Going Vegan By Angela Dower
Hi, my name is Angela Dower, I’m a wife and mum to three amazing children aged 18, 15 and 11. My sporting background began in South Africa, where as a child I competed in equestrian sports. I was horse crazy! Fast forward 20 odd years and I began training at my local gym as an indoor cycle instructor. I always aspired to look more muscular and less ‘skinny fat’, but didn’t seem to be able to achieve that ‘look’, much to my frustration.
A massive international move later, 3 small kids in tow, we settled in the UK. My husband and my ancestry is here (mine is Scottish) so it really felt as though we had ‘come home’ and we’ve never looked back. The first thing I did was join a gym and it was there that I began weight training and within weeks I could see my body transforming. This lead me to compete in several fitness model and bikini model competitions where I was lucky enough to place; a wonderful reward for all the hard work and dieting that went into it.
Recently, my life has had a major turn around. This is, in part, thanks to Sundried. When I was first approached by Sundried around 6 months ago, I watched the Netflix documentary ‘The True Cost’ which I saw mentioned on their website. The documentary shows the horrific side of the fashion industry where people are exploited, abused and in some cases killed in the name of ‘fashion’. I never realised what went on behind the scenes of this industry.
I’m hugely proud to be part of the Sundried community, where ethics, innovation and sustainability are at the forefront of it all. This documentary led me on to others on Netflix and I was introduced to another horrific practise...factory farming. I watched and cried and cried some more. Why you ask? Not only from a compassionate point of view was I deeply moved, but from an ethical, sustainability, carbon footprint point of view, I realised that as humans we are fast destroying our beautiful home, Earth. So the major turn around I mentioned? I stopped eating animal products. Just. Like. That.
Being an athlete, I’ve been questioned time and time again where I’m getting my protein from. And my answer is, plants! If you look at the biggest strongest animals on earth: elephants, buffalo, gorillas; their diets are plant-based. If you eat a wide variety of plant foods, you’ll be getting enough protein. Some vegan athletes, to name but a few, are ultra marathoners Rich Roll, Scott Jurek, Fiona Oakes and Ruth Heidrich as well as bodybuilders Torre Washington, Amanda Riester, Jim Morris and Dusan Dudas.
So in a nutshell (nuts are a great protein source too, by the way) I’m now training, just as hard, just as heavy, and am purely powered by plants. It feels great! I’m full of energy and love knowing I’m doing my bit for the environment and the animals. I really hope I’ve managed to inspire even just one person to give plant-based a try.