Why I Went Vegan…

So as I said in my last post I’m going to start incorporating more and more vegan related content into my blog. I have never felt more passionate about something in my life as I do veganism, it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle and something that attacks the biggest injustice in human history; animal agriculture. Now these posts will attack mainstream beliefs, beliefs that have indoctrinated pretty much all of the western world and ideals that the majority of the population invest in, that being meat and dairy are good for you and needed in your diet. So meat eaters could easily get offended reading vegan related content as it attacks the foundations of their ideology, I get it, I used to be that guy too, but I urge you to read any content with an open mind.

Anyway; as you can tell by the title, this particular blog post is about why I went vegan. Like many I went vegetarian before I went vegan. Whilst this is a good stepping stone up to veganism, I would advise just going straight into veganism itself, that’s what I should have done looking back, as it really isn’t that hard and it’s what’s ethically right for the animals and the planet. Obviously you will make mistakes to begin with, but that’s all part of the learning curve. So yeah, I went vegetarian just after my 18th birthday in May, around the 14th I believe, after watching a heart-breaking documentary called ‘Earthlings’ (I shall be making a post very soon with lots of the content that motivated me to make the change, so stay tuned for that). The only reason I watched this documentary was because I was watching a Fitness channel called ‘Vegan Gains’ on YouTube and he spoke so highly of it, so I decided to check it out. Bearing in mind at this point I had literally just finished eating a kebab so I was still a fully-fledged meat eater and had no desire to change my lifestyle. This documentary opened my eyes to the animal agriculture industry and what it’s really like. The media do a great job of portraying some kind of utopia regarding animal agriculture and I, like many, hadn’t made the connection as to what I was eating due to this propaganda western society is subjected to on a daily basis. Whether that be happy cows or chickens on the packaging, or giving meat fake names such as ‘bacon’, which is really just pig flesh. I mean does the media really think children who watch shows like Peppa Pig would be happy eating a real pig? The animal agriculture business is the most profitable business in the world and they do a great job of exploiting the cognitive dissonance in society, but once you make the connection, like more and more are nowadays, you can’t go back. For example; as the great Paul McCartney says “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.” Anyways, I digress. So I was vegetarian for around 4 months. I always had the idea that I would go vegan, just never fully committed, but as I continued to educate myself about the meat and dairy industries and the more I exposed myself to the truth, I decided it was time to change my life, do what was ethically, logically and environmentally right, and go vegan. I went properly vegan on the 20th September, just as I started university and I have never looked back. I feel better both physically and mentally, I have more energy than ever and I am just a happier person in general. I have the theory that by abstaining from putting death and suffering inside my body, I am happier. In my opinion everyone should go vegetarian or vegan, I shall explain why in a later post but I just don’t see how anyone other than a sociopath could make the connection and continue to live their lifer the same way, it’s just not right. (Oooo controversial)

So yeah, there we go. I understand this is an incredibly self-centred post but I figured it was the best place to start and might be relatable in a way. Keep smiling, Harrison 🙂

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2016 And a Change in Direction + HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Another year’s over, 2015 has been and gone and 2016 has officially arrived. Like I said in my post from last year, time flies as you get older. Again this year feels like it went by faster than ever before, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just makes you realise how quickly life can pass you by. Already this year has started better than the last due to the fact I haven’t got a broken jaw and nose this time round (hooray!).

2015 was a pretty good year for me, looking back at my post from last year (link here if interested) I achieved everything I set out to achieve and not only that but I developed friendships and made some awesome new ones. I also feel like I evolved substantially as a person over the year, changing my lifestyle massively, and this is where the ‘change in direction’ part of the title comes from. I went Vegan on the 20th September 2015 and it’s the best thing that could have ever happened to me and something I feel hugely passionate about and, therefore, why I am going to be writing about veganism a lot more on my blog. So this is just a heads up if you dislike people ‘preaching’ about stuff like veganism (although I wouldn’t consider it preaching) because I will be writing about Vegan related stuff a lot more from now on as I feel it is very important.

I suppose this is the part where I make a few ‘New Year’s Resolutions’. Whilst I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions as if you are going to do something why not just do it straight away, I do have a few aims and things I want to achieve over the year. The main one is to travel somewhere. Just anywhere. Have an adventure as that is my dream in life and I haven’t really done anything to achieve that as of yet. I also want to keep fit, cliché I know, and pass my year at University, all of these are achievable and I cannot wait to see what 2016 holds.

So yeah hope you guys had a good Christmas and New Year, I certainly did, my new kitchen accessories that I got will definitely come in handy! I wish you all a very happy new year.

Keep smiling, Harrison 🙂

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5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Exercise

Okay so first of all I’m no fitness expert, in fact, I’m quite the opposite. I’m a skinny, underweight, 17 year old who struggles to lift weight that even most grandmothers could. And whilst that may be an exaggeration, unless of course your Nan is a bodybuilder, in which case congratulations as that’s pretty rad, I still believe that exercise and fitness are extremely important and something that everyone should at least try. I aim to go to the gym 4 times a week and then have 1 session of a Davina Intense Cardio at home (it’s great it includes shimmying). Whilst this may sound a lot you by no means have to go to the gym to workout, home workouts can be equally as rewarding and can take just 30 minutes. There are various home programmes you can do, some of which cost but so many are free, I recommend subscribing to Tony Horton on youtube (www.youtube.com/user/TonyHortonFitnessTV), he has lots of great free content that can really get you motivated. If that’s not enough to persuade you the here are my personal reasons why everyone should exercise…

  1. Self Confidence: Whilst I don’t recommend working out in order to get those shredded abs that will get you the girls, I do believe that exercise makes you feel more comfortable in your skin and therefore more self-confident. This obviously has many benefits in everyday life, not only will you look better, you will feel better to be you and that can only be a good thing.
  2. General Health: It is a scientific fact that exercise improves your general health and decreases the chance of getting life threatening diseases. This is a quote from MayoClinics.org ‘No matter what your current weight, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls.’ So is a longer, healthier life enough of an incentive?
  3. On an Emotional Level: Exercise improves your mood. It is again a fact that physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. I know I didn’t believe it at first either but take it from me, someone who was super stressed with work from school and quite down a lot of the time. Working out regularly reduces stress and makes you feel happier about your life.
  4. Improves Energy Levels: Obviously if you’re fitter then you’re going to have more energy. Exercise improves cardiovascular endurance which therefore corresponds to having more energy. This means that there will be no more falling asleep in those Friday afternoon lessons.
  5. Exercise is Fun: This is by far the most important one. Many people are put off exercise due to the fact it seems like a chore to them and is boring. To that I say hell no. I agree riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes can be boring, however, exercise is completely customisable to your specific needs and the variety available nowadays means that it always remains fresh and never stale, as I imagine it would be doing the same workout week in, week out.

So I hope these 5 reasons have inspired you to even think about starting to exercise, and if so, I promise you won’t regret it. There are even more reasons I could have talked about and if you require more incentive then please, feel free to leave a comment. In the meantime keep smiling, Harrison 🙂