Alan the vegan page
updated Dec16

I call myself vegan as I try as much as possible not to eat or use anything which called for animals to be killed or harmed to produce.
Basically, all I am trying to do is live my life without killing or harming anything, it is depressing how difficult this simple goal is to achieve in our society.

Something which I suspect puts a lot of people off going veggie is they think they will have to eat "healthy food" for the rest of their life (i.e. salads etc.), if you go to a veggie restaurant this is exactly what you will find is offered but I can assure you it doesn't have to be like that.  Despite being vegan for some 15 years I still very easily maintain my obese status and I love nothing more than a large serving of pie, chips and mushy peas followed with apple pie and custard :-)

In my experience the average person (or restaurant) has little idea what a vegan is, or why someone should choose to become one.  If this describes yourself then please take a look HERE

Interesting article on why people eat meat
not in my name


About 20 years ago I decided to go vegetarian.  I slowly came to the decision to do so for a number of reasons:

- I realised that if I was given a live animal there is no way I would kill it and eat it, so I felt it was wrong of me to get someone else to do it for me and just pretend it wasn't really happening.

- I felt that feeding on another animals flesh was just something wild animals do, I don't feel it something I as a supposed civilised person should be doing.  There is simply no need in this day and age.

- I like other animals and don't wish to harm them.

- I consider the way farm animals are treated to be far beyond barbaric.  You may imagine farm animals to be kept as in the books you read at school, but they are not.
  Just watch this video of u.k. slaughter housesWarning - it is grim viewing.

I find it an unexplainable contradiction that to kill and eat a dog it is a very bad thing, but to do this to a pig is "normal" and so OK.  Pigs are one of the most intelligent animals, in fact more intelligent than dogs  (Many Victorians kept pigs as pets, as do some people now.  In fact I would like one myself but I know what I would do if DEFRA came to kill it as they did to pet pigs in the last Foot and Mouth outbreak)
btw - Apparently human flesh is very similar to pig, this is why some cannibals referred to human flesh as "long pork"

See this full length documentary for more info. on what humans do to animals.

About 15 years ago I found I was increasingly asking myself the following questions:

- If we assume that for every hen or cow produced there is also a male born (cockerel or bull), then where do they all go? 

- For a cow to produce milk she has to give birth every year, what happens to all these calves?

- What happens to milk and egg producing animals when they stop producing?

- Are the milk and egg producing animals well cared for ?

- Is drinking milk even a good idea for adults ?

The only answer I could find to all of these questions was go Vegan !
This was a very big step for me as I did not even know any other vegans (in fact I still don't) - but I didn't see I had any choice!

People are often surprised I refuse to eat eggs as surely free range are ok.... - just take a look at THIS or THIS or THIS for an answer to that  Warning - this is extremely unpleasant 
just in case you think this is not real - take a look HERE !  (this link is ok for anyone to look at).

As to why I avoid wool, first take a look at this video and then ask me!!
- I thought I had seen the depths to which some humans are prepared to sink in the quest to make money from farming animals - but I had not heard of MULESING......
- I should warn you that this is a really disturbing video but if you buy wool I think you should at least look ?

People seem to have the impression that farm animals are somehow a lower order than the animals we keep as pets.  This I think is partly because farm animals tend to be very dirty and smelly but this is of course just because of the conditions they are forced to live in (e.g. keep 50 cats in a small house and you will soon see them in a different light)
When I was about 13 I owned a couple of chickens as pets.  I had many different pets during my childhood but I found the chickens to be the best, they would recognise me and run over calling to be picked up etc. just as any pet would. 
e.g. Early one Sunday morning I was woken up as one of them had come over to the house and was calling very loudly which was very strange behaviour for them, after looking out of my bedroom window I was unable to see what was wrong and she would not shut up so eventually I had to get up and go and see what the problem was.  I picked her up but could see no problem, after a while I put her down and she wondered off happily.  The only conclusion I could come to was she had felt lonely and wanted picking up?
So now when I see battery hens on TV you can imagine how it looks to me as I know the truth.

If you want more evidence I suggest you see Hillside animal sanctuary as they can supply DVDs of their investigations etc.

Advice to new vegans

Living your life without harming any other animal is actually not possible (e.g. have you seen what quantity of the flour we eat is actually made up of beetle parts - more info HERE) so being vegan is always going to be a goal rather than an acheivement, even now after all these years I am still discovering things I had thought were ok are actually not.  So my advice to anyone thinking of becoming vegan is not to get too bogged down with the details and just start cutting out the obvious things.  It is always going to be a work in progress.......the thing to focus on is the harm you have now stopped doing.

Much to the amusement of my friends I am a vegan who doesn't like fruit and veg, so I am always on the lookout for new things I can eat...I am perfectly happy to eat my veg as long as it is in pastry
Here in the U.K. Sainsburys is easiest as they label things (including booze) as being vegan, their web site also lets you filter for vegan only items (Co-op does too). Sainsburys do a large apple pie for 1.50 which with some ready made vegan custard (1) is a winner.  I have just found out that now has the facility (under the lifestyle tab) to filter for only vegan items.

It is really depressing how few vegetarian items are vegan, I can often be heard complaining that the vegetarians have this place stitched up
btw-All the supermarkets produce a list of their vegan ok products which are worth getting and having a browse to see what you can eat.
Sainsburys have recently started selling the large flavored Alpro yoghurts which are VERY good. Tescos now do a good range of own brand vegan cheeses and their own yoghurt but I find them to be very poor.
Linda McCartney label a few of their items as vegan (the country pies and basic sausages) but even I think of these as unhealthy foods.  Ironically it is Holland and Barrett for the really "unhealthy" stuff like pies.
or grab some ready made pastry and it is very easy to make your own "desperate Dan" style monster pie - lol

BTW - Anyone who worries that being vegan will be expensive may be interested to view my experience of spending two weeks living on 1 a day as a vegan - HERE

BTW- just to clarify - I am not totally decided how I stand on vivisectionist, I fully realise that medical science can not progress without animal experiments and should I fall seriously ill I will not refuse treatment, but I do consider that the vast majority of vivisection carried out at the moment is not at all justified and where possible alternatives should be found.  I figure there is a very big difference between killing something because you choose to eat it rather than a freely available alternative or for fun and killing something in the hope you will save millions of human lives as a result.  I fully admit this is a subject I need to look into more but until then I am willing to keep at least a partially open mind on the subject?

See my vegan longbow page

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