On my 10th birthday I stopped eating meat. As I started to become aware of what I was eating. A big animal lover like me, didn’t want animals to get killed to eat their meat. My parents were supporting me and they respected my choice. At that time, people were starting to ask me questions. They didn’t understand my choice. My answer was simple: “I love animals so I don’t want to eat them.” A lot of resistance I experienced, but I didn’t care. My love for the animals was always more important and still is.
Until now I still don’t eat meat. I even took a step further. For a few years I ate more and more plant-based food. My goal was to eat 80% plant-based and 20% vegetarian. But it is not only limited to my eating pattern. I also live as much as possible vegan. So what is the difference between plant-based and vegan?
Difference plant-based and vegan
When you talk about ‘plant-based’, it refers specifically to a person’s diet. Their food doesn’t consist of any animal-derived products. So vegetarians are not eating meat, but if you are having a plant-based diet, you also don’t eat cheese, egg, honey and no dairy-products.
Being vegan is not only a plant-based diet, but it’s a whole lifestyle. Veganism is defined as living in a way that avoids consuming, using or exploiting animals as much as possible. So they have a plant-based diet, but they also don’t buy items that are made from or tested on animals.
Every step counts
There is a lot of discussion about being vegan. Some people say you are not vegan when you don’t follow this lifestyle 100%. But for example being 75% vegan is still better for the world when you compare it to people who are eating meat, drinking cow milk and are using showergel tested on animals. I mean, if the world would be 50% vegan, it would already be a big change.
I am strict and have a lot of discipline. But still I respect other people and their choices. I will not judge them because they eat meat. But I would like to inspire people and make them aware about what they are eating and how they live. Because how many people will still drink cow milk if they are really aware of the animal suffering to get this milk? And nowadays there are so many alternatives in the world so we can make a better choice. For the coming generations, the planet and the animals.
Tips for a healthier lifestyle
Here some tips I would like to share with you to start to eat more plant-based and have a vegan lifestyle:
- In the supermarket there is a lot of choice nowadays in the assortment of vegan burgers. Give it a try and replace meat with a vegan burger.
- Drink a cappuccino with oat milk or coconut milk. It is really delicious.
- Watch a documentary about this: Cowspiracy (Netflix) or What the health (Netflix) for example.
- Read a book about this: Eating animals from Jonathan Safran Foer.
- Do you like to visit festivals? When it’s possible again, try a vegan food festival. You will meet new people and can try some new vegan products.