Happy Monday folks!

It is indeed a happy Monday for me as I'm bringing you Veggin's very first guest post!  I am very excited about this, I'm meeting all kinds of wonderful people with wonderful veg experiences to share with you!  My hope is these stories will serve as further inspiration to all of you out there contemplating making a dietary lifestyle change. 

Our first story comes all the way from Australia!!  Without futher adieu, I would like to introduce you to Miss Brooke Allen-Rhodes! If you want to continue following Brooke and her vegan journey, you can do so on Twitter @brookeAR.  You can also check out her blog, (which she wants to send a disclaimer that she doesn't get to update as often as she'd like due to her studies) at !  Thanks again Brooke for sharing! :-)

Brooke (right) and her Oma

Ok, well, my name is Brooke, I'm 17 and I'm in my final year of school. I hope to finish this year with the results to get me into university and enabling me to study law. Although, I won't be heading to university straight away as I plan to travel around Europe next year for around 6 months! I really enjoy cooking and since becoming vegan it has pretty much become my new favourite hobby. I love cooking delicious, healthy and ethically right meals for my friends and family. I also love discovering restaurants near me that compensate for vegans- which is rare as Australia is quite behind on this trend. Other than that, I enjoy reading, being with my friends and family and trying my best to relax.

 I often ask myself this question, what did actually prompt me to become a vegan? I think how it all started was in my adolescents. I got to an age where I started to question what was being put on my plate, what was healthy and where these things that I was consuming were coming from. I never really liked red meat but was brought up eating every other type of meat. I basically eased into the vegan diet. Firstly I eliminated chicken and given the choice would not eat chicken or red meat. After a few months this changed again, and I labelled myself as a pescatarian, only consuming fish. Again, I read things that were disturbing and watched videos that were confronting and ending up eliminating fish and becoming a vegetarian. Then came the final straw. I got a research assignment at school where we had to pick an ethical issue. I decided to look at factory farming in Australia and what I ended up discovering was more horrific than I had originally thought. Long story short, what I exposed myself to resulted in me eliminating all animal products from my diet.

 So far it is going fantastic! I feel great about myself and what I am doing. I love sitting down in front of a meal and thinking "nothing had to die for me to enjoy this". It's a wonderful thought and it really does make me happier. Of cause you will get those people that say, "Oh you're only one person, you're not going to change anything", but I really don't believe that. I think being on this diet truly does have ripple effects. My mum now hardly consumes meat in her diet given the choice and often my friends are quite intrigued and curious by the food I bring to school for lunch. I think I've made a great choice and I know that daily, the food choices I make are benefiting my health, my happiness, animal's lives and the environment. No other diet could offer that! Like I said in my biography, I absolutely love cooking now and can't get enough of it. Mmm I can smell the freshly baked muesli slice I just made now :)

 You also get asked/accused of not having enough protein, calcium, iron and all that. But I'm sure like most vegan and vegetarians know, it's so simple to get sufficient amounts of these by carefully selecting what you eat and including all necessary vitamins in your diet. I'm slowly finding out where the hidden vegetarian and vegan restaurants are around my area. There aren't many so when you find a good one you get quite excited. Today mum and I are heading to "Loving Hut' which is probably my favourite vegan restaurant discovered so far. The food is delicious (mainly meals with mock meat) and it's great value. They also have available a freezer full of mock meat. Last time mum and I picked up fake prawns and duck! My friends are often quite shocked that there is a substitute for everything on the vegan diet. Finding these things in Australia isn't too difficult but it can become a little expensive. I believe however, as the ripple effects continue to occur and as the truth behind factory farming come out, the vegan diet will become very popular. More and more people are turning towards this kind of lifestyle, and I mean, why wouldn't you?

Yup! I agree with Brooke...why wouldn't you?!  Look for the next guest post comin' at ya on Wednesday!