Insta-Vegan: noun. someone who bombards their Instagram followers with pictures upon pictures of their aesthetically pleasing plant-based meals. All she posts are pictures of her acai bowls; she’s such an Insta-Vegan.
I discovered veganism through Instagram and this is what made me become a crazy plant-eating hippy that I literally never envisaged myself to ever be. I saw a picture of a girl in sunglasses, wearing a chic floral dress and looking effortlessly sigh-indusingly gorgeous and I began a major stalking fest. Clicking on picture after picture, I soon discovered this girl was a vegan. What even is a vegan anyway? Slowly, as I read more and more Instagram captions, I discovered vegans (what a strange, new word it was to me) only ate plants and believed in the eradication of the ill-treatment of animals. This was a mad concept that I had literally never considered before, after all, even vegetarians seemed strange and totally protein-deficient. Nevertheless, I decided to take matters into my own hands and educate myself…
Suddenly, I discovered tons of new accounts on Instagram who upheld such a radical view concerning the food on their plate. ‘Avocado Toast I had for breakfast’ read one caption or ‘Post-workout nicecream’ described another. And this was all so interesting to me. Being well into my health and fitness journey by this time, I was looking for something else to, you know, make me even more healthy and fit – and this lifestyle totally fit the bill. Instagram accounts highlighted the multiple benefits of veganism:
- Preventing animal suffering
- Helping to reduce environmental degradation
- Improving your health
Now these bullet points aren’t just wild claims either – I discovered that they are backed-up with plentiful evidence. Nudged in the right direction, I watched a few documentaries that 100% swayed me to join the dark side and eradicate all animal products from my diet, meaning no more meat, fish, egg and dairy products.
Three of the main docus that totally converted me were:
- Earthlings (violent slaughterhouse footage that will leave you with panda-eyes)
- Cowspiracy (the environmental effects of the animal agriculture industry, produced for Netflix by the one and only Leonardo DiCaprio – if that’s not incentive to watch this, then I don’t know what is!)
- Forks over Knives (the serious health risks eating animal products can cause)
After watching these bad boys, there was no turning back and I gave up meat for lent before turning fully-blown vegan (and proud). Actually, rule out the ‘and proud’ part. In real life I was super nervous about what people would think because let’s face it, being vegan seems pretty weird and out-there. So, I kept it under wraps, but took to Instagram to virtually share my new plant-based discovery. At this point, I felt super passionate about the cause and marvelled at the old chicken-eating milk-guzzling me.
I became an Insta-Vegan, instantly becoming vegan and instantly sharing my colourful foodie pictures online. Yes, I was one of those people who planned out meal ideas in her head, always making sure I had my bananas on rotate so there would always be ripe spotty ones to blend into nicecream, always taking ten minutes to snap a few dozen pictures before digging in to the good stuff (cold pancakes, anyone?). A couple years later and here I still am, with a little less embarrassment and a lot more pride. I’ve learnt that if you want to do something different and go against the grain, then work it! People are always going to judge and I know that now. No one can ever completely do the right thing in everyone’s eyes, and that’s okay because that is what makes us all different and unique. So, if you want to join me in this Insta-Vegan journey, grab your phone in your right hand and your compassion in your left, and let’s revolutionise the way we eat.
I read somewhere that we can literally just change our lives whenever we want and the only thing that stops us is our fear. We can literally just stop eating meat one day, quit our boring job whenever we like, pack up and travel the world tomorrow, post a body photo on social media and feel hella strong. I saw one picture on social media, and I became vegan and that felt truly empowering. So yes, now I do feel proud that I felt I could make such a radical change and free to do what it was I wanted without fear of other people’s thoughts of me. Only the other day, I asked my friend to take pictures of me in a park, right in front of a big outdoor workout class and…I didn’t even care! This is a major change for me and I’m hoping to keep this carefree attitude up in the future.
So thanks, girl on social media for showing me the vegan ropes, and now I hope to be that girl and inspire some of you to do as little as eating one vegan meal a day to cutting out dairy to completely changing your eating habits. Either way, I’m enjoying making such delicious (and pretty) food and sharing it with some amazing people on Instagram. I’ve made some incredible connections online and, whilst I do get people questioning my diet with disbelief, I am ridiculously proud to say that I am an Insta-Vegan.