Veganism is great.
There is a multitude of compelling reasons to go vegan – animal rights, environment, health…just to name a few.
However, for many, the concept of going full-vegan seems ‘extreme’ or unachievable. Many give up on the idea before even trying it.
I have considered myself a ‘flexitarian’ for almost 3 years now – my preference is for vegetarian foods but when cooked for by others, eating out or just when I generally have an appetite for it I will allow myself to eat meat. This, for some people, may seem outrageous…”Isn’t this a blog about veganism?! She’s talking about eating MEAT!?” but that is exactly the issue…my belief is that there is a need for a happy in-between; a diet that reduces the negative impact that the meat and dairy industry has on the world (read more about that here) but is not so restrictive that it deters omnivores, flexitarians, vegetarians from giving it a try.
*ENTER FLEX VEGAN*
I want to start by saying this is very much my own personal approach to my diet and lifestyle choices; developed by me for me only. As an associate nutritionist I have learnt throughout my 4 year degree and beyond a lot about what works for me and makes me feel my best self. My aim of sharing this approach is to inspire others to work out for themselves what works for them – this is so important as we are all built differently and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to diet!
So what is my personal approach?
Following on from my trial period of veganuary (which you can read about here), I felt so good that I decided to maintain my new approach to day-to-day eating indefinitely.
On weekdays I am mainly just cooking for myself so 90% of the time the meals I make are vegan. When I am visiting friends, boyfriend or family and they are cooking for me I will gladly eat the food they have to offer. I am in no way adverse to sharing my preference for meat-free alternatives, but as an individual feel comfortable eating animal and animal-derived products on occasion.
How is this different to being an omnivore?
Well, it is and it isn’t. Yes, a happy side affect is that I feel fabulous following this approach to diet and lifestyle – I feel healthful and happy – however in the past I have found the same through eating a ‘clean’ diet which did include animal products. Chicken, fish, eggs, yogurt etc are good for many people and I wouldn’t suggest that they are not – these are foods I enjoy eating and initially my only reason for restricting consumption was for the negative impacts the meat industry has on the environment and well-being of the animals involved. I wanted to take responsibility for my contribution to this and this remains a key motivator for my flexitarianism (I found that others take a similar approach).
Another motivator of mine is proving there is no need to consume animal products! Possibly my favourite hobby is trawling Pinterest, food blogs and magazines for fun looking recipes and veganising them. All recipes on this site are my own, but inspiration is everywhere!
What would happen if the world suddenly went vegetarian?
Very interesting read from the BBC:
“But fortunately, the entire world doesn’t need to convert to vegetarianism or veganism to reap many of the benefits while limiting the repercussions – Instead, moderation in meat-eating’s frequency and portion size is key.”
In summary, flexitarianism has some backing by environmental and social sciences!
Read the full article here.