In November 2011, I made the decision to progress towards a plant-based diet and lifestyle. Since then, I have learnt so much about where our food comes from, and what it does to our bodies and the environment. Along the way, I have encountered many obstacles and challenges. I have also been asked lots of questions, most of them valid and a few off them more than a little odd. One of the aims of my blog is to chronicle my experiences as a plant-based traveller. So, hopefully these Plant-Based Pauses will provide a little more explanation and maybe answer some questions that my readers may still have.
‘In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.’ – Ruth Harrison
It’s easy for us to make promises to ourselves and then come up with lots of excuses why we can’t keep them. It’s harder to break those promises if you’ve told someone else that you’re going to do it.
In 2013 I pledged to reduce the packaging waste that I produce. More specifically, I promised to use fewer take-out cups. I invested in re-usable cups and began taking my flask to work. Over the course of the year, I threw only about 5 cups into the bin. Considering I was previously buying a take-put coffee almost everyday at work, this was a huge reduction. As a bonus, it’s also saved me a lot of money. This year, I’ve continued to reduce my waste and I’ve also vowed to be more ethical with my choices when donating to charity. This may sound harsh, but after learning that a lot of charities here in the UK waste money on unnecessary animal testing that provides absolutely no benefit to their cause I realised I’m better donating my money elsewhere. Besides, promoting the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle does more to help people in the long term.
By telling people around me about my pledges, I’m constantly reminded to keep on track. Believe me, people will soon let you know if you make a slip-up.
There are lots of on-line resources to help you make a pledge. Plate to Planet is a great site where you can pledge to go meat free. They’ll even email you to check how you’re getting on. Meat Free Mondays, promoted by the McCartney family, is for those who aren’t ready to go completely plant-based just yet. By pledging to not eat meat for just one day a week, you can make a huge difference to your health and the planet.