Father’s Day…and he did it vegan!

Today was Father’s Day….if you didn’t know that (and you’re in the UK) then you’ve missed it….and your poor Dad is probably heart broken! 😉

I am in the fortunate position (unfortunate when you need to buy presents) of having two Dads in my life. My own Daddy (Rab) and my step Dad (Michael).

Today Bette and I met my Dad at the market at silly o’clock 😪. He loves a good pruch (those of you who aren’t Scottish will have to google that) round the many stalls at the market. He buys all sorts of rubbish, but insists one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure!

After visiting two markets, I managed to talk him into a vegan lunch! My Daddy does not understand why anyone would be vegan or vegetarian. He just doesn’t get it and I’m tired of trying to explain it. So, he cooks and buys vegan for us….but eats whatever he likes otherwise and we’re all fine with that. Btw….he is the biggest softy ever when it comes to animals too. He stopped today for 10 mins to give water to a dog tied up outside the supermarket. He stood pouring water into his hand for a full ten minutes whilst the dug drank. He feeds a family of foxes and has done for YEARS….but….vegans are mental! 😂

Despite this, he accompanied us to mono today. Mono is a gorgeous little vegan bar/cafe in Glasgow.

We enjoyed jackfruit burritos, mac and cheese and their gorgeous chips….followed by a banana split and warm apple pie with ice cream. I didn’t manage any pics, which is a poor show for a blogger….but, I was too busy in the moment. 😊 However, I did manage a snowball to take away!!

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My Daddy Bear & my wain in Mono.

In my usual fashion I forgot to post the cards to the men in my life, so i wrote my Dad’s as he strapped B in her carseat and posted Michael’s on the way home.

Michael spent the day climbing or walking his dugs, I’d imagine. I did however see a startrek tattie at the fruitmarket and sent him it….he’s a big fan (of startrek, no tatties!). I considered buying it, but it wouldn’t have lasted until I next seen him!! 🤣🤣

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After a play on Glasgow Green for a few hours, Bette and I headed home for dinner.

Tonight, if I do say so myself, I made an amazing curry. Dead simple….sweet tattie, mushroom, onion, peppers and frys chicken strips in a lovely coconut curry sauce.

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Behold…my fantoosh fabulous curry, with bulgar wheat.

The heat today haa been exhausting, and I’m no doubt burnt….being ginger and scottish does that to you!

Tonight…I’ll leave you with this….

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Do folk carry aboot their own lavvy roll?? 🤔

N’night….😘

Ask Italian.

We went out for dinner tonight, mainly because I’m shattered and could not be bothered to cook….or do a shop to facilitate cooking. We decided to try Ask…as Liz had read they had a vegan menu.

They weren’t lying…the definitely have a decent vegan menu…

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They even had a FULL KID’S VEGAN menu! Now THAT is unheard of!!

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Because despite what most food establishments believe….kids can be vegan too!

The menu made me laugh in parts….for example: vegan plum tomatoes and vegan broccoli. Is there really any need for the word vegan before a bloody plum tomato or bit of broccoli. Surely these things are vegan by default….is there any other non vegan tomato or broccoli?? 🤣

Anyway, despite this we are overjoyed to be seeing more vegan options appearing in chain restaurants.

For starters we ordered the dough balls and bruschetta. By the way….we have a taste card so everything we had was two for one…

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Bette has the vegan cucumber and vegan carrot 🤣🤣 and bread sticks. It was served with a side of tomato sauce…not some fancy chef sauce…no, Just Heinz tomato sauce. That was a bit of a fail for me, but it IS vegan!

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For mains we all had the same. A vegan pizza, with olives and caramelized onions with mushroom. They were lovely pizzas. My ONLY criticism is that it could have done with more vegan cheese. It was definitely lacking in creamy cheese….

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For dessert Liz and I opted for the chocolate and blood orange torte….OH MY GOOD GOD!

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This truly was delicious. The orange was amazing and the chocolate was so rich and creamy! The base was to die for…and the sorbet was delish! Ten out of ten for the pudding.

Overall it was a gorgeous meal…the service was very disjointed and slower than a week in the jail towards the end. But this was down to poor management rather than a lack of effort. To us it appeared that one waiter was serving the entire floor…as well as preparing the sweets behind the scenes. Too much for one poor guy…no wonder he only weighed 2 stone wet through!

I’d give Ask 9/10 for their menu. They’ve tried…and they’re doing more than many places.

Thanks for a lovely meal Ask!

Friday! My second favourite F word. ðŸ˜‰

TGI Friday, right?

That shit doesn’t fly with me. I don’t work Monday – Friday 9-5. So, your Friday feeling today is my Tuesday feeling. I have another 6 days at work to go before I get a single day off. 🙈

Anyway, enough about my off duty.

Today has been a pretty good day. I haven’t had a chance to take a lot of photos of food, mainly because I’ve been working.

I started the day off with a slice of rye bread, with some peanut butter and chia seeds. Absolutely gorgeous, highly recommend it.

Lunch was the sandwich I posted about last night…with the addition of an apple, banana and a TREK bar.

But dinner….dinner was a new one for me. Tonight I made scrambled tofu!!

Now…tofu is never going to be scrambled egg, let’s get that clear from the onset. But…it’s got similar features. The texture is the same and if you pop it on a bit of toast or bread with a wee dollop (that’s a great word….dollop!) of ketchup it’s a bit of a mind twister. My brain was VERY confused!

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Scrambled tofu, rosemary & red onion sausages, grilled mushrooms and tomatoes. 

We served it all with a slice of carrot and pumpkin seed bread. It was absolutely gorgeous.

I’d definitely say that scrambled tofu will not be everyone’s idea of heaven, but I enjoyed it.

If you’re brave….and feel ready….have a go!

Let me know how you get on and if you enjoyed it.

Oh, ye cannae fling pieces oot a twenty story flat…

I’m fond of a piece….are you?

Just in case you were unlucky enough not to be born and raised in Scotland 😉…a ‘piece’ is another name for a sandwich.

I love making my piece for work. I get excited deciding what to fill it with, cutting it, wrapping it. I literally build my entire working day around getting to eat the wonderful creation that is my piece! 🍞

When I first became vegan I couldn’t really think what I’d want in a sandwich. I felt panic! No egg mayonnaise; no cheese savoury; no quorn ham with lettuce and salad cream.

How naive I was!

I go through phases with all my food, but at present, my sandwich of choice will always include houmous. I use wholemeal or rye bread…smother it in a good dollop of houmous before topping with seeds. I LOVE seeds!

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Then, if you’re making the dream sandwich, you’re going to need avocado. I can’t get enough avocado. I would guess I eat 7 or 8 a week. 😲

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Once I have my avocado in place I drench the whole lot in freshly squeezed lemon juice. You can’t beat the contrast between the creamy houmous and avocado with the sharpness of lemon. Any self respecting piece has to have tomato…that’s just common sense!!!

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I finish the lot with a big handful of fresh rocket, which adds a lovely peppery taste at the end.

Anyone who believes vegans struggle to eat anything must be insane. Plants are so versatile…and there’s just so much choice!!!

What’s your favourite sandwich fillings?? I’m always looking for new ideas!

Tomorrow I’m planning a blog post about the wonders of Chia seeds. They’re my little wonder seeds…with a wealth of health benefits!

Over the next few days I’ll be blogging about all things chicken related. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and thinking about our feathered friends since watching an emotive vegan video that I very much disagreed with.

Peace and out! ✌

Some people are so poor all they have is money…

Nobody said it was cheap being a vegan. We don’t eat processed food (as a general rule), we use fresh plant based ingredients for every meal. Our shopping usually consists of 80% fruit and vegetables, 10% grains/pasta etc and 10% other items (coffee, sauces, etc). Today….we went equipped with a VERY detailed list and we came home with £105 worth of delicious vegan goodies.

In fairness, this haul will last us for 10-12 days. So it’s not a huge amount per day, but I did watch people go through the checkout with trolleys packed with frozen, processed rubbish; loads of animal proteins/products; alcohol and their trolley came to less than ours!

There is something fundamentally wrong with this! It should not be cheaper to buy rubbish and flesh of a being, than it is to buy plant based fresh food.

I’m forever impressed with Aldi. As well as having fab veg at fab prices, it has now started doing some powders and supplements to add into your diet. I normally buy all of these things from Holland and Barrett, but decided I’d give these a go. They were super cheap, so I’ll use them in my smoothies and let you all know how the fair with their extortionate counterparts.

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Dinner tonight was a new dish for me. I decided to try a West African Peanut ‘soup’.

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Very few ingredients required.

This recipe was super easy to follow. You literally just throw everything into the stock and let it cook down. (I’ll post a separate recipe later, for those interested).

The end result was DELICIOUS!

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West African Peanut ‘soup’ with kale and sweet potatoes. Served with bulgar wheat and roasted cauliflower.

I’d say this has shot to the top of my favourite meals list. It’s actually heaven in a bowl!!! And to think people actually believe vegans have a boring diet and struggle to eat ‘anything’. Pffftttt!! 🤣

Before we left today we had a real lunch of champions. I skipped breakfast, which is rare, but made up for it with an extra half of bagel.

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Bagel with houmous, avocado, tomato and seeds. 💗

Liz is in to marmite in a HUGE way right now, so she swapped the houmous for vegan cream cheese and the seeds for marmite.

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Marmite, do you love it or hate it?

Plan for tonight is to relax (perhaps enjoy a wee coconut cappuccino and some alpro chocolate over fruit later) and watch a movie.

We have been trying to watch more movies recently. If you haven’t seen ‘I, Daniel Blake…’ I urge you all to watch it before you go down to cast your vote. It really is an emotive and informative movie, about the reality of our benefits system. Referring to state assistance as ‘benefits’ is absurd. They make it sound like a luxury, like you’re really hitting the big-time if you’re lucky enough to be in receipt of it. 🤣

Hope you’ve had a good day, whatever you’ve been up to. ✌

Meal planning…Lists and Food Shop Prep. ðŸ¤—

The time has come to do the ‘big shop’ again. This time comes around twice a month….the rest of the time I just pop in for a ‘couple of things’, several times a week, and spend forty quid a pop! 🤣

I’ve always been very particular about the food shop. I love a list….or 4!

Rules of the process…

  1. Everyone involved in the process must eat prior to commencement of the list making.
  2. Only I can write on the lists.
  3. Items must be listed in store running orders.
  4. We discuss the options for meals before I make all decisions! 😉
  5. I must retain the written list on my person at ALL times following its completion.
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Can’t beat a list….

So, before we started I whipped us up a quick pasta dish. Our vegan comfort food is definitely avocado pasta…with some olive oil garlic ciabatta.

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I have very little to say today. I’ve been working…I’m starving and I’m tired.

I did find out something very interesting over the weekend though.

Are you all familiar with the new polymer bank notes?

Did you know that these notes are not suitable for vegans as they contain an animal fat known as tallow?

The good news is….

Scotland have confirmed that all their polymer bank notes are now suitable for vegans and vegetarians as they are not using tallow.

England have not made this commitment and as such you should know that your notes issued by an English bank will still not be vegan.

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Why they need animal products in notes is beyond me. It seems we just like stuffing death and suffering into everything we possibly can . But…it’s good news that Scotland have recognised the use of tallow is not ethical and as such made a change. It shows….being vocal pays off!

Let’s continue to be the change!

From now on….any English polymer notes I get will be returned straight to the store/bank, but I’ll happily accept and use Scottish issued notes.

On a separate issue. Anyone who knows us will know the tale of our little dog, Davey.

Davey was given to us as a puppy because he had a very serious genetic heart condition, he wasn’t really expected to have much of a life. Despite this poor prognosis, Davey the wonder dog has continued to defy all odds and is going strong 8.5 years later. He had a grade 6 heart murmur, is blind and suffers anxiety as a result. He goes everywhere with us and cannot cope without us being with him.

He has recently had an accident (common in blind dogs) which has caused a corneal abrasion. As he was ill from birth, he’s never been eligible for insurance. So, we’ve been paying for all this treatment without help from insurers. As it stands his eye has some vessels and we’re continuing on with medical treatment (anaesthetic is SOOOOOO risky), but he’s already cost in excess of 4 figures in treatments and we’re far from over.

We set up a crowdfund page in the hopes we may get some assistance with the cost of his treatment . It’s due to end in a few days and we’ve done well…but I thought I’d use my blog for one last push. I set the target at £300 and we’re nearly there, but as I said…his treatment has already far exceeded this total.

If you can donate, even a pound, it would be greatly appreciated. If you can’t, please include Davey in your thoughts and prayers. 🙌

If you can help…please pop over to his page and donate.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Daveydug?utm_id=100&utm_term=BkbawDB38

If you can’t….like I say….send some positive energy his way. He’ll appreciate it!

From all of us here….

Peace, Love and Laughter! ✌🤣💗

The Lotus.

I haven’t done a review in a while, mainly because I haven’t had time to galavant around the place trying out new food places.

However, as we were travelling through Glasgow around dinner time tonight (that’s 7ish to us) we decided to try the Lotus vegetarian (although in fairness it’s all vegan except 3 dishes) Chinese restaurant.

The Lotus Vegetarian Cuisine Limited, to give it its official name, can be found on Bridge Street in Glasgow. There is handy parking right outside, if you go after 6pm, and a wee pay and display a stone’s throw away if you visit during the day.

Inside the restaurant is pretty modest. It’s absolutely spotless and the staff are perhaps the friendliest I have ever encountered.

I usually take a picture of the menu, but to be honest I was too excited by the vast choice that I forgot entirely. Let’s just say there is at least four pages of vegan yumminess for you to peruse!

They also make it abundantly clear that NOTHING is too much bother. Everything is made fresh, to order and they’re happy to alter dishes or make up whatever you want.

For us, the most exciting part was the vegan ‘prawn crackers’. I haven’t been able to enjoy a prawn cracker for well over a decade…and tonight…I thought I was going to die and go to heaven! I know…I know…calm down, it’s only a prawn cracker. But…to me, it was a big deal!

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💗

With so much choice we took a while to decide what we were having, but we eventually opted for vegan prawn toast and deep fried dumplings for starters.

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You get 4 bits, but Liz stole a piece off the plate before I took the photo.

The prawn toast was gorgeous. Have no idea what it was filled with, but it was pink and fishy and the texture was right. It was a really gorgeous dish.

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Little pockets of salty, crispy gorgeousness.

Again, I dont know what these were filled with but I’d guess tofu and veggies. Regardless, they were perfect! The dipping sauce was also lush!

For the main I ordered Szechuan tofu and fried rice. This dish was absolutely amazing. It tasted so fresh and vibrant. It was medium spiced and the tofu itself was exquisite. Soft and creamy but packed full of flavour.

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Szechuan tofu.

Liz had….wait for it…sweet and sour ‘chicken balls’ with boiled rice.

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Delicious little crispy balls! (Don’t pervert the innocence of a food blog!)

These truly were amazing. I again, have no idea what the balls were actually made of. They didn’t taste of quorn or anything, so perhaps a soya protein they make themselves into balls? Regardless, the sauce was THE BEST I’ve tasted, and the texture of the chicken balls took me back to my omni days. For me, this dish was LOVE!

Bette had a love affair with the boiled rice, she ate loads and stated “this is the most good restaurant I’ve ever been to”. That’s straight from a four year old’s mouth. She thought her food was so good it made her want to cry! 😂  So really, everything I’ve said is totally unnecessary! 👍

Bette enjoyed a BIG bowl of vegan chocolate ice cream before we settled the bill.

If you’re going here you should know, they don’t serve alcohol…or meat, of course. The portion sizes are massive (but shamefully we ate nearly everything). Everything is cooked to order (and MSG free), so its not fast food. We sat down at 8.15pm and didn’t leave until 10pm. We waited a while between starter and main meal, a little bit longer than I’d have liked, but as soon as the food arrived I totally forgot about the wait. You become immersed in the flavours of the dishes and the waiting time seems like a distant memory. I’d do it all over again, rather similar to childbirth! 😉 Finally, the price is super reasonable…so you won’t need to remortgage your house for a meal here!

I’d give this little gem of a place a solid 10 out of 10!

A lovely experience from start to finish! We will definitely be back.

Thanks Lotus…for making vegan dining an absolute pleasure!! 💓

Day 34….Hell hath no fury like a four year old with vanilla swirls through her chocolate ice cream…

Whoever coined the phrase ‘the terrible twos’ is an absolute barefaced liar!

The ‘twos’ are a breeze….the ‘threes’ are a tiny bit more challenging at times….but the fours. 😨

Oh my fucking god! Kill me now….stop my suffering…put me out my misery!

My daughter turned four last Saturday and she’s commenced her new age range with gusto. On Thursday she made an absolute tit of me in Next. I could see people staring thinking ‘look at that pathetic new age Mummy trying to get control of her little arsehole child’. But…we got through it and were both alive and well when we left the shop.

Today, we stopped for a vegan cupcake and coffee, from a wee shop in Linlithgow that proudly advertised vegan cakes, ice cream and almond milk. However when we got there he had one vegan cake and no bloody milk. So….in an attempt to save the situation we ordered an ice cream for Bettelicious.

She ordered chocolate and when it arrived she was not impressed. Anyone who has a child will know that a blue cup instead of a green cup can strike fear into your soul. Or…in this case…white swirls through the chocolate ice cream. I knew she wasn’t going to be happy.

As anticipated….she declined to even try the ice cream because she didn’t want white through it. To be honest, it went from bad to worse. She then decided she wanted crisps and as I was now pissed off, I made the decision she wasn’t getting anything from the shop. I literally walked in….handed the guy £2 and walked out. Without a drop of coffee, cake or ice cream passing anyone’s vegan lips!

I dragged my maniac child out the store….like some little Tasmanian devil. A ball of rage! This temper tantrum lasted a whole 30 minutes. Over a packet of fucking crisps!!!!

Anyway, she finally calmed down and profusely apologised for her angry outburst. And thankfully….quickly resumed her usual gorgeously little funny self.

Do they turn 4 and immediately develop a split personality? 😭

Food today has been immense. I had my usual smoothie for breakfast. For lunch I decided on a little bowl of bulgar wheat deliciousness.

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Bulgar wheat with courgette, broccoli and kale roasted in 1 Tbs of avocado oil.

After our relaxing trip out…HAHA! We came home and had an oatly cappuccino and a ruffle bar. Now…you’re not going to believe this…but…I have realised, I cannot drink oat based milks!! 😲🤧 They give me terrible stomach cramps. So, after all those weeks of hunting down oatly and stock buying….I now can’t use it and have a cupboard full of it!

I’m working tonight, so had a wee bite of dinner (despite still being full from lunch).

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Left over spicy chilli, some bulgar wheat and avocado blitzed in the processor with lemon.

I’ve got some humous, tomatoes and two seeded crackers for a ‘lunch’ over night. I’ve also packed loads of fruit and a soya chocolate pot for a midnight snack. I avoid coffee and tea at night, so green tea bags packed.

I’d rather be going to bed, but…work calls.

Sleep tight! ✌

Day 25…

Keeping it super simple tonight.

Today we’ve taken it super easy. I haven’t recovered from driving to and walking around Alton Towers yet!

I’ve also been starving today! Probably making up for hardly eating whilst away.

I started my morning with my smoothie. Oh how I have missed that! Even baby B stole it from me and drank half!

Lunch was avocado pasta. Simple…quick and amazingly tasty.

Avocado oh how I’ve missed thee…

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My comfort food. For sure! 

We had a vet visit with Dave again. Ulcer still there, but eye specialist suggested some more medical management before surgical management, so we’re pressing on with that for a week. Then it’ll be surgery! 😵

After a dog walk we wanted something super easy, with no cooking required. We called our local Chinese and discussed vegan options. As usual, they didn’t disappoint.

We got a rice noodle vegetable chow mein to share, with some beancurd kung po and a side of crispy seaweed between us.

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We’ve enjoyed our meals out, but tomorrow it’s back to home cooked clean food.

G’night pals….sleep tight….✌

Surely suffering is not necessary…

Warning, before we start, this post may contain some shocking information. As you all know, I don’t go out my way to scare/shock people into veganism, but I’m also not going to avoid talking about topics that mean something to me. It is a vegan blog afterall.

My reasons for becoming vegan may differ from yours. I became vegetarian many many years ago, very suddenly. I was travelling to work (I had corned beef sandwiches in my lunch bag) and I passed a truck transporting cows to the abbatoir (I call It a coo carrying van). As I overtook it I caught the eyes of a brown cow….he/she looked out at me and for a moment we connected (aye, I can almost hear some of you laughing). It let out a big sigh and I could literally feel the pain and see the worry in its eyes. Such beautiful soulful eyes!

I immediately felt overwhelmed with emotion and started crying…I drove to work, got out my car and threw my sandwiches in the bin. I vowed there and then that I would NEVER touch meat again and, true to my word, I never did. I continued to eat cheese and drink milk, because nothing died for that, right?

WRONG!

As I gradually I realised how awful the dairy industry was I knew I had to stop consuming anything associated with it. Yes, I’m absolutely ashamed it took me almost a decade to equip myself with the full knowledge that would lead me to become vegan, but it did. I was ignorant. I was in denial. I thought vegans were mental and I’d be starving. I was wrong and if I could turn back time I would. But…here we are…and finally I have listened to my heart.

I feel it’s only right that I explain the dairy industry, to support and outline why I have these views. I could write loads on the topic, but the video I’m going to post explains it far quicker and better than I could. However, be warned, it’s not a ‘feel good’ clip. Before you press play ask yourself if you’re ready to see the truth behind an industry you are probably heavily involved with. Are you ready for the possibility that after watching it you may be moved enough to give up your cheese…your milk…your yoghurts?

If you’re not ready today…or tomorrow…maybe one day in the future you’ll press play.

Dairy is scary!

I feel that in this day and age, with all the wonderful alternatives to milk, cream, yoghurt, cheese, etc…there really is no reason to inflict such suffering on another living creature.

An oat cappuccino is every bit as enjoyable (if not more) than a cow’s milk one. Vegan cream cheese is gorgeous. Soya cream makes a lovely creamy sauce (and doesn’t even split). There is an abundance of ‘butter’ alternatives, from coconut oil to avocado spreads.

With so much choice, why can’t more of us make more compassionate decisions? Surely there isn’t a person alive who can watch this traumatic footage and not feel moved by the plight of an innocent ‘earthling’ (proper vegan words getting thrown about tonight) just trying to avoid pain and suffering…and live a life?

I don’t think we’ll ever get to a point where the entire world is vegan, sadly. But, if we all made one small change to reduce the demand for animal products, we’d all be making a small contribution, which would have almost no impact on our daily life but would lead to bigger change and different demands on these sectors, right?

Like I say, being a vegan is not all about diet. It’s about much more than that. But ultimately, for me, it’s about living compassionately and responsibly. It’s about being aware of the impact you and your actions have on…well….everything. It’s about showing empathy and trying to be connected to the world we live in. I don’t care what you label it as….but surely we should all strive for some level of that awareness?

My original post tonight was going to be about products, but I got caught up in this and couldn’t bring myself to post about anything else. I’ll do the products one tomorrow.

For now, I’m going to enjoy my ‘guilt-free’ supper and head off to bed.

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Thanks for reading this. I’ll probably lose some followers for this post, but I didn’t start this for ‘likes’, I started it to document my journey…and this was a learning curve I went through in my exploration of veganism.

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Sleep easy….and let’s all thank our lucky stars we were born human and not a poor cow!

✌