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Digital Subscriptions > Vegan Life > January 2018 > CHALLENGING REALITY


Jane Lewis talks to Vegan Life about her deeply moving representational art
Earthlings – Laboratory Mouse & Rat

Tell us about your own vegan journey.

I gave up dairy nearly 30 years ago because of allergy rather than ethics. I had been vegetarian for many years but, while still avoiding dairy, eventually lapsed to pescatarian to occasional meat eater. Some Buddhist friends had told me about the abuse rife in the egg industry, which I ignored until I had a light-bulb moment when buying eggs in a supermarket and realized that it is impossible to supply the millions of so-called free-range eggs without the entire country being knee-deep in hens. But my real enlightenment to the horrors of animal agriculture came through social media. I saw a photograph of line upon line of calves in veal crates, and my impulse was to look away, but it gave me a feeling of nagging unease. Shortly after this I came across the Earthlings page on Facebook and wondered what the documentary film was about, so I found it on YouTube and watched it from a totally naive perspective, unprepared for its content. Seeing that film changed my life — I became vegan overnight. That was nearly three years ago, and since then I’ve watched a lot of undercover footage of farming practices and vivisection atrocities, and have read widely about animal rights and also the health benefits to humans of a plantbased diet.

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About Vegan Life

December is a tough act to follow and I do feel a little sorry for January, which seems to have the reputation as the dullest, coldest and most bleak month of the year; if the months of the year were being picked to play netball, January would probably be picked last… Traditionally, January is the month when people decide it’s time for a change and put their house on the market, change their job, dye their hair green or make ambitious New Year’s resolutions. Every January of my adult life I have tried, in vain, to change a habit or routine, like ridding myself of my unhealthy tea addiction or seeing friends more often. This year, with the help of a couple of articles in this issue, I have decided that this January I am not going to change a single thing — my motto this January is going to be ‘new year, same me’. We have some wonderful articles to help boost your mood, and your confidence, this January. Surrounded with pressure to lose weight and go on a health kick to get into shape for summer we have focused on body positivity in this issue. We have spoken to vegan body positive warrior Mica Day and argue that exercise should be a tool for enhancing mental health and wellbeing as much as physical health. To tie in with our special feature, Fat Gay Vegan has also written a fantastic piece on body shaming in the vegan sphere, which I enjoyed immensely. January is also a great month for reflecting on how far we have come as a community. More people than ever are coming to the realisation that the way that we are treating most animals is wrong and I have a tingling, excited feeling about what the coming year has in store for us. 2018 is going to be the year of the vegans. I hope that you enjoy the issue and, remember to buy your Vegan Life Live tickets for next month!