My name’s Sue and I’m married to Paul. We’re all vegans (Paul and I for 5 years and Milly for 5 months, since we rescued her!). I’m a yogi, a supporter and speaker on veganism and animal rights, and a volunteer at an animal sanctuary.
I became a vegetarian 30 years ago, when I was 19. Since I was a child I’d never been very keen on meat, but I admit that I didn’t really go beyond this – I simply knew I didn’t like it! Becoming vegetarian (or almost vegan – I was intolerant to dairy products, although I was unaware of the term ‘vegan’ at the time) was a compromise with my Mum, and because my new diet made me feel so much healthier I welcomed it on health grounds. I find it hard to believe now that whilst valuing my own health and wellbeing, I knew next-to-nothing of the wellbeing (or non-wellbeing), plight and suffering of other animals!
After 25 years as a vegetarian, I met Paul and we encouraged each other to ‘go vegan’. He had previously been lecturing on a university Ethics course (as a vegetarian) and it was his students who challenged him to consider the ethics of factory farmed dairy products and eggs. He immediately turned vegan and inspired me to do so. It was such an easy choice, but I have to admit that it was the first time in my life that I had really thought about the whole factory farming industry and questioned what, why and who we eat and use as we do.
Dietary-wise, the change was instantaneous and we’ve never looked back, especially since we both love cooking and preparing healthy, wholesome food. But the rest came gradually. It took us a number of years to replace all our leather and wool clothes, footwear and accessories, for example, but once again, when we got there we never looked back. In fact, we’ve really enjoyed looking around for more ethical alternatives, and have now become‘hemp’ and ‘bamboo’ addicts! I have also become a’ vegfest’ addict and love finding new products and information!
I love being part of the Norwich Vegans: Firstly, because everyone’s so genuine, friendly, and supportive; secondly, because there’s a wide range of activities (shared meals, pop-ups, meetings (sometimes with speakers), campaign stalls and events, days out and holidays) to engage with as and when you want to; and thirdly, because it’s great to be part of something that’s growing so fast and is therefore testimony to a more conscious and changing world.