It is always a joy when you see someone’s social media and they describe themselves as vegan – although actor Danny Hatchard also says he is a “general nightmare”.
You may know Danny as Lee Carter from Eastenders, Pvt. Rhett ‘Cheese’ Charlton in Our Girl or a whole host of TV, film and theatre over the past 14 or so years.
We are delighted that Danny has shared his vegan journey with us here at VeggieVision TV.
“For as long as I can remember I’ve had a special relationship with animals. I guess growing up as an only child left a lonely void that needed to be filled, and a puppy staffy called cassie bought for my 6th birthday seemed to do the trick just perfectly.
Even now I’ll never forget walking into the back garden of my Brentwood home being greeted by this little black bundle of joy. It was like we instantly became best friends, and from that moment on I never really identified as an only child. I strongly felt with all my heart and soul that I had a sister, and that’s just the way it was.
13 wonderful years later I experienced my first real heartbreak when Cassie had to be put down due to serious health complications. And even then whilst experiencing a state or utter grief I couldn’t properly identify the similarities between an animal who caused real heartache and whom I loved unconditionally and the animals I’d consume everyday at the dinner table who were brutally murdered for their body parts. It just didn’t compute.
Perhaps growing older was the key, but only after my second dog had sadly passed away due a tragic accident in the summer of 2017 did I really take a moment to sit down and think about how my consumption of animals massively contradicted my love for them.
And in those moments, as if I’d finally realised some life affirming equation, the penny dropped with the weight of a tonne of bricks. How could I feel so much hurt for the loss of a four legged friend when I consume sentient beings with the same level of emotional intelligence every day.
I realised, there is no doubt that if I’d spent enough time with those animals before they were brutally murdered I would have developed an emotional attachment to each and every one of them, and likely would have pleaded and begged for them not to be killed for the sake of eating their body parts.
And just like that, I no longer heard beef, I heard Cow. I no longer heard Bacon, Ham, and gammon, all I heard was pig. I think of the pig that escaped the local farm during my 4th birthday party celebrations. Just like it was yesterday I remember feeling elated that I had a real pig attend my party and had absolutely no problem sharing my party food with this loveable creature. There’s not much I remember of my early childhood, but that moment in particular stood out. That pig made my birthday feel so much more special.
Being vegan has been the single most rewarding decision I have ever made. Never have I felt so human. Never have I felt so connected to Mother Nature. Never have I felt more like I am doing the right thing. In a sense I feel as though avoiding the consumption or any animal products is nourishing for the soul.
I went vegan before I had watched all of the popular awareness films such as “What the Health” “Game Changers” “Cowspiracy” and “Dominion” but like most, once I had watched them it only solidified the promise I made to myself, to never participate in this mass genocide again. I’m ashamed of my past, but already very proud of my future.”
Do also check out Danny’s vlogs on You Tube too – they will make you laugh and as well we get to see him trying out some delicious vegan foods.
Instagram – www.instagram.com/1danboy
Facebook – www.facebook.com/mrdannyhatchard
Danny is currently working on a new BBC Drama called Ridley Road – and we can not wait to see it!