What is ‘Baby Steps Vegan’?

February 2011

Since starting my vegan journey I have come across a great many vegans who are 100% committed to the cause. Those who converted seemingly overnight and have never looked back. And unfortunately I have encountered many who are scarily evangelical about it all – who look down on those of us who are making a slower transition or those who let their cheese cravings get the better of them every now and then. I tend to think of them as ‘religious’ vegans and like those who preach their religious beliefs on the street or bang on your front door with a bible while you’re trying to put the kids to bed, I imagine that they tend to annoy rather than convert.

I’m realistic and I appreciate that veganism can be a difficult transition and not everyone can do it all in one go!

I am not (yet) fully vegan, though I sincerely hope to be some day soon. I still have some leather shoes (no point throwing them out before they fall apart I reckon), I slip up now and again and have a bit of chocolate when my hubby leaves it lying about the kitchen. But I’m trying and that is what counts. It may take me a while, but I’m determined to get there.

So you will not find preaching here. Instead I aim to give advice on how to take those baby steps towards becoming vegan (or vegetarian), to show you that it is possible to reduce your animal consumption without too much effort, without deprivation and without turning into a sandal wearing, tree hugging hippy – not that there’s anything wrong with that either!

Whether you are here because you want to help animals, improve your health, help the environment, lose weight or just find some yummy new meal ideas, read on…

June 2011

Just a wee update!

I still have my leather shoes for now, but I’m gradually getting rid of all animal products. My kitchen is, for the most part, an animal free zone, as is my bathroom. My wardrobe still requires work, but I will not be buying any more products containing wool, leather, silk or any other animal by-products.

And thanks to the recipes on these pages, I usually have some kind of vegan cake or cookies lying around so I don’t need to pick on hubby’s leftover chocolate! (Incidentally, my husband has drastically cut back on his meat eating, which makes it much easier when it comes to cooking the family meals)

My kids are now following me in my vegan journey – my eldest knows that cow’s milk is for baby cows and gives me a high five for ‘not eating piggies and sheeps’.

Definitely not an overnight transition for us, but we’re getting there!

A final update – September 2011

I’m totally vegan! Have been for a wee while now, and I love it. The boys and I are bursting with health (the odd cold and tummy bug aside at the start of the new school term) but more importantly I feel at peace. I am no longer contributing to the suffering of fellow creatures and there can be no better feeling in the world.



5 responses to “What is ‘Baby Steps Vegan’?

  1. I’m curious as to what materials you wear instead of these? And what the environmental impact of those is? I’m veggie but also an ecologist so am interested in a rounded ‘planet welfare’ approach as well as animal welfare. Thanks

  2. Ecology is not my ‘specialist subject’ so there’s not much information I can give you on that side of things. Animal rights is my primary concern, environmental benefits are a bonus rather than a deciding factor. I haven’t bought any vegan clothes or shoes as yet, I’m still using up my old stuff. Wool and silk are very easy to avoid though and there are many online companies who offer ethical footwear, handbags etc. I do have some canvas trainers which I wear a lot of the time as putting on my leather shoes makes me feel a bit queasy now. The handbag I use everyday is 100% cotton.

  3. Christine Duffield

    Tor: Hemp, bamboo, organic cotton, linen, rayon and banana fibre can all be used in clothing. Recycled rubber and hemp shoes are also available – many of which can biodegrade in less than 20 years. Most of it is sold online, though, and might be hard to find in high street shops (but Schuh carries part of the “Simple” brand range). For clothes, try Natural Collection / Ethical Superstore, Gossypium, People Tree, Spirit of Nature, Get Ethical and The Green Apple, all online stores. Hope this helps.

  4. I gave my friend my favourite leather shoes (New Zealand sheep skin & wool ‘Ugg-Like’ winter boots) for christmas. I loved them very much…they were the only thing still hanging around from my pre-vegan days and I couldn’t seem to give them up…but the time finally felt right…I did it…and feel liberated! 🙂 BIG smile on my face ever since. The simple things. I will never go back…and my baby girl who is 5 months currently will (I hope…fingers crossed) learn veganism from day one…so she will be open minded and make informed decisions as she grows up. A chance I never got to make until 24!! 🙂 Keep up the good work x

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