• Ellie Chadwick

Meat and Dairy Free for 21 days #1MillionActions

Updated: Sep 13, 2019

Smoothie bowl sitting on a window seal with plant

I've been meat free for over 2 years consecutively and I've eliminated meat from my diet at different times throughout my life.

The first time was as a university student. I was living out of home and couldn't afford to buy meat. So naturally I found ways to eat cheap and survive. Although I looked forward to going home for mum's home cooked meals. Mmm lasagna.

Another time, I was staying with a Khmer family in rural Cambodia. As I watched my host mum kill, pluck and prepare chicken for dinner I realised that I couldn't do that. So I thought, if I couldn't bring myself to do it then how can I make other people do it for me?

A few years later, I lived with a vegan for 3 months. I read Eating Animals, watched Cowspiracy and did my own research on the Australian cattle industry. I decided that I didn't support the degradation of land and the inhumane killing of animals.

Learning about the spray used on supermarket beef to make it appear pink because we have this altered perception of what meat should and shouldn't look like seemed so surreal and superficial to me. Let alone what it was doing to my health.

Later on I developed an enormous amount of empathy for the animals who are grown to be slaughtered. If you've ever been eye to eye with a sheep or a cow on the back of truck bound for the slaughterhouse you'll know what I'm talking about.

The whole thing started to seem pretty bizarre to me. We clear the land of all trees, feed cattle grass, other animals or unnatural feed like corn, transport them all over the country, stun them or otherwise inhumanly kill them and eat their flesh.

No thanks.

And after all of this, I couldn't look at meat the same again. As my empathy grew I couldn't see the difference between human flesh and animal flesh, it's all the same to me now.

You won't see me eat a piece of dead animal any time soon.

Let's look at dairy.

I was dairy-free until I was experiencing some health issues which were caused by imbalanced gut health.

I didn't incorporate enough probiotics in my vegan diet, so it was my own fault. Lesson learnt.

As any vegan will tell you, it's cheese I missed the most anyway. So I slowly started re-introducing local cheese into my diet.

I love cheese but the dairy industry frustrates me because it's the mumma cows who suffer the most.

They're forced to have babies, which are taken away from them, and then they're hooked up to machines to extract the milk intended for their baby calf, making their utters bleed. Later on they bleach the milk to remove the blood stains.

We're the only animal on the planet that drinks another animals milk, it's a bit strange don't you think?

For these reasons and more I'm committing to 21 days meat and dairy free as part of 1 Million Actions 4 the Planet. A habit changing challenge set by 1 Million Women.

If you'd like to support me, please donate here.

You can also buy me a whoops pass when I cave and add cheese to my tacos!

Thanks for reading.

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