Two years ago, I shared a Facebook status on a whim saying I was going to try vegetarianism – or a variation of it – for one month.
I wanted to ensue that any experiment was over in time for the Christmas season, which is the one time of year you can buy halal Turkey in the UK, so I clearly did not have any long term goals in mind and thought it would be over in a few weeks.
That night, following some online research as to why so many animal rights activists are vegans, I decided to trial veganism instead of vegetarianism. In the days and weeks that followed, I continued to research more about what veganism is and why it is so important…
Two years later I’m still living a vegan lifestyle and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
But It’s Halal!
I do not adhere to all of the philosophies of veganism because, as a Muslim, I do believe God decreed the use of certain animals as acceptable for us. However, I also believe that too many Muslims use the word “halal” and forget how often in the Quran the word halal is married to the word “tayyib” (wholesome, good, clean, pure…) and I can see nothing halal or tayyib about the modern meat and dairy industry in the UK today.
In two years I have not once considered turning my back on my vegan lifestyle.
I eat relatively guilt free knowing that no cows were artificially inseminated in order to force them to produce milk for my coffee, no baby calves were torn from their mothers at birth to preserve that milk for us humans, no chickens were kept imprisoned in cages, never seeing the light of day just so I could enjoy a boiled egg and on and on…
There’s a lot wrong with the world: pollution, war, fast fashion, corruption, modern day slavery, crime etc… but just because there is so much wrong doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start to try to right things in our own lives and homes. Going vegan is one of the easiest and cheapest (despite myths to the contrary) ways of making a positive contribution to the world around us with minimal effort.
How Does It Feel?
Going vegan is easy, eye-opening, satisfying and, to a degree, life-changing.
If you have not given it any thought before, I’d urge you to try now. Vegans can tell you you’ll feel better physically, emotionally and psychologically if you make the switch, but there is no way for you to know unless you try it for yourself and it’s a very personal journey.
There’s never been an easier time to try it. When I started, two years ago today, shopping and eating out as a vegan was tough but now everyone is jumping on the plant-based bandwagon.
There are dedicated menus at restaurants and dedicated plant-based aisles in supermarkets… thanks to consumer demand and the reactions of the market. There is really no more excuse not to at least try to live a life free from animal cruelty by switching or at least trialing a vegan lifestyle.
Don’t wait for the new year to make a resolution to change… do it now and in no time at all you might be celebrating your 2 year veganversary too 😉
This is a Facebook post by Hanan Chehata, who kindly granted us permission to re-publish it.