“The Absolute Vegan” online shop was conceived out of our frustration at the limited number and choice of absolutely pure (and tasty) vegan products that were available to us in South Africa.
In September 2011, Warren (my husband) and I (Tanja) decided that we were unhappy with our meat-eating habits given the implications for the animals. So our journey started and we became vegetarians. We still enjoyed our food but mostly we were happy that our food consumption did not involve the killing of any animals.
In 2012, we splurged and went on a Mediterranean cruise where we met a couple (Ed and Mandy), who educated us a little more about the atrocities still prevalent in the dairy and egg industry, which we were supporting by being vegetarians. Mandy gave us a book called “The China Study “ (T. Colin Campbell) (1) to read and after reading the first chapter on the plane trip home, I promptly announced to Warren that I was going to follow a vegan lifestyle. Cruelty to animals was no longer going to be supported by me! Warren supported my decision but was initially reluctant to become a vegan…. because he would miss eating cheese (which he was extremely partial to!). Living without meat was one sacrifice that was tolerable but the thought of a diet with no cheese was problematic to put it mildly! In Warren’s words …”living without cheese was like dancing without music”
However, within 3 weeks, Warren too became a full-fledged vegan and the next chapter of our journey started.
We realised that our love for animals ran a lot deeper than our affiliation and attachment to our furry family at home. Through self-education and research, we learnt about the abuse that animals suffer in order to feed humankind and we were not prepared to support these practices anymore.
It seemed to be a natural progression for us to start becoming more aware of our environment and becoming more health conscious. .
So “our beach” where we take our dogs for daily walks became cleaner, we lost weight; I stopped using blood pressure medication which I had taken for 15 years.
It was a battle (we won’t lie to you) in terms of changing to the plant-based diet we now follow. We had to search for products, carefully study ingredients before buying them and a usual monthly grocery shopping trip turned into a 3-hour affair! We did not desire to eat bland foods so searched for recipes online and bought several raw cookbooks so we could experiment on our own and even create fanciful but healthy (and importantly completely vegan) dishes. We had several experiments that were yuk and we resolved to begin again until we refined or came up with a tastier version or something completely new. If the vegan products we bought were not tasty, we did purchase them again. We particularly missed sweet treats and because we did not always feel like making and baking our own, we were disappointed that there was a very limited choice available to us in South Africa.
…. and that is how the idea of our own online shop was conceived – we wanted to ensure a smoother transition for other people who like ourselves, were contemplating a vegan lifestyle as well as current vegans. We desire and strive to ensure a ready supply and variety of tasty, healthful vegan products, from snacks to meals to desserts. The concepts of qualitative organic and non-GMO ingredients are important to us.
All the products on our site have been tasted and ingredients verified.
Where possible, support has been given to vegan operations/ companies as our primary producers and suppliers as this espouses our integrity, our principles and the common philosophy we aspire to.
This is not always possible but we hope that in time, and as we grow, we can start using companies that only produce vegan products as more people start on this journey.
Yours in positive and organic health – Warren & Tanja