Today we’re talking to Esme Carr AKA London_afro_vegan, a 30 something vlogger from South London.
She talks about giving up fish, initial slip ups and how third time was a charm for going vegan.
How did you come to be vegan?
I’m still a newbie as I’ve only been vegan for 20 months, but I did it overnight. I had tried twice before but it never really stuck because on one occasion I found vegans so irksome that it was an excuse enough to jump ship.
Yes it’s a very lame excuse, but if you do not want to do something you will find every excuse not to. The second time I didn’t know how to eat. I was never a big meat eater in the first place but I thought it was just a case of removing the animal products from a meal but eating the same portions but you’ve got to substitute and sometimes eat bigger portions to get everything you need.
How did you find your first month? What was easy and what was hard?
It was so easy. I went through the occasional days of thinking ‘argh I need food but I can’t eat chips again’ whilst out and about. I did have a few tantrums about the lack of vegan food stores or vegan ranges, but so much has changed since then. Because I had tried to transition before, I had experienced many of the pitfalls and slip ups so I was more prepared for what I was going into this time round.
I did have a few tantrums about the lack of vegan food stores or vegan ranges, but so much has changed since then.
What did you think you’d miss the most, if anything?
Fish. Definitely fish. There are so many things you can do with fish and I loved the different tastes. I knew once I was able to pass up my mum’s fried fish then I had finally arrived in Vegantown.
How did family and friends react to to your decision?
There were no dramatics, threatrics or anything with my family. My mum said ‘you’re not going to give my grandchild chicken?’ My dad shrugged his shoulders. One of my brothers laughed, another said ‘cool’ and the last one said ‘I don’t get it’. My sister just carried on with her day.
My profile pictures on social media used to be a KFC bucket, so my friends were amused to start with, but then they became intrigued and told me they wanted to try my food.
One of my brothers laughed, another said ‘cool’ and the last one said ‘I don’t get it’. My sister just carried on with her day.
Did you have any accidental or purposeful slip ups in your first month?
Yes I admit I had a purposeful slip up in the first month or so. I took part in some food research and unfortunately it involved eating cream cheese. It felt wrong but I justified it to myself saying it was the first month and I would allow myself that slip up. Did I feel guilty? Yes and no. I didn’t try and hide it from those who knew me and resolved to move past it.
What did you wish you’d known then that you know now?
I wish I knew what an amazing journey it would be. Most vegans say they wish they would have gone vegan sooner, but it’s a journey and we all arrive at different times. I also wish that I knew of all the amazing resources, places to eat and people there are out there. It’s all grown at a ridiculous rate since I went vegan.
What would be your advice to anyone thinking of going vegan?
Everyone’s reasons for going vegan are different, but I would encourage you to do your research and enjoy it. It’s not a race, it’s a journey in which you will learn so much. Don’t be hard on yourself and find the best way to make it work for you.
Your journey is your own, so embrace it and be a little inwardly smug about the great changes you’re making.
People who were previously silent will have an opinion on everything, but as my mother would say ‘take nonsense and make sense.’ Just take onboard what works for you, all the rest is fodder. Your journey is your own, so embrace it and be a little inwardly smug about the great changes you’re making.
And read the rest of the 31 Vegans’ First 31 Days stories here.