Well hello there, and welcome to Vérité Vegan! I’m Becca, pleased to meet you! I’m so excited that you’re here, thinking about a plant-based lifestyle and trying out my tasty treats.
- I’m a 25-year-old PhD student in the final stages of a doctorate in historical musicology.
- I grew up in the south of England and haven’t moved far, but have travelled a fair bit and can speak three languages (English, German, and Swedish).
- I live in Surrey with my wonderful boyfriend and a very pampered rabbit. (He is ours. We didn’t just find him here).
- I am a self-taught clarinettist, pianist, and flautist.
- Before I went vegan, I couldn’t bake to save my life. Egg replacements changed everything.
My vegan story
I’ve been vegan since September 2016, when I woke up one Saturday morning and thought ‘y’know what, I’m gonna try it today!’ and I’ve not gone back since. I wasn’t a vegetarian or anything before; in fact I was eating a sausage sandwich with my boyfriend [genuinely sorry] while we talked about what it would be like to be vegan – a recurring conversation that I was far less enthused about than him! I had always somewhat ignorantly maintained the stance that ‘if I had to kill animals myself, I’d 100% be a vegetarian, but the animals are already dead in the supermarket so…’ [again genuinely sorry. I’ve since learnt that corporations track what you buy so that demand really does increase supply]. In the run up to the switch, we’d seen a few TED talks about the sustainability of food, and the odd documentary about mass-consumerism here and there, and so we were sufficiently primed to go cold-turkey.
Fun fact: the thing that changed it all was actually a cashew sour cream recipe.
I’ve always been mildly lactose intolerant [turns out I’m not a baby cow, who knew?!] but it had become worse in recent months and so I’d started exploring dairy alternatives when I made the switch. I was looking online for alternatives to the things I currently couldn’t eat, and for all of the things I thought I’d miss if I went vegan (cheese, mayo, pizza, bacon, the usual, y’know) and I learnt that you could make sour cream out of cashews. Mind blown. Curiosity piqued. I’m an impatient gal, so immediately wanted to know how it compared, so I went to the shop and bought the ingredients [including a bottle of apple cider vinegar that has been a staple and that I’m still working through 7 months later – what might seem like an initially weird and expensive ingredients need not put you off!] and we had mexican night, vegan style. It didn’t take much more than that to prove that this stuff was healthier, yummier, and totally guilt free, and so that was it. Sold. The rest is history.
Since then I’ve been experimenting with recipes and cooking, and have developed a particular fondness for baking. I was the sort of person that thought you couldn’t bake without eggs, or eat chocolate without milk, but there’s something so incredibly satisfying about discovering all of the ways you can turn flour and sugar into many delicious things using only ingredients that grow in the ground.
I’ve always had a weird relationship with food: I struggled with anorexia in my late teens after a lent chocolate ban that got out of control (I’m not even religious!) and I find it hard to remember a time that didn’t involve self-imposed dietary restrictions with consistent scrutiny of labels and packaging. You’d be forgiven for thinking that going vegan would surely only perpetuate that kind of behaviour. I mean, there are so many things I can’t eat, right? So many meals in restaurants that are off limits? Wrong. I still think about food most of the time, but there are no more restrictions (especially not cake or chocolate!) and every meal has become an exciting colourful explosion of worldly flavours again! Since veganism has become approx. 350 times more popular in the last ten years, it has become increasingly easy to eat out, to shop, and to live a cruelty-free lifestyle. Contrary to expectations (including my own!) I no longer worry about what I eat: the transition has been the easiest and most natural thing I have ever done, and I genuinely feel that becoming vegan has helped me hugely.
There are of course also many ethical benefits. Becoming vegan has meant I often automatically end up supporting smaller independent (and more ethical) businesses rather than large evil corporations [which can only ever be a bonus, right?], and saving animals from incredibly unnecessary suffering is definitely a plus.
I’ve started this blog because I want to demonstrate how easy it can be to switch to veganism. So many people have since come to me and said, ‘I really like the idea of being vegan, but I just don’t know what I’d eat!’, and I thought, well I’m a pretty normal gal, I don’t live an extravagant lifestyle, but I do eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, and those meals are vegan, so maybe I could help? Enter Vérité Vegan.
What does Vérité even mean?
Vérité is a genre of film and television with an emphasis on realism or naturalism, and so I’ve taken it in this context to demonstrate realistic veganism: no fancy dressed-up ingredients or images, just the things I use to cook and eat.
I want to challenge the following misconceptions about veganism:
- That you have to restrict yourself or think too much about what to eat every day
- That it involves expensive ingredients that are hard to get hold of
- That you only eat vegetables and don’t get enough vitamins and nutrients
Spoiler alert: none of these things are true! Vegans eat junk food too! Crisps, chocolate, cake, ice cream, if you can think of it, there’s a vegan alternative, and it’s often healthier, lighter, and yummier!
On this blog, then, I’ll offer recipes, tips, tricks, restaurant recommendations, and anything else I find that might help someone to try vegan. Thanks for reading, and enjoy!