I don’t know about you but January is beginning to sag a little. All the good intentions at the start of the month are, well, slipping away. Dry January – that one went in the first week. The fitness programme – lasted a little longer but mostly the exercise mat stays in the cupboard and, despite being a life-long vegetarian, my Veganuary – trying to eat vegan food for the month – is floundering.
So, what better way to boost my mood than take a socially distanced walk – and talk – with an enthusiastic Tayport resident, Lois, who brims with commitment for a vegan way of life. I asked Lois for some advice on ‘going vegan’ and reassuringly her first words were – don’t stress!
“It seems like such a daunting thing but actually it can be very easy to start making swaps in your diet. Everyone eats vegan food, it’s just that vegans don’t eat or use any animal products. I do realise it seems such an alien concept still to some people. So, if that’s you then even if you start off having a Meat Free Monday, then not only will it cost you less money, you’ll begin to realise how good it can taste and that no animals were harmed in the process.
Veganuary is a great source of information to follow on social media or their website and actually you can try ‘Veganuary’ any month of the year. The Vegan Society also has lots of great resources too. To be honest new products are launching daily and even the Coop in Tayport has a good range of vegan products now.
As I am a bit of a nosey parker, I was curious about how Lois started on her vegan journey and she told me:
6 years ago, we went as a family to Wales to stay on an Organic Working Farm. It was wonderful and my first experience like it and my children and I loved being around the animals. All of a sudden, I made the connection with the food on my plate. This family were also very into sustainable practices as they were off the beaten track and so putting stuff to landfill and recycling was much harder. It wasn’t until I was pregnant in 2016 with our youngest child Isaac that I finally turned vegetarian. Rather than any kind of weird cravings it was more that I instantly went off the idea of eating meat and that was it.
I was contemplating doing Veganuary to see how I fared, then I stumbled on a video someone shared on social media of dairy farming and became vegan the very next day- 11th December 2017. I must have been quite convincing as my husband soon joined me.
Of course, being vegan is more than just about food and we chatted about how climate change priorities fitted into this kind of lifestyle. Lois is passionate about the planet and was adamant about trying, as a family, to minimise her carbon footprint.
I once read that it takes two football fields of land a year to feed a meat eater and yet two football fields can feed fourteen people on a plant-based diet. So, I am definitely vegan for the planet and the animals. My only regret about being vegan is that I didn’t do it earlier.”
For most of us, changing to a vegan diet is commitment enough but Lois has real zeal and in partnership with her husband opened a vegan restaurant in Dundee called Marwick’s. (Sadly, closed at the moment due to the pandemic). Now Lois has started up an on-line shop, Planted, which combines her passion for all things vegan and the planet.
I have sourced and tried all the products myself to make sure they are effective in cost and performance. Every time you remove a plastic bottle from your beauty or cleaning regime then it’s a win for the planet.
My walk and talk with Lois was just the tonic I needed; a breath of fresh air that left me feeling inspired to look again at my commitment to a vegan way of life. A big thanks to Lois for raising my spirits.
I hope you are all doing well is this dreichest of months. It’s not easy but I did see my first snowdrop the other day…