Cardiff students on the transition from beef to leaf this World Vegan Day

We talk bacon, diets and costly alternatives

The 1st of November is celebrated as World Vegan Day, so we spoke to some of Cardiff’s vegan students on why they made the transition from beef to leaf. In attempt to understand more about the lives of vegan students, we asked all the important questions. How they transitioned to veganism, the effects on diet, and whether they’ve managed to save money being vegan. Here’s what we found…

Why did they make the switch?

In an attempt to explore the reasonings behind this decision , we asked Cardiff Students why they went vegan. One student told The Cardiff Tab, “I decided to go vegan because I find pigs cute”. They added, “as a kid because of my affinity towards that animal I stopped eating bacon first, meat next and have been a vegetarian since childhood before becoming a complete vegan later”.

Another student was ecstatic to boast about her “4th Veganversary”, but was also uncertain as to why she made the switch. She told the Cardiff Tab: “I turned vegetarian 6 years ago and naturally became averse to meat”, adding that it just made sense to stop consuming all animal products later.

Credit: theoriginalvegansociety on Instagram

Other students explained that they saw life changing documentaries like ‘Cowspiracy’, ‘ The Game Changers’, and ‘Vegucated’ – and were inspired by vegan activists on Twitter and Instagram to made the switch. One student told the Tab Cardiff, “I am super proud of it”.

How did you make the change?

It’s understandable that students want to go vegan, but how hard is it to make that change? One Cardiff student explained, “my housemate was a vegetarian and we were tired of cooking separate meals and doing the dishes. So I gave up meat.”

Credit: theoriginalvegansociety on Instagram

Others claimed to have a shaky start, with one saying: “it was difficult since I lived with family. My grandparents made cakes with eggs and milk sometimes and I couldn’t refuse. But once I moved out and began living alone in the city, the switch became easier.”

But then there are also students who went into it headstrong. One student told The Cardiff Tab: “I had to do my part for the nature. I couldn’t see the animals suffer. I made a decision and since then I have stuck to it.” .

Is it healthy to be vegan?

We wanted to know Cardiff student’s secrets on maintaining this diet. A few students explained that they lead active lifestyles, with plenty of exercise, so their “proteins come from vegan protein shakes, a lot of chickpeas, protein veggies and milk alternatives.”

Credit: theoriginalvegansociety on Instagram

When asked about carbs and fats, one student said: “POTATO and RICE are my best friends”. Who can argue with that? Another student said: “I don’t keep a count. I eat whenever I feel like but the food has to be fresh and healthy and plant based.”

Do you feel any different being vegan?

So you’ve changed your diet, but does it actually make you feel any different? When asked about the benefits of being a vegan, every student we spoke to agreed: “it is easy on the stomach.” Many said that they were intolerant to lactose and milk proteins, and have a history of gastrointestinal problems, so it made sense to make the change.

Students also told The Cardiff Tab that vegan food helps them keep cholesterol in check, keeps heart diseases, diabetes, and obesity at bay which – in turn – helps them focus and concentrate better, work longer, reduces fatigue and also gives them glowing skin. Doesn’t sound too bad tbh.

It costs half as much money to be a vegan

So, you have the benefits to both the environment and the animals themselves, but how cost-effective is being a vegan really? According to the students that spoke to The Cardiff Tab, if the purchases are only limited to fresh fruits, vegetables, and beans/pulses – then began a vegan costs literally half as much as being a meat-eater.

Credit: theoriginalvegansociety on Instagram

However, the vegan alternatives can be expensive. Items like soya milk, almond milk, vegan ‘meats’, vegan cheese, etc. are often double the price. Although in the last few years restaurants have been serving vegan dishes, they can be very expensive when compared to those meals containing dairy or meat. Can’t win them all, hey.

What would you say to students considering being vegan?

A student told The Cardiff Tab, “being a vegan is a lifestyle choice. No one can make it in a day. You got to take it slow”. Another said: “EDUCATE EDUCATE EDUCATE.”

Why not try the vegan diet out, and see if the benefits really are as good as Cardiff’s student vegans say. If anything, saving money just means more (vegan) beers – and who can say no to that?

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