can you please tell me?