Bestest Daddy agreed to be my first ever vegan challenger. Be aware, I will be offering others the chance to take part… If you’re hard enough.
It all started a couple of weeks ago when Bestest Daddy and I arranged for me to visit him for the weekend in Oxford, England.
Me: Daddy, I want to ask you something, but don’t worry if you don’t fancy it.
Daddy: Ohhh I’m intrigued.
Me: Well do you fancy being vegan for the weekend I’m over?
Daddy: Yea, no problem.
Me: That was easier than I had expected.
Daddy: Sounds good… As long as you do all the cooking.
Asking a meat eater to be vegan is not a habit of mine as I’m not a fan of rejection… but asking Bestest Daddy was different. Bestest Daddy has a fast-paced job away from home. He works long hours and eats whenever possible, so his midweek diet revolves around easy and convenient food, this normally means meat. However Bestest Daddy is going through a weird, transitional (but who knows to where) food phase.
Bestest Daddy has always been an animal lover, but like so many others, he didn’t make the connection with farm animals until a few years ago when he and Lovely Step-Mum Cindy saved chickens from a factory farm… Now he replaces the poultry in his Sunday roast with a cheese and onion pasty.
A few years later I became vegan and started a blog. Bestest Daddy was my first subscriber and since has read my blog religiously (at least he says he does). Shortly after, he became pescatarian but was unable to keep to the diet during the working week. It seemed that Bestest Daddy couldn’t think of convenient, alternative meals during work. Bacon sandwiches and sausage rolls were far easier to come by.
Skip forward to our vegan weekend get-together… On Saturday morning, we set off for Bestest Daddy’s hair appointment. The hairdresser is a family friend and amongst the general chit-chat Bestest Daddy mentioned our vegan weekend plans. Her response was “so you’ll be eating lots of fruit and veg then“. Little did she know that the vast extent of our vegetables would be the lettuce we add to our yummy chicken burgers (action shot set as featured photo – apologies Daddy!). Instead we had a weekend of comfort food. If we had dined at a restaurant, our set-course menu would have looked something like this:
Doesn’t sound vegan, does it?
After a fantastic weekend of yummy, cruelty-free food and great company (animals included!) it’s hard to pinpoint my absolute favourite thing about my time in Oxford. Along with a bunch of other lovely things, one of the most wonderful consequences of the weekend is that we normalised veganism for Bestest Daddy. Veganism is now (hopefully) easier, healthy, attainable and not tree-hugging weird for him any longer.
Change is uncomfortable, inconvenient and I don’t expect Bestest Daddy to become vegan overnight. However, I do notice when he walks past the animals near his home, he greets them with a sincere fondness, for example”hello Mrs Mallard” and “hello horsey” were during my most recent visit. These are not the habits of someone who is disconnected from animals but someone that has a tremendous amount of compassion for them. In the future I hope to be a source of wonderful recipes and encouragement for Bestest Daddy.
Note: For any vegans (or non-vegans) travelling to Oxford, I would highly recommend the Eden Cafe in Witney. I had one of the most wonderful cheese and pepperoni toasties there… Even Bestest Daddy liked it! I will definitely be going back.
Thanks for reading 💛