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From ‘carnivore’ to vegan overnight

Until six years ago, 33-year-old teacher Michael Broadhead was a committed “carnivore” who had grown up eating meat, dairy and eggs every day.

From ‘carnivore’ to vegan overnight

Teacher Michael Broadhead (seen with a fellow volunteer) was exposed to a vegan diet while doing volunteer work in India in 2010. Photo: Michael Broadhead

Until six years ago, 33-year-old teacher Michael Broadhead was a committed “carnivore” who had grown up eating meat, dairy and eggs every day.

“I used to hate vegetables and even made fun of my best friend who was on a vegetarian diet. How the tables have turned,” said the volunteer coordinator at Animal Allies, who turned vegan in 2010.

The turning point came when he was exposed to a vegan diet while volunteering at a reforestation camp in southern India.

At the same time, he watched a documentary on how dolphins are caught and slaughtered. Moved by the chilling images, Mr Broadhead began to rethink his dietary choices. He went from heavy meat-eater to vegan overnight, cutting meat, fish, dairy and eggs from his diet.

“When you see the conditions most of these animals live in, it really wakens your compassion. I realised I had a choice to live a life that reduces harm as much as possible,” he said. His drastic change shocked his family and friends. “Back then, veganism was a foreign concept to them. But they were inspired when they realised that I was getting healthier; my eczema and asthma symptoms improved,” he said.

Mr Broadhead acknowledged that the drastic changes are not easy for most people. “A vegan lifestyle is a process, so everyone needs to find a reason that motivates them to move step by step. Give yourself flexibility when you need it. It’s not an all-or-nothing choice.” 

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