A few years ago I would have laughed at the thought of myself becoming a vegan. It just would have seemed a bit far fetched and not really something I’d consider.
My, how things have changed!
This whole vegan lifestyle started when I decided I wanted to improve my health.
As a family, we were always trying to improve our eating habits. Learn about the latest superfood or new healthy eating options. We tried the paleo thing on for a while. Let’s say healthy eating was high up on our list of priorities. I was vaguely aware of the risks of eating meat and dairy, so I always opted for the ‘healthiest versions’ such as organic, free-range or grass-fed.
I had been suffering with eczema after the birth of my second child. Someone suggested I try cutting out dairy. I was really surprised to see the eczema disappear almost instantly. Around the same time, early 2016, my Mother was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Her inflammation readings were sky high. She was very scared of what lay ahead of her. In her desperate attempt to avoid the very serious drugs the doctors wanted to administer to treat her autoimmune disease, she came across a whole foods plant-based diet (via Dr McDougall) that has since seen her condition go into remission.
As it turns out, the whole food plant-based diet was to be one of the best things that’s ever happened to her. Now at 73, she’s healthier than she’s ever been, and supports (for free) other people with RA who want to try plant-based eating! She has even started going to the gym for the first time in her life. Amazing.
Out of curiosity I had to give it a try.
Best. Decision. Ever. I can wholeheartedly say, my health, and my children’s health, has improved significantly since becoming a whole-foods plant-based vegan. There’s a difference between this and just a vegan diet, but I’ll save that discussion for another day. The similarity is that no animals products are consumed at all.
The more I looked into veganism more reasons beyond the health benefits became apparent and were very compelling. I investigated and learnt horrible truths about animal testing and animal products. I discovered that inane cruelty and exploitation of animals is rampant. After a while I watched Earthlings, which was a total eye opener and deeply affected my view on animal products or all kinds.
I also looked into the effects that animal agriculture has on our planet. I remembered travelling to the Amazon about 5 years ago and our guide pointed out a vast area in front of us that had been cleared for farming purposes. I’ll never forget that sad sight. Those awful images have stayed with me. But it wasn’t until recently, when thinking more about animal agriculture that I realised it was the main culprit for such devastation. I made the connection.
At the same time, from a health perspective, I also began to realise that we don’t actually need animal products to live. In fact the evidence was clear that they do us more harm than good.
Around the same time, another pivotal moment occurred.
My youngest son was about to turn two, and on his birthday party invitation I wrote: “no presents please”. I did this for a number of reasons. Mostly because I didn’t want to end up with bags full of plastic presents that would end up as landfill. He’s a very happy little boy, who at the time would not have noticed if he was inundated with presents or not! He was so busy being 2 and having fun it really didn’t faze him. Some guests happily accepted the “no presents please” request, but the majority were either confused by it, ignored it or sheepishly asked if I’d mind if they actually brought a present!
What did I learn?
Humans want to celebrate! They want to give to those they love and care for. They want to give gifts to celebrate, to recognise, to show love or just for fun.
So this led me to think:
How can we still live a meaningful life of connection with others, celebrating good times with our loved ones and support animal welfare and the health of the planet all at the same time?
This is why I started A Good Scout.
I wanted to be part of something that encourages good practice. Helps conscious consumers to make good choices easily. Support people who care about how they spend their dollars and also support the brands that are coming through with good intentions and great products. I want to make giving ethical vegan gifts easy and a joy!
Let’s face it, being vegan is a disruption to the status quo.
Trying to locate products that suit your look or aesthetic, while still being 100% vegan and green isn’t always easy.
After my son’s party, I decided that the focus of A Good Scout would be on gifts.
Really exceptional, high quality, gorgeous, cool and contemporary gifts that you’d happily buy for yourself. And that just happen to be cruelty-free and environmentally friendly.
You don’t have to be a vegan to shop at A Good Scout. Perhaps you’re a little vegan-curious. Or you might be a wonderful vegan ally and want to give your vegan friend a gift that they’ll love. You may be concerned for the planet or the animals or you may just love beautiful gifts.
Whatever you’re into, it’s ok. There’s no judgement here.
I invite you have a look around. See what you think. I encourage you to dip your toes into the vegan lifestyle, try a few vegan alternatives, educate yourself. You’ll see that going vegan isn’t hard. You don’t miss out on things. The benefits are vast.
And remember, if you are vegan-curious it’s a journey not a destination. It’s on ongoing evolution and discovering of new awarenesses.
NB. This post is straight from the heart and by no means endorsed by any other links. However, I can say from experience, if you want to change your health consult a medical professional, preferably a whole food plant-based one like Dr McDougall or Dr Klaper and enjoy the wellness you shall receive.