Last year September I felt like I needed a change.
This was following on from a year of self-discovery, many ups and several downs.
I wanted to take control of my well-being, stop eating badly and put goodness in my body.
I imagined how happy my stomach and body would feel if all I gave it was great healthy and nutritious food. I knew one of my friends Claira Hermet was a vegan and she seemed to be doing okay, so I decided to look into veganism and the kind of foods I would be eating. I discovered that I would need to cut out all dairy, meats and fish.
Before I embarked on it, I decided to talk to Claira about it and we made plans to have lunch at one of her favourite vegan restaurants in London called Mildreds.
I got to Mildred’s early, so sat down and got some coffee and olives while I waited for Claira.
I didn’t know what to expect as I sat down and looked at the menu. The menu looked very foreign to me, because I am so used to looking for delicious fish or shellfish dishes when attending good restaurants.
I tried to look for dishes that had any of my favourite ingredients but nothing jumped out at me, so I decided to look around me and see what other people were eating. The food look great and I made a mental note of some of them so I could ask the waiter later.
Claira turned up and we talk about her views on veganism. She asked me why I wanted to do this and I told her. She responded telling me that just wanting to be healthy is great but I should think about what animals go through before we eat them. She explained that she is very much into good energy and the bad energy embodied in the animals as they are slaughtered was something she did not want in her body. I thought that was interesting and decided I would spend time looking into how the animals we eat are slaughtered.
We then looked at the menu together and she recommended the falafel burger which I ordered. It was delicious and you could hardly tell that there was no meat in it. It gave me some hope that becoming a vegan would not be that hard after all. I also realized that with my great cooking skills I could make anything taste great. So that was the day I decided to become a vegan.
Later that evening on my way to my sister’s house I decided to buy some food from the local chip shop because I was hungry. I ordered a small chips and a chicken burger. I was very preoccupied with my thoughts of me and Claira’s trip to Paris the following week, so I wasn’t really present so to speak.
Not until having eaten almost all of it did it hit me that I had previously that day made a decision not to eat meat. I laughed at myself because I felt very foolish. I told my sister and her fiancé about what happened and they couldn’t help but roar in laughter too.
I did feel bad but I didn’t beat myself up, I just told myself that I had to make sure that I stay present and follow through with my decision.
Now the big hurdle to face as a new vegan is going to Paris without eating my favourite steak with peppercorn sauce or mussels. I then started to um and ah about whether I should start when I get back from Paris, but Claira advised me to stay strong and that I could do this.
We went to Paris had a fab time but I did eat my steak and poor Claira bad to sit there and smell it all.
Most of the time I ate vegan dishes and the first vegan restaurant we went to just blew me away. What I found very surprising is how many vegan restaurants there were in Paris. I would never have expected the French who are meat and cheese lovers to have that many, but they did!
Spending time with Claira and seeing how committed she was really inspired me. I decided that when I get back I will do this and I did. I stuck at it for about 4 weeks.
In the 4 weeks leading up to me eating animals again, I had several conversations with people about what I was doing. Everyone had an opinion on the matter which is expected. I talked about how much I miss eating fish and that perhaps I need to stop eating meat but keep eating fish. Many people agreed with me and also told me that I was making my life hard for no reason.
My mother was the least supportive, being from Africa eating meat was a big thing. They hardly had access to an abundance of meat and she attributed her family’s weakness, illnesses and deaths to not eating enough protein. Living with someone who did nothing but complain about your diet is not easy.
Anyway she made my favourite Ghanaian meal which consisted of deep fried fish, kenkey and hot pepper sauce. I couldn’t contain myself and I ate so many fried fish and practically made up for the previous 4 weeks.
I then proceeded to eat other meats and so on. I went from being a full time vegan to a part time one.
This is still the case but I still don’t beat myself up because I am learning so much about myself. This was
and is a huge life decision and I needed to learn to do it for reasons that were right to me.
What I came to learn is that without an emotional attachment to all animals or truly seeing the suffering they go through in order for us to eat them I would never become a full time vegan.
I mentioned my struggle to a good friend Carl Macphail and he told me to watch a documentary called cowspiracy. I did and it open my eyes up to the damage we are doing the planet with intense farming.
I was shocked and decided to look into animal welfare and farming, it led me to a film called Earthlings and I will never forget the feeling of disgust I felt towards human kind and how we treated other species for our own selfish needs.
It’s not that eating animals is bad, of course not but it’s how we go about it. Animals eat each other in the wild but they don’t intensely farm other animals so they could have more meat than needed.
They don’t stock tones of meat in supermarkets only to throw most of it out because it has hit its expiry date.
They don’t rape the planet for cheap feeding methods for the animals we intensely farm. They eat what they need and that’s it.
After watching this I could not bring myself to eat meat or fish for a few weeks, but again I told myself that if I ate meat that was slaughtered correctly, or meat that was organic and free range then surely I am not contributing to what’s wrong with the world. Now this mentality is perfectly fine and I think that if you are going to eat meat that’s the way to go. So that’s what I did, I carried on being a part time vegan.
As time went by and I would read up more and more about meat, the human body and diseases, I came across a Dr Sebi who claims to cure everything from aids to cancer by using his eating methods and his tonics. Dr Sebi talks about how eating meat makes the body acidic which in turn is a perfect environment for excess mucus and disease. He recommends an alkaline diet (for more about this just google Dr. Sebi).
I also spent a great deal of time talking to my friend Carl who is a vegan and very knowledgeable on alternative medicines and health. All this information started to sink in and you could say my subconscious mind and my soul were doing their thing in the background.
I have recently noticed that I struggle to ingest meat. It doesn’t feel right in my mouth, I have completely given up pork just because the idea of them not sweating and their eating habits makes me want to throw up.
Beef doesn’t taste right either any more. I recently went out to a dinner party where there was the most expensive cuts of beef on the table and it looked nice but every bite felt like I was eating leather. All I could taste was leather, I didn’t enjoy it at all. I did however enjoy the scallops and calamari.
This was two week ago and each time I have been in a position to eat chicken or beef I basically don’t want to because I know what it will taste like.
Chicken and beef do not taste like they used to any more, that sweet taste I remember loving is now replaced by what I can only imagine death tastes like.
I have also now created an emotional attachment to all animals where I feel physically sick when I think of any animal suffering. I remember reading somewhere that you are truly a conscious vegan when you see yourself in animals or empathize with them.
These days I can’t look at pet cats and dogs and not wonder how humans can choose which types of animals they love and care for when they are all equal. That train of thought leads me to think about how black African slaves were treated like animals because they were different. We are doing the same things to animals and it’s cruel.
I do think that it is okay to eat animals if that’s what you want to do, but eating the ones who suffer just so we can buy cheap meat from supermarkets or restaurants is very wrong. I feel raping the planet we all share to supply cheap meat is wrong. All this can be done differently and it doesn’t have to be like this. I am not saying everyone should be a vegan, I feel this is a personal choice.
I personally can no longer eat animals just because I have created an emotional attachment to them and I see their souls, I feel their souls and meat no longer taste as sweet as it used to. When I chew on meat I am very aware of what I am chewing and very aware of the taste in my mouth and I don’t like it. It
reminds me of a stale mouth after waking up from a long sleep while being ill with flu.
So I am choosing to become a full time vegan from this day forward and I have a very good reason as to
why I am doing it. I am not just doing it because I want to be healthy, of course that is important but I am doing it because it feels right.