Hi everyone, it’s nearly end of Veganuary! To end Veganuary, I’d like to share the story of my vegan journey.
I think most of us think about trying to go vegetarian or vegan for a short amount of time. Before I went vegan I didn’t even know any vegetarians - I did have one friend that tried to go vegetarian for a month but she hated it that much that she didn’t last until the end of the week!
It was only when I experienced the death of a pet that I started to think about the unique relationship animals have with humans. I found it difficult having a pet sat in front of me whilst eating animals on my place – both can feel love and friendship, but can also feel suffering and pain.
This curiosity led me to watch documentaries such as Vegucated and Cowspiracy, and later on movies such as Okja that explores the relationship between a pig, her human best friend, and the mass consumption of animals. I didn’t want to contribute to this industry anymore so I decided to go vegan the day I moved into halls on 10th September 2016.
When I came to the University of Huddersfield, I set up the Vegan and Vegetarian Society to provide a platform for new and old vegetarians and vegans to meet up and form a community. We hosted a Veganuary fair with local businesses, provided information to people messaging our inbox and made posts on social media about our activities. We were eventually noticed by the Vegetarian Society UK who were so impressed with our work that they sponsored us for two years to give out student freshers’ boxes. At our first Welcome Fair we had over 250 sign-ups on our interest form!
The Society’s impact was so big that the University decided to add more vegan catering options and eventually opened Veggie Hut – a plant-based catering outlet on Level 5 of Student Central.
As well as setting up a Society, I also set up my own vegan food Instagram to show it was possible to be a student vegan. I posted my own food creations but also reviewed new products in supermarkets. It was great to share how easy becoming vegan was and it made me feel good that I had helped so many people on their journeys too.
If you’re thinking of going vegan or vegetarian, there’s so many products being added to supermarkets every week - you’ll be spoilt for choice! Looking for meal inspiration?
Check out my all-time favourite vegan meals below! :
Bethany’s Top Student Vegan Meals:
• Chickpea Dhal & Rice, 75p per portion
o This meal is my go-to when I need something quick and easy. Take half a tin of chickpea dhal and heat it on the hob, whilst cooking the rice in the microwave. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, add half a tin of tomatoes whilst cooking the dhal on the hob to cool it down. It takes less than 10 minutes and even less time to eat it!
• Lazy Vegan & Jacket Potato, £1.75 per portion
o Lazy Vegan comes in an assortment of flavours and is very versatile. You can choose to have a whole bag for a meal, or do what I do and put half a bag on a jacket potato. They’re also great in curries or stir fries and contain an assortment of freshly frozen vegetables – I always have a few packets in my freezer at a time.
• Chicago Town Jackfruit Stuffed Pizza & wedges, £2 per portion
o When you fancy a treat, Chicago Town have an incredible jackfruit pizza with tomato sauce stuffed crust. I always cook the whole pizza and have the other half the next day for lunch. Pizza ALWAYS tastes better the day after!
Thanks for reading!