Since becoming vegan I’ve read a lot about the experiences of others after they have made the same transition. Typically they got mocked, ridiculed and belittled by their friends, family (and even strangers!) for making such a change for reasons that aren’t recognised by everyone else. However, I lucked out as I have been overwhelmed by support from my family and friends and this was shown even more so this Christmas time.
In the week before Christmas, my good friend and fellow activist Jeane planned a demonstration to raise awareness for animals and veganism in Dénia. I thought this was a great idea and immediately signed up. However, due to many circumstances associated with the holidays, I was the only person to join Jeane. The die-hard activists were all away for the festive season.
We didn’t let that stop us.
On Thursday 22nd December at 11:30, we held our demonstration on the main street in Dénia. We dressed in funeral robes and masks and knelt on a mat covered in the body parts of animals and signs conveying messages such as “for you to listen” and “to satisfy your taste buds”. It wasn’t all grim though, we did have a Christmas tree.
The reaction to the demonstration was surprisingly supportive, apart from one lady who muttered ‘mmm yum’ when walking past. We had several people approach us to praise the demonstration and offered us money and coffee. The highlight of the day for me was when a child showed some interest in our demonstration. His parents brought him over and quietly explained what the demonstration meant. The boy was wonderfully receptive to the messages and both the boy and his parents thanked us and waved goodbye. This type of awareness is invaluable to the animals.
Christmas day was also a success. Wonderful Husband and I don’t have family in Spain, so like last year we planned to spend it together with Nutty Dog. But plans changed this year as we’ve become great friends with our neighbours, Andrew and Itzel. So we teamed up and decided to have a very merry Christmas together – 4 adults and 3 dogs! To my surprise, Andrew and Itzel were insistent on having a completely vegan Christmas. How awesome?! So we split the cooking down the middle.
On Christmas day, we came together to cook the most amazing vegan feast that I could have imagined. Our main dish was a beautiful seitan roast stuffed with lentils and nuts and on the side we had brussel sprouts, roasted potatoes and home-made stuffing. For dessert we had chocolate cake with coconut cream icing, mince pies and macaroons. Finally for game-playing snacks (after the serious eating had taken place) we had samosas, garlic butter sausage rolls and pizza. All cooked from scratch.
On top of great food I got the most amazing vegan/animal-based Christmas presents from my friends and family. I couldn’t have been happier. Everyone put lots of thought into my presents, ensuring they were vegan.
Lastly, how does your 2017 look? Mine looks pretty mega.
If I weren’t vegan, I would totally make my new years resolution to be vegan but alas, I cannot. So instead I plan to drink more water in the new year… I’m thinking 2 litres a day if possible.
More importantly I have friends making even better resolutions than me! Clever Friend Gregor is going to make more effort in his vegetarianism and look out for things like gelatine. My Mega Vegan Friend Bunch has made a resolution to take part in more activism (in particular using his clothing line) and Amazing Friend Jof is becoming vegetarian for January!
If you are wondering what to do in the new year (and you love animals)… then why not make a small change to your diet or lifestyle? You could:
- Drink an alternative milk to cow’s milk.
- Find alternatives to leather/wool when buying clothes in the future.
- Take part in Meatless Mondays.
- (If one day a week is too much of a change) try having a meatless day one day a month. Anything helps the farm animals!
- Find alternatives to food that uses palm oil (destroying the rainforests!).
- Try to learn more about the factory farming industry.
- (If you’re looking to make a big difference then…) why not try being pescatarian, vegetarian or even vegan? You can find great support at Veganuary or feel free to contact me!
These options don’t make a big difference to us… But they make a huge difference for the animals.
I finish by thanking my very supportive family and friends for a great 2016. I hope 2017 can be as fruitful. Merry Christmas to all, I hope you have a wonderful new year and thanks for reading!