Doncaster has a ‘thriving’ vegan community according to local vegan

Animal lover Holly Woodward’s pet rabbit is the inspiration behind a decision to quit eating any animal products and turn her back on leather.

Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 9:12 am
Holly Woodward.
Holly Woodward.

Holly, aged 22, of Bentley is a vegan and says she doesn’t miss out on anything by not eating meat.

She said: “It's getting harder and harder to ignore the cruelty that surrounds both the farming, dairy and honey industries, so I decided I needed to do something about my lifestyle.

“I’ve only just moved back to Doncaster from Sheffield and its got a thriving vegan community.

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Betty the rabbit.

“It seemed every month that something new was popping up and we were absolutely spoilt for choice: we even had a chippy that served vegan battered sausages!”

Holly and her partner have been vegetarian from March 2017 and fully vegan from October 2018.

She said: “I remember my partner and I tried going meat-free for a week, just to see how we'd get on with it.

“We couldn't go back to eating meat.

“When you've lived your whole life eating meat and other animal products, the transition seems so overwhelming.

“So I think transitioning as slowly as we did really helped us find replacements we enjoyed, rather than sticking to a diet we hated and then relapsing.“Our first concern was finding the right vegan milk, but once we tried Oatly's ‘whole’ milk that was an absolute game changer.”

Holly like many other transitioning vegans found that other nut milks such as soy can taste grainy and are not a desirable switch.

“We've found most things very easy to replace or change and we've actually found a vegan diet much more exciting to cook and eat.

“It's really opened our eyes to trying new things all the time.

“Of course, it's not always realistic to be cooking a meal from scratch each night.

“So a couple of times a month we'll have a frozen vegan pizza, Linda McCartney pies and chips or even some quorn vegan nuggets,” Holly continued.

The diet is just one aspect of a vegan lifestyle.

Holly said: “We've incorporated veganism into all aspects of our lives.

“I'm very strict with myself, not only on food and drink, but also on beauty products, toiletries and furniture.

“I'd never buy a leather or suede bag, shoes or any other item of clothing made from an animal, and I make sure all my toiletries and make-up are clearly branded suitable for vegans.”

Holly’s main inspiration behind her diet change was her pet rabbit, Betty who naturally eats a vegan lifestyle.

She said: “It got me thinking about how we treat animals differently: how we cherish dogs, cats and rabbits.

“But we happily let cows, sheep, goats, birds suffer through the meat and dairy industry.”

If you’re thinking about making a lifestyle change then Holly has some advice for you.

She said: “My advice would be to avoid faddy cookbooks, that use every lentil and herb under the sun and invest in some good, well reviewed cookbooks.

“My recommendation are the BOSH books, whom I recommend to both vegans and omnivores alike.

“They have some seriously tasty food, all with ingredients that are both readily available and cheap.”