My Week as a Vegan : Day One

2 Mar

  As research for an article for Birmingham Recycled, I visited a Vegan Christmas Fair in December last year. Up until that point, veganism was something I was unfamiliar with and I didn’t fully understand the reasons why anyone would chose to to cut out foods I viewed as essential to most people’s diet. I spent just a couple of hours there, but picked up plenty of leaflets, advice and inspiring stories as to why people choose to cut out meat and animal by-products.

It seemed the reasons are endless – health for one, the environment for another, and of course the most well-recognised one; the animals’ wellbeing. I don’t wish to starting preaching here, but one titbit that really pulled at my heartstrings was that the calf is taken away from it’s mother just days after it is born, causing immense stress to both, and the mother will cry for her baby for weeks after. All this just to supply us with things we really could do without?

A couple of months after my first peek into the vegan lifestyle, and my desk is currently piled high with vegan leaflets, guides and recipes books. So. Why not give it a go? I’m not talking about forever, but just for a week or two. Even in that short time I could make a tiny bit of difference, and I hope that after my time as a vegan is up, I will at least take something from the experience.

But coming from a chocolate, cheese and meat-lover this is no small feat. No Cadburys? No Pizza? No milk in my morning tea? I definitely have my reservations about this challenge, but I also have determination and, as I found out when I went vegan shopping on Friday, plenty of dairy-free alternatives. I even picked up some Vegan Ice-Cream!

Now the first day of my vegan week is coming to a close, and I have managed to avoid animal products and by-products for the whole day! Unfortunately, I haven’t been a very healthy vegan today. Having missed out on Shrove Tuesday a couple of weeks ago due to being swamped by University work, me and my boyfriend decided to celebrate it late, the vegan way obviously. I managed to find a vegan pancake recipe and, after a quick trip to my local organic shop, Down to Earth, to pick up the essential ingredient, soya milk, we were soon happily frying and flipping. I was pleased to find that the vegan pancakes were delicious – I really couldn’t notice a difference in taste between these and the traditional, egg-based version. In fact, I thought they were so good, I had five! See below for the recipe and photos .

Vegan Pancake Recipe


1 cup flour

1 cup soya milk

2 tbsp baking powder

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp vegetable oil

pinch of salt

Sieve the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl, add the sugar and salt and stir until well mixed. Then, mix in the soya milk and oil and beat until it is smooth. This is your batter mix done! Now just heat some more vegetable oil in a frying pan on a medium heat and you can start cooking. Fry each pancake for about three minutes on each side (or until it starts to bubble). Serve with whatever you want, my favourite is lemon and sugar 🙂


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