Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Plant-Based vs Veganism | Guest Post by love Ashleigh

I have been making a massive effort to be plant based since New Year's. I did Veganuary, and now I’m trying to be plant based, but what does this mean?
I’m not vegan, because vegan is for people who don’t eat animal products because of the animals, which is incredible and great commitment and I commend anyone who does it for that reason. However, I am making the effort to eat plant based because I believe it is a more sustainable way of living, and a better way to treat our planet.
So what is the main difference here? If I’m not eating animal products, what’s the big deal? I believe the main difference is outside of the food, and within other forms of consumption. For example, I own leather shoes and a leather bag. A vegan would find this unacceptable, but I know that my leather shoes last me longer than converse or even fake leather shoes. The same is true of bags. I believe its better for the environment to use one leather bag over 10 bags that have been made up of different kinds of polymers.
Being plant based comes with its own set of challenges, (and I learned this throughout Veganuary), because your asked from both sides why. People who aren’t interested in veganism typically have little idea of what being plant based is, and then it’s followed up with why is that not the same as vegan. Vegans typically want to know why it is that I’m not vegan. Why am I not doing it for the animals?
This does get exhausting. Explaining your diet to people is hard work. 
Nowadays, I’m trying my best to eat sustainably. After Veganuary I decided that  I would try to eat more of a plant based diet, but I would eat one piece of fish a week (as long as it was MSc certified), and I still consume eggs if they’re in something like Quorn. I buy vegan butter and vegan smoked salmon and vegan mayo, but I’m not vegan.
The thing is, when trying to eat a plant based diet, you inevitably fall into some vegan groups because you’re all doing the same thing just for different reasons, and the pages are always full of recipes and such, but they’re also full of love for the animals.
I read a lot of stuff and watched a lot of stuff and I think it’s why I ended up keeping going with it all. Once you realise that to give your tastebuds a nice feeling for a few minutes has cost an animal it’s life, or you see a video about how much pain farmhouse animals have to endure before they get taken to slaughterhouses, once you hear the cry of a mother who has had her calf taken from her…
…. Your perspective changes.
And it’s not a voluntary thing. Once you’ve seen all the harm you can’t unsee it, and you have to acknowledge that it’s going on. Then every meal you eat after it’s all you can think. I find myself shocked watching people drink glasses of milk now (and I once had “a girl who like drinking pints of milk” in her bio. Full fat, blue top, cows milk). 
It’s easy to say you’ll go plant based, and it’s easy to try it out and find recipes. You’ll find a community full of love and compassion for every living thing. You’ll also be left questioning your own diet, and every meal you eat after.
I’m still trying my best to be plant based, (and I am plant based 90% of the time now), and I think I will eventually commit to being plant based full time. If that happens though, I’m convinced it’ll be because I’m vegan.

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You can read my post about all the ways I'm a sustainability hypocrite on Ashleigh's blog here. I hope you enjoyed our collab!


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