I have been vegetarian since a young age, due to a number of reasons. Growing up on a farm and surrounded by baby lambs, cows, chickens and pigs I developed a love for farm animals and when the farmer who worked on our land decided to take us to the slaughterhouse for the day my decision of not eating meat was firmly made. My sister and mum were also vegetarian so out of convenience for my mum she would cook us all the same thing, which was normally macaroni cheese and pancakes for breakfast every morning, which used to be my absolute favourite! I never considered the diary industry or gave it much thought until my sister told me she was turning vegan. My first thought was “I could never do that!” No chocolate, no cheese?! I loved cheese. She didn’t pressurise me to do the same and I didn’t question her decision and that was that. A few months later she asked me if I wanted to join her at a PETA event and I of course said yes. Little did I realise it was actually a talk and video footage all about the dairy industry and what went on. Let’s just say from that moment forward I have not eaten dairy ever again. I carried on eating fish for a little while longer after that before cutting it out as well and going fully plant based. So I would say my journey to becoming vegan was definitely done in stages, and in some ways I feel that is a better approach as I can imagine suddenly going from someone who eats meat, dairy and eggs to vegan is a massive shock and struggle as you have no idea what you can and can’t eat. However I do have friends that have done that and have been absolutely fine. I think it’s completely preferential and it is a journey for each individual.
I think the major health benefits I have found were from cutting out diary. Instantly I lost weight (which I wasn’t trying to do but it just happened...but I've definitely put it all back on now from the vegan cupcakes I seem to find myself buying far too often). I used to suffer really badly from bloating and since cutting out diary I no longer ever really get that bloated feeling which is so nice. My skin feels amazing and I rarely get spots, which is such a huge benefit but could also be because I now only use organic and vegan skin care products. The benefits from turning vegan are endless and I’m yet to find a negative. I think the question I get asked most about being vegan is ‘what do you miss most?’ The funny thing is though, because there is now so many amazing alternatives you don’t actually have to miss anything. If you want milk, you have so many diary free alternatives, cheese, chocolate, sweets, burgers, pizza, mac and cheese you name it there is an option for you!
Whilst the decision was made to protect the welfare of animals it has exponentially improved my own. I feel healthier and happier than I ever have and have had the amazing opportunity of meeting so many amazing people and brands. It has also inspired me to create my own brand - Three Six Five, a range of vegan leather stationary, with our first product being 2018 planners, including my favourite vegan restaurants worldwide, health tips and a meditation guide.
Available to buy at https://three-six-five.co.uk.
Read Tiffany's column in the New Year issue of Health Magazine