I’m Maya. I have been a vegetarian for almost 8 years now. I guess strictly speaking I am veggie/semi-vegan. I live in London – a City that is so veggie and vegan friendly I sometimes forget how lucky I am! I moved to the big smoke a couple of years ago to take the next step in my career (I am a scientist). I live in SW with 2 lovely housemates in a shared flat.

I have always been an animal lover – I grew up in Sri Lanka on a coconut plantation, surrounded by nature. Rescuing animals and looking after them was a major part of my childhood; stray kittens that were left abandoned by our gate, injured pythons, a baby monkey whose Mum was killed by villagers just to name a few.

I wasn’t raised veggie. I am a Buddhist, so I’ve always had the view that all life is sacred. I became a vegetarian when I was 22, just as I was finishing my Masters degree at Uni. I had a somewhat ‘epiphany’ moment where I was watching a documentary on wild tuna fishing, whilst easting a tuna salad and rice. Needless to say the documentary really opened my eyes to the sheer suffering that fish go through and I thought, ‘I don’t have to eat tuna or any fish! It isn’t essential for my survival’. One of my good friends was a vegetarian, so with her help I transitioned to being a vegetarian pretty quickly. I have never regretted it and never looked back.

I believe that all living creatures have a right to live and enjoy their lives and that no one has a right to take that away from them. Pain and suffering are universal to all creatures and I don’t want to be a part of it.

So why aren’t you vegan? I hear you say. Well, I am transitioning. I think we all have boundaries and limits. I strongly believe in doing as much as you can to help, even if it’s a meat-free Monday, cutting out seafood or red meat or dairy. It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing attitude. I think it’s a process for everyone and this is my process.

My life is mostly cruelty-free, I don’t wear leather or silk and I try to buy brands that are cruelty-free. I do veganuary and veganovember. I am not 100% there and I don’t believe anyone can be 100% actually. There will always be a question about where ingredients are sourced and if they are completely animal product-free. The important thing is to try. It’s a personal journey and I welcome veggies, vegans, raw-foodists, flexitarians and meat-eaters alike to read my blog and share your opinions. Respect one another and enjoy!