The beginning of this month was World Vegan Day, and as such, I thought I would share with you an aspect of my life that is every important to me.
Unlike most people, I am what you could call a vegan, meaning that I do not consume animal products of any nature (no meat, dairy, honey or animal derived additive). I have chosen this lifestyle mainly because I do not agree with the killing or ill-treatment of animals for human pleasure; It is just so happens that it is also one of the most environmentally friendly dietary choices available.
However, this does not mean that I have not been considering my diet very carefully over the last couple of weeks. I have decided to introduce elements of a raw food diet, reducing the amount of electricity that is used in food preparation.
As I do not have a garden and winter is upon us in Europe, I have started sprouting as part of this diet as it is a convenient way to produce fresh vegetables in a compact, indoor environment. So far my first crops of fenugreek, fennel, mung bean and alfalfa have been very promising and I am currently looking to expand my range.
In addition to this I have joined a vegetable box scheme where organic, locally produced seasonal vegetables are delivered to my door once a week. This not only provides my table with fresh, sustainable produce, grown in accordance with the Soil Association guidelines, supporting a local cottage garden business, but also saves on the time and resources spend on endless visits to the supermarket. The produce, which includes potatoes, carrots and onions along with a selection of seasonal vegetables depending on availability, has been of a higher quality than what is usually available at Sainsbury’s at a lower price; I especially adore the earthy, organic smell and fresher taste, I also like not having to take the rubbish out quite as often as I do not have to fill it with excessive amounts of packaging from shop-bought produce.
I have also started shopping at a local health food shop for items that cannot be delivered in my vegbox, such as such as pre-prepared innocent smoothies, tofu, lentils and ecological cleaning products. I have, however, come across somewhat of an ethical dilemma: Ecover, the leading brand in ecocleaning products due to its competitive price and the offer of refilling stations allowing for the reuse of containers, tests on a small planktonic crustaceans known as Daphnia. I do not consider testing on any animal acceptable, no matter how seemingly insignificant; therefore I do not know how I feel about this revelation. Ecover is the leading ecocleaning brand in the country, yet they test their products on water fleas whilst denying that they carry out any tests on animals. I’ll have to think on it.