My story is one of evolution if I've ever heard one I'll tell you. I always say, the best way to become passionate about this journey is to educate yourself otherwise you won't have the motivation to stick with it and that's how my story progressed, through educating myself. When it all began, I just abruptly stopped eating meat without really knowing what I was doing but I was determined to stop even if I didn't fully understand why I was doing it.
Almost 17 years ago, I was sitting in my grade 10 marketing class when a video from inside a slaughterhouse came on the television during another student's presentation. I was busy chatting with my friends at our table but I caught enough of a glimpse that I was pretty horrified. I remember seeing animals hoisted upside down on some kind of conveyor dripping in blood, some of which were still squirming and I remember thinking to myself that I couldn't believe what I was seeing. We all know where meat comes from but if we choose to be ignorant, we really can be unaware of the process of this meat from start to finish. After that day, I went home and told my parents I was going to be a vegetarian. I didn't know how this was all going to pan out but I knew I was going to try.
At this time, I was managing a Kentucky Fried Chicken which was an interesting job for someone who was trying to quit meat. The first couple years were difficult for me because I wasn't really sure what I was doing. I ate a lot of boxed foods, did minimal ingredient reading, and struggled at work not to eat anything that I was so used to eating everyday. It was a big challenge for me but you know what, I felt more proud of myself everyday for trying.
I'd say by the time I was 12 years in, I really felt a passion for animal rights. I donated all of my boots that I loved so dearly but knew they were made with the tortured remains of animals. I had completely cut out all meat, fish, and eggs, and had started cooking better for me food that not only made me feel good about being a vegetarian, but also made me feel good period. Gone were the days of packaged crap that I was consuming because I didn't know any better. I won't lie though, there were days where I would grab those three cheese pizza pops and enjoy every moment of them but for the most part, things were where I wanted them to be.
4 years ago I started this blog with the intentions of learning new cooking techniques, trying new foods, and sharing my knowledge of the vegetarian lifestyle. I wasn't a master of anything by any stretch but I knew that there would be someone out there who needed resources or who could relate with my stories. As time progressed, I started becoming heavily involved in animal rights reporting and action. I was taking stories from all over the internet and commentating on them which essentially furthered my ambitions in helping animals. The more I knew, the more angry I was getting about what was happening to animals all over the world. I've since taken action and contacted world leaders, hunting associations, fur farms, and more, demanding action regarding the way that animals are treated. It has honestly become my biggest passion in life.
Here we are today. I've really improved my cooking having written in upwards of 400 recipes that I've tested and shared. I've grown my blog from 10 views a day to over 500+ a day, and have really dedicated myself to animal welfare. Where do I see this going in the future? Well, I know I want to continue writing and testing recipes but I've been taking a break because of my travelling and living abroad experience. I know I want to continue to focus on animal welfare which is what drew me to volunteering with the DSPCA (Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), and I have my cookbook written and will be submitting it to a formatter in January to have it available on amazon by the end of January which I'm excited about.
I can't say what the future holds but I see big things. I know I'm going to ease myself into a complete vegan lifestyle when I come back home from this working abroad experience. The dairy and egg industries are plain awful and I know this but I feel good about the work I am currently doing. One of the things I always say on this blog is to celebrate every success. I feel so good about the past 17 years (hiccups included) and essentially the past 4 where I've made this lifestyle my passion. I just know I will continue to feel good about what I'm doing and hopefully inspire others to feel good about themselves and every success they have in their vegetarian / vegan journey!
Hey everyone, Jonathan here and I'm the Happy Veg! I love creating vegetarian recipes that everyone can enjoy, whether you're going vegetarian for the first time, or giving meatless Monday a go! Thanks for visiting the blog and have a great day xo