My name is Liz and I currently live in Bath in the UK. My earliest years were spent in southern Spain, close to the crossing to Gibraltar at La Linea de la Concepcion. After that, my parents moved to the UK to the village of Hullbridge.
Hullbridge is bounded at one end by the tidal banks of the River Crouch and at the other, by Lower Road, which leads to either Rayleigh in one direction and Hockley in the other. It is located in the southern edge of the county of Essex, near Southend-On-Sea.
My father worked abroad in various European, Caribbean and Middle Eastern countries and was always travelling. He travelled so much I never really saw him and when I did, he always seemed to be either packing or unpacking a suitcase. His passport was a mess of entry and exit stamps from countries that sounded exotic and hot.
As an adult I’ve lived in various locations including locations in France, The Netherlands, Belgium and Italy. I met Russell (my husband) in Geneva and when we returned to the UK, we spent 18 years living in a 500 year old farmhouse in West Devon.
Today, we live 3 miles outside the city of Bath in Somerset. Although Bath is considered, like Devon, to be in the south-west of England, we are now a lot closer to London. It’s only 1 hour and 15 mins to London by train.
How did we end up here? In December 2015 I managed to make contact with a girlfriend I’d met at work in the mid-1980s. Her name is Angela, and we lost touch when I moved abroad. It was brilliant to reconnect with her. For our reunion meeting she suggested we met halfway between her home in Oxfordshire and my then home in Devon. The halfway point turned out to be Bath.
As it was near Christmas when we met up, so we visited the Bath Christmas market. Angela had also thoughtfully booked a table for us for lunch at Acorns, a well-known vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Bath. I’d never visited Bath before and I remember thinking at the time – I’d love to live in Bath. It was so beautiful, alive.
After 18 years in the middle of nowhere, living here seems so exciting. If you haven’t had a chance to visit, Bath is an ancient and beautiful city with UNESCO World Heritage Status.
This is because it’s a historic Roman city, known for its natural hot spa water, cream-coloured Bath Stone buildings and resplendent style. We lived here now for over two years, but because we’re in the midst of Brexit, we’re thinking about leaving the UK. I am sure there will be more to say about this later.
I’ll update you at some point when we’ve decided where to go, if anywhere. However, in the meantime I still can’t get over how gorgeous Bath is. Here are some of the photos I’ve taken.
Veganism Isn’t Convenient
The world is set up to discourage people who want to treat animals with respect and not kill them. Most of us are brought up to eat a so-called balanced diet of meat, dairy, fish, fruit and vegetables. Much of our fast food is based on animal muscle and fluids, be that burgers, nuggets, ice-cream or sandwiches.
Because of this, there is pressure to eat what everyone else eats. There is also lots of disinformation to be undone about what is good for us to eat.
Animal suffering is hidden. We are told the killing is humane. To see for yourself, either you must become an animal rights activist and work undercover in a slaughterhouse, or, take the less radical option and traumatise yourself with the animal slaughter Youtube footage the activists record.
It’s so much easier to shrug your shoulders and shove in another slice of pizza or a burger. That’s what most of us do. That’s what most of my friends do. Thankfully one of my oldest friends, Graham, called me out and I changed my ways.
Food And Cooking
Before I tried to eat a vegan diet, I used to be vegetarian or pescatarian. Before that I had periods, when I ate meat. Although vegan eating can bring astonishing health benefits, and environmental benefits, for me, animal cruelty has always been my main motivation for wanting to minimise my meat consumption.
When I was vegetarian I thought I was avoiding exploitation of animals and removing my contribution to animal cruelty.
The Dairy Industry
I didn’t realise that dairy and eggs were heinous products produced by an industry no better than the meat industry. I didn’t, with all my excellent education, even realise that a cow had to be pregnant or recently pregnant to “give” milk.
Because of that I didn’t realise that calves were starved of their own mother’s milk so we can take it from them, and that the cows are forcibly impregnated, repeatedly for up to 5 years until they can take it no more.
Then they are hauled off to slaughter to make cheap mince. If you’ve eaten mince as I have, then it’s probably from the body of an exhausted, brutalised and sick dairy cow.
I didn’t understand that drinking cow’s milk was about as strange as drinking hyena milk. It worked out this way because cows don’t fight back. It’s one of the main reasons we aren’t all sucking up tiger milk, I suppose.
I now know the dairy industry is the meat industry. When I was pescatrian I thought that fish were somehow unfeeling and killing them by the million through slow suffocation was absolutely fine. That’s crass ignorance for you.
During this ignorant phase of my life, I was known for my lavish dinner parties. Fish terrines, mousses and fried delicacies. Roasted animals parts and intricate sauces. Layered multi-colored dairy based desserts. I think it was during this period that my health hit an all-time low. It’s still not great, but since I’ve started to eat a vegan diet it has begun to improve.
I intend to see that through and to encourage you try to do the same if you want to.
New To Veganism
I’ve been eating a mostly plant-based diet since 2015. Yet, I am a vegan debutante. I’ve lost my desire to put on stylish dinner parties. I want to eat for health now – not just mine but also the health of the animals that we as consumers, mindlessly exploit.
I’m finally doing my bit by trying not to eat them or their body fluids. I hope you can understand why I am doing this and if you’re not already doing your best to be vegan, that you find it within yourself to consider it. I think you’ll be better for it, inside and out.
If you assume eating meat is OK and you’ve brought your children up to do it too, maybe start questioning your assumptions. The facts, the science, the studies are all there. The only thing missing is you.
The violence we are witnessing all around the world, the cruelty, the corruption, the lies and the selfishness, starts on our plates. If we all thought it unthinkable to hurt animals we’d be less likely to hurt each other.
When we learn to accept the unacceptable, cover up the unthinkable and smooth over the cracks in the evidence and the logic is when the brainwashing sets in.
I have a background in computing science and worked as a software engineer for 25 years.
I gave up my career to stay at home and look after my elderly mother, Ruby. In 2008, I started working from home. Since then, I’ve run a small solopreneur business from my home office.
Using my skills I worked with business people around the world building and fine-tuning their websites. In the last 5 years I specialised in using the Genesis Framework to build WordPress sites.
At the moment, my own sites run on WordPress and Genesis. Russell, writes WordPress plugins in his spare time, some of which I specify, and then use on my websites.
If you’re interested in the precise methods I used to build this website (perhaps you’re thinking about building your own site), or any of Russell’s plugins, you can find out more by visiting another of my websites where I describe how to build a blog and, how I built this blog.