At 21, I returned from abroad where I had dined on fast food and was served an omelette that had egg white runny side up!! I was a picky ‘omnivore’ at the best of times, apart from that shaming McChicken Sandwich Meal, but this omelette made my stomach turn. For whatever reason, I started doing research on the internet about the meat industry and the lives of the animals in the industry. As I said, I was an animal lover – having a family of cats, dogs, guinea-pigs, rabbits, ducks & other furry, fluffy, scaly and feathery friends but never knew or questioned what was happening to the animals. I remember crying – you know those tears that come and you gasp so much for air because your emotions became so strong that you can't control them!? I can actually, still picture where I was sitting to this very day, how I felt and the lack of empathy shown to me when I was breaking on the inside! I wanted to produce a magazine highlighting the horrors of the meat industry and animal testing but was told I could not force others and why did I look at this on the internet if it made me so sad? That was it, changing myself with no support and the internet as guidance! I never made that magazine or the handouts! For 4 years, I believed I was a vegetarian, just lacking knowledge of the dairy or egg industry. It is true! This was not a case of I know what happens but I love my cheese scenario or in my case, my soft serve ice-cream! When I first researched it was the meat industry that was prominent and it was where I started. A case of never knowing except slowly my body began to show me.
I became vegetarian (the lacto-ovo way) for ethical reasons. My body began to yell loudly- my cholesterol shot through the roof so I went to the doctor and thus began the reduction of dairy cheese. As the next couple of years went by with the minimal amount of dairy milk consumed (Magnums, homemade pizza and more magnums), I started to cry uncontrollably again for another reason. I cried for the pain I was suffering and how I saw my body in the mirror every time I consumed the dairy so I went to the doctor. I was tested and told that I am intolerant to dairy and eggs. A life saver! I began to research again, now I was 25 years old, and my eyes were opened! I rechecked myself for intolerances 6 months later being told I could consume dairy and eggs again – I smiled saying “no thanks, not now that I know about the dairy and egg industry”. I remember this moment knowing from here on in, I was truly vegetarian! I became plant-based for health reasons that slowly turned to being vegan for both ethical and health reasons.
So if my diet was plant-based when did I become vegan? I had been living abroad and stumbled across a stall highlighting what we wear, the products we use and more and how animals are suffering because of the daily choices we make. This was shortly after eliminating dairy and eggs so not much of a time gap. So, it was in Scotland that I became a true vegetarian – a vegan (food, clothes, cosmetics and kitchen stuff)! After that I helped where I could with a few organisations in Scotland and Norway with highlighting issues, I ate cakes and had meals from Hungary to Bali and have helped a few folks along the way to seeing a different and kinder way to living! I have learnt about them, us and this beautiful planet in my 10 years + of starting towards being vegan!
Now I am 32 years old (ahum young!) and now I want to give to everyone, all beings, a chance to live healthy and happy without causing suffering where possible. I have started my own business after many years in the Oil & Gas Industry, a holistic business to folk in person and online! Through Health & Lifestyle Coaching and Yoga, I hope to continue doing my little bit for the wonderful world and it helps having cattle as neighbours to say “hellooooooo” to every day (we are waiting for the lotto so with this business we rescue our first 11 beautiful beings and begin a sanctuary)! So, today I begin with ‘Total Alignment with Dionne’ and one day, grow a sanctuary out of a passion due to the suffering that has become so prominent in this world. I am the that weird lady with an Ozzie fiancé who stands at our quaint Irish stone wall having full blown chit chats with a herd of bulls & bullocks because in the last house, it was a flock of sheep!