I grew up on a little family farm in the Czech Republic and when I was a kid I was taught to kill animals. It was absolutely normal. I also worked in a chicken slaughterhouse in England when I was 25 to earn some money. That was like hell on earth.
I started reading about climate change. One day I learned that there is massive environmental damage and climate change caused by animal agriculture – 80% of deforestation is caused by agriculture. All my illusions about being an environmentalist disappeared. I thought: “I just can’t be this person any more.” I became a vegan six years ago.
Every Sunday, we have a stall on Market Street in Manchester – we put out lovely vegan food and leaflets. The ethical aspect doesn’t seem to worry people. So I try to switch the discussion to the environment – people are often shocked and start googling.
I also emailed all the  employees at my work explaining my views. I got plenty of positive feedback; I did also get people ridiculing it, but I was not offended. The fact is that laughing is better than ignorance.
My children have never eaten meat. We used to get their blood tested every six months for iron, vitamins D and B12 etc, but the doctor said we should stop coming back as the results were always perfect.
My advice to people who want to talk about veganism would be: stay calm, don’t be judgmental, and never give up trying to help people see there are good reasons for being vegan. In the future, our children will thank us.