Name: Georgia Phelps
Who are you and what do you do?
I am a super passionate, ambitious and fun-loving person, currently living in Wollongong NSW. I just finished studying a Bachelor of International Studies at the University of Wollongong, and will be starting a Master of Laws at the University of New South Wales in February, as I feel that this postgraduate course will enable me to contribute to resolving Human Rights, Socio-Economic, and Environmental Issues. I am also currently working on my own recipe Ebook, which I hope will help others transition to eating a more plant-based diet, safely and enjoyably.
Why are you a vegan?
I am vegan because I know that it is the healthiest diet for good health and longevity. For my whole adult life I have been very conscious of the way I eat and have been passionate about health and fitness. However, It was not until I was opened up to the health benefits of a wholefood vegan diet that I was aware of how much more I could be optimising my health. I changed to a vegan diet for completely selfish reasons, for my own health, however, I now feel very passionate about the health of the Planet, and about Animal welfare, which has made my desire to live and promote this lifestyle, that much stronger.
How do you feel being vegan?
I struggle to explain how being vegan has changed my life, I feel that it has completely transformed my life and has enriched it in a way that I do not think anything else could. Physically, I have far more energy than I did before, I recover better from weight training, and my whole complexion and physical features have never been healthier. However, the biggest change has been a more spiritual and mental one. I have never felt more connected with myself and with the Earth, as I do now. I have more of a sense of purpose and I have this faith in the Universe, in nature, and within myself, that I am exactly where I need to be and I am on the right path. It sounds a bit woo woo and a bit out there but I can promise you that most, if not all vegans, feel this way. I saw this quote recently that really resonated with me; “I trust the next chapter because I know the author”. I really love this quote because sometimes life gets me down and things don’t go my way, I feel helpless, but now I remember to be grateful for how lucky I really am, and I trust that everything happens for a reason, and I am exactly where I need to be.
What do you find most difficult about being vegan?
It might surprise some that the most difficult thing about being is not finding good things to eat, I have found that being vegan has opened me up to so much more food and more variety. The most difficult thing about being vegan is dealing with the fact that your family and friends may not or are not open to trying out this lifestyle. The vegan lifestyle is something that I am extremely passionate about, and when you are passionate about something you want to tell the world about it and you want everyone that you love to come on board. Once you realise how absurd and awful it is that as humans we are perpetuating the needless suffering of billions of animals, it is very hard not to get frustrated with the people you love when they do not see things the way that you do. Some of my family and friends do not understand why I am vegan, they do not realise how much healthier a whole food vegan diet is than their typical omnivore diet, not only for us but for the planet too. Sometimes there are jokes made at my expense and I just have to deal with it because I ate the exact same way for the majority of my life so I try to show compassion and no judgement. I try to respect that everyone is on her or his own journey and that they will be more open to being vegan when they are ready. I think that the best thing I can do is to lead by example and show that I am thriving and the happiest I have ever been.
Why do you think going vegan is good?
I think that being vegan is good because it is the single greatest thing that an individual can do to decrease her or his environmental impact. I think that it is so empowering that we can reduce so much devastation to the environment, and so much animal suffering, by making different choices about whom we give our money to. We have a choice, to either support industries that are one of the leading contributors to Climate Change and that are based on needless suffering, or to support more sustainable and ethical industries and practices. Being vegan is also good for the health and happiness of every person on the planet, Mother Nature provided us with everything we need in plants, so I believe that the vegan diet is the best diet for health and longevity. That being said, I am very privileged to live in a country where I have all of the resources to eat a very healthy vegan diet, for those living in some third world countries it is simply not possible to be vegan, as resources are lacking and sometimes animal products are the only fuel available to stop malnourishment. I think that if you have the resources and the right intentions, being vegan is one of the greatest things you will ever do for yourself, for animals, and for the planet.
Is it hard to transition into a vegan way of living?
I personally did not find it very hard to transition into a vegan diet and lifestyle. I had already cut out a lot of animal products from my diet before I decided to go fully vegan. Once you go without something for long enough, you realise that you can live without it and that you do not miss it, and with the amount of amazing vegan alternatives on the market, it is so easy to transition. It is a great time to go vegan. The demand for vegan alternatives is growing and more brands are making vegan versions of their popular products, for example, vegan Magnums! I love magnums and was so excited when the brand came out with a vegan version. While it is great that there is a lot of delicious vegan junk food out there, I encourage everyone to stick to a predominantly whole food vegan diet, and to keep the treats to a minimum. The mock meats, vegan cheeses, icecreams etc. can be great for transitioning, but they should not be a staple in your diet. I personally did not feel the need to eat mock meat when I transitioned, I have always stuck to mostly whole food sources of protein like tempeh, tofu, lentils, beans etc. One thing that is hard is being familiar with what is vegan and what is not, I think every vegan has eaten something that they thought was vegan and then found out it was not. This can be hard to deal with! You feel like you’ve failed and you have to start over again because you accidentally had some dairy in a slice your friend bought you. This is not the case, it is just a matter of getting into the habit of checking labels and checking with your friends or family if something is vegan. This does not only concern food either, it means ensuring that your makeup is not tested on animals, the shoes you bought aren’t leather, things like that. It’s not about transitioning overnight and being perfect, it’s about doing whatever you can, when you can. Just try to be informed about these things and gradually you will get better and better at it.