I wasn’t feeling good on the inside or the outside. I felt burned out. I felt bitter about things and I also felt overweight. Because of all these things I wasn’t writing how I wanted to, and I was losing confidence in myself. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror, let alone stand on a stage and sing. My confidence was crushed and I needed to pull myself out of it.
I believe that we need to be the world we want to create, and I realised that I was not doing that and I needed to make some changes. I’m passionate about whale captivity, I feel it’s the last circus trick that everyone’s ignoring. Whales and dolphins in a small tank, mammals that feel more emotions than we do, performing tricks for food with no family. I started to then read up on the hunting that still goes on in certain countries and was so upset that they are still eaten. It then got me looking at organic farming and what was classed as organic and free range. And that’s when I realised how unnatural it all is. A calf, ripped from its mother too soon, if a boy, sent for meat, if a girl, milked until she can’t be milked any longer and then off to the same farm as the boys anyway! Baby chicks on a conveyer belt, crushed if male. The effect our farming has on the planet is astonishing. I realised that to stop my own suffering, I needed to stop causing suffering to others. I decided to adopt a vegan lifestyle, and this really was the start of me becoming a happier person and feeling better about .
I had been vegetarian for years, dipping back into meat every now and again. I never liked the texture, the line of fat that ran through it – every roast
dinner was like a horrifying dissection. But I wasn’t aware of anything else, because I was sucked in by whatever we were being told next: ‘meat is good for you‘, ‘beef is bad, but lamb is fine‘, ‘chicken is healthy‘, ‘they’ve lived a nice life‘, ‘they’re only animals‘, ‘one person can’t really do much about it’, and so on.
I’m aware of people wanting to pop all vegans into a box of the sandal wearing, hippy, animal rights activists, always going on about what they eat, and turning their nose up at the guy’s steak on the table next to you. Now, believe me, they do exist, but they make up a very small minority of vegans – and its is VERY difficult to wear sandals all year round in the UK…
There’s also the general buzz that vegans don’t get any/enough protein, and have lank hair and spots and are skinny. Since I’ve been vegan, I did lose some weight, but I will never be skinny, and I’m not aiming to be skinny. My hair feels better and shinier, and I can go outside without any make-up and people don’t stop me to ask if I’m alright or if I need to sit down. I have worried about my skin and weight all my life, who knew, just to give up dairy would stop all those worries! I wish I’d known that when I was 15. Of course we aren’t supposed to drink milk meant for baby cows. It seems absurd to me now!
When I do talk about being vegan it’s because I feel so good from it, and want to share it with other people. I’m not a preacher, I’m just happy in myself. I do believe that everyone should live the way it makes them happiest, so if for you that’s not vegan, then that’s up to you.
For me, I feel happier, I feel lighter , I feel more in touch with the earth, I feel like I am making my own small difference. I feel aware and therefore in control of what goes into and on my body and what impact I am making on this planet.
Most importantly, I feel self confident again, confident to write songs, to stand on stage and sing my songs, confident and proud to be who I am.