Victoria Bryceson is passionate about advocating a cruelty free, environmentally-friendly lifestyle and helping animals in need around the world. She is vegan and organises a series of Vegan Events UK festivals up and down the country. She is also founder of animal welfare and education charity Miracle’s Mission. Here she tells her story of how she became vegan and the benefits of adopting this compassionate lifestyle.
From vegetarian to vegan
“I became vegetarian 22 years ago when I first fully realised what meat was and where it came from. I also gave up eggs and wearing any leather clothing or footwear. This is the point when I made the connection that meat on my plate used to be a living breathing animal and I didn’t want to be any part of taking away an innocent and loving creature’s life, just to put food on my plate that I didn’t even need to be eating to survive. The only thing I continued to consume that came from an animal was milk as I was not educated about the dairy industry. About ten years ago I came to realise that the dairy industry is just as cruel if not more so, than the meat industry and I then became fully vegan and have never looked back. It was the best life decision that I have ever made and one that I just wish I had been born into. Becoming vegan was such an easy decision for me and the transition was so incredibly easy knowing that the food I was eating was no longer harming animals. Today with so many more vegan options and substitutes it is even easier to go vegan.
Vegan variety as the spice of life
I am so happy in my life since going vegan. I am so at peace with the knowledge that I’m living an amazing life and not harming others to do so. I feel healthier, I have more energy and I do so much more with my life. I live the most fulfilling life, I have the very best purpose and I absolutely love living a vegan and cruelty free lifestyle. I don’t miss out on any foods that I ate previously as every single food type is now replaceable with a vegan version. Vegans can even eat many vegan and delicious versions of cheese, chocolate, scrambled, boiled and poached eggs and there are now so many different varieties of plant milk available we are really spoiled for choice! I get so excited every time I see a new vegan product because the more new products that are coming out demonstrate the growing demand, which is amazing. Since going vegan I have also transitioned my four dogs onto a vegan diet and they are now absolutely thriving and love their vegan food and vegan treats.”
Her festivals feature all the food you’ve ever enjoyed but with the unhealthy bits taken out. You can try before you buy and sample foods that are so new they haven’t even hit the shops yet. You can also bathe vegan too – with a range of deliciously scented soaps and handmade bath bombs from brands like Iuvo Skincare. And if you’re feeling stressed from a busy week, you can have the chance to chill out in a relaxing yoga session.
There’s something for everyone – with lots of cool children’s activities and entertainment on hand to amuse the little ones. And if your teenager is into the latest trends you can check out cool designer vegan labels such as the gorgeous range of ‘Viva La Vegan’ hoodies and Tees. If you’re looking for a new pair of shoes or boots, Alternative Stores will be on hand to help. Plus there’s a massive range of gifts and goodies including candles, jewellery, and even treats for animals. It’s also a great place to shop if you’re looking to go plastic-free.
If you’re looking to get more in-depth, the festivals also feature useful talks on nutrition and the vegan lifestyle as well as some inspiring, fun cookery demos to get you started.
Helping animals in need
Victoria runs her events in partnership with animal welfare charity, Miracle’s Mission. She explains “I’m really looking forward to our exciting new series of festivals. They’re set to be even bigger and better than last year’s. We received so much positive feedback last year and there’s now so much demand that our festivals are becoming regular sell-out events. I think it’s partly because people really love the friendly atmosphere. And also because it’s one of the best places to network and meet others who are vegan-curious too. The wonderful thing about our events is that they’re for everyone whatever your lifestyle. Just come along and bring your friends for a great, fun day-out. You’ll have everything you need there, whether you’re looking for some retail-therapy, some ‘me’ time, precious family time or just a lovely meal out with some friends.”
Entry is from just £3 (under 16’s free) and this includes entry to all areas and activities. Standard tickets are purchased at the door on the day. VIP tickets, £15, include fast track entry and a goody bag full of vegan products, samples, discounts and offers can be purchased in advance but sell out quickly. For more information please visit www.veganeventsuk.co.uk or www.facebook.com/VeganEventsUK