Going vegan: The locals changing the game

George Clark has gone vegan. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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With the state of the climate increasingly front of mind, many have been left wondering how they can do their part.

For George Clark, going vegan has been the solution.

Having tried vegan foods previously and finding a minimal difference to his existing diet, it only took watching the Netflix documentary, ‘The Game Changers’ to make Mr Clark go all in.

“I wasn’t much of a healthy eater at all, in any capacity,” he said.

“I was eating KFC like five times a week, even during the documentary I was literally eating KFC, and I was like, ‘Wow, this is the last time that I’m probably going to eat this stuff’.”

Over the course of his time being vegan, Mr Clark began learning more about the ethical and environmental concerns associated with the consumption of animal products, and this has since become a large part of his reasoning behind maintaining the diet.

Despite this, a report from research company Ipsos shows that around the world, people are unwilling to make personal changes to reduce their carbon footprint, with Australians among the most resistant.

For Mr Clark, this information came as no surprise.

“I think people get scared of change. I was the same, you get scared to make any differences or any changes, because you don’t know how it’ll impact your life,” he said.

Lauren McLean has a little more hope in this regard.

Since going vegan three years ago, Ms McLean has embraced the environmentally friendly lifestyle that veganism has led her to.

“I’ve never done anything radical, I kind of just do it bit by bit,” she said.

Lauren McLean. Photo: Melinda Jane.

“Even when it comes to shopping, taking my own bags and having your own little bags for fruit and veg, trying to minimise plastic waste, getting the metal reusable straws, things like shampoo bars instead of shampoo bottles and stuff like that, especially when travelling.”

Ms McLean has faith that the level of awareness is moving in the right direction, but she emphasises the importance of effort over perfection.

“Even friends that I talk to, they say, ‘I guess I could go vegan’, ‘I could go vegetarian’, and I’ll say, ‘Well that’s great!’, or ‘How many days a week do you go without?’,” she said.

“I think that if everyone makes just a little bit of change, it’s far better than one out of a thousand people making the absolute change.”

This is a sentiment that Mr Clark can get behind.

“We have more power than we think we do. A little change can make a big difference,” he said.

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