How Did I Turn Plant-based?

Hi! My name’s Iarlaith (Ear-Lah, gaelic meaning: Prince of the West) and I’m a 14 year old lad living in County Sligo, on the west coast of Ireland. Ever since I was a wee pup my parents have been teaching me about acceptance, equality and kindness. Thanks to them I grew up wanting discrimination, suffering and all injustices to end faster than a hummingbird’s heartbeat. What could someone like me do to make that happen though?

Hummingbird in flight

Not rich, not powerful and not able to dedicate myself to every single charity out there. So, I talked about how global warming was a bummer, how much people dying of starvation sucked and how it blows that the rain forests are getting shaved off the planet like a beard at the barbers. Never really helped though. Just stood back and let all this destruction take place feeling quite powerless like almost everyone else. Then I made a change. One that helps me help others and myself!
Global Warming 3

Global Warming

Read up ‘cos it all starts here. A few months back when I was 13 my family and I were going through big changes. My dad was working in Geneva, Switzerland on his own and the rest of us were setting up a new home in a new town.

Lac Leman


I was lonely, sad, fatigued, low on energy, grumpy and had more acne on my face than pages in a comic book. Home life was quite gloomy. School felt like a waste of time and friends were few.

Gloomy classroom

Then my life whizzed around after an eye-opening documentary called ‘Sugar Crash’. I discovered how sugar was ruining my life with depression, anxiety and possibly one day with diabetes, cancer, obesity etc. A sugar detox was the only solution.


My mum reminded me of a cookbook I got for christmas called ‘The Happy Pear’. When I read their stuff and looked at their recipes I was amazed. No-bake brownies with no oil, no sugar, no eggs, no milk but a frock load of nutrients coming from oats, nuts, dates and cocoa powder? I’m in hot dammit!
3 pears.jpg


They were awesome. Smiling, cool guys with so much healthy knowledge – That’s it. They became my Role Models. David and Stephen Flynn. Up there With Compton Hip-Hop artist Kendrick Lamar and Batman!


The entire book was vegetarian and most of it was fully plant-based and that is when I found out ya don’t need meat and eggs to eat wonderfully! So I tried it. I went vegetarian for a month. It was difficult but doable the first week or so and it became a lot easier after that.



I felt awesome, zits were disappearing, strength flooded through my bones and energy into my blood. After the month was over I wanted to keep my streak going for a little longer. I spoke to other kids in my year casually about how I was eating mostly a plant-based diet and many of them, including teachers, would tell me I wasn’t getting all my nutrients.



Young Vegan

Not Juan though. He was a foreign exchange, non-veggie student from Spain in my class and he thought it was amazing. He acted like I was never going to eat meat again but I didn’t want to tell him otherwise because I wasn’t sure what I’d do. He told me about a guy called Gary Yourofsky and how he made an incredible speech about living plant-based. I watched it and I was stunned beyond words.
How could I have been such a hypocrite? Where did all my peace and love go when it came to the animals? Sure, I cared about Equality among humans but whenever it came to a cow’s rights I laughed and took another bite of my cheesy bacon beef burger. What sort of person would I be if I went back to my old ways – knowing the secret horrors of a glass of milk. And how disgusting, disturbing and grotesque it all was.
Ever since then I’ve been ballin. Home life is quite awesome. My mum and dad are getting a lot slimmer and younger with every raw cake they eat. My younger brother recently stopped eating meat and my youngest brother is reducing as much as he can. In the mornings energy and strength lift me out of bed, I work out daily and exercise a lot more than I used too because I love doing it.
feelin good.jpg

Feelin’ good

My acne is nowhere near as bad as it used to be and my happiness is now real! I eat what I want to eat when I want to eat and I never want to eat junk food because that puts me in a junk mood. Living Plant-based is probably one of the best, if not the best, decision I have ever made in my short teenage life.


Now I can help prevent global warming, people starving, the amazon rainforest being shaved away and reduce suffering more than I ever thought possible! I’m a happy herbivore. A plant-based person. An artist, a surfer, a guitarist, a friend, a reader, a son, a skater, a learner, a muscle-builder, a chef, a cyclist and quite a lot more. You do not have to give up the things you love to live a loving, lovely life.


I started this blog because I want to make a difference and spread the message of health and compassion throughout the galaxy. This blog will be about all the epic thing’s that go on in the Plant Kingdom. I’ll be busting myths, sharing recipes, talking the truth, telling you to be healthy and brainwashing the world with my plant-based propaganda! MooHooHaha! Without the Moo. So smile all the while and be the best you you can be!


Mostly I wanna hear from you. What are your questions, opinions or challenges with the plant-based lifestyle or anything else? Please let me know.
If you’ve read this far… Then thanks! You’re awesome!
Peacefully and Respectfully,
Iarlaith — The Sweet Spud!




25 thoughts on “How Did I Turn Plant-based?

    1. I appreciate the support, Sara! To answer your question I love pizza, which is what my newest post is about (this one😉). I also adore anything spicy, anything with chickpeas, anything from South America, Thailand, India and Italy – and home-made veggie burgers! I love veggie burgers!

      What your favourite recipe for dinner? And would you like delicious dinner recipe posts on the blog?

      Iarlaith – The Sweet Spud


    1. Hi Nathan – I know well who you are and where you’re from 🙂 Thanks for the support, man!

      Yeah, and we should definitely meet up again; maybe you could come to Sligo this time…
      Bye my friend 🙂

      Iarlaith – The Sweet Spud


  1. Good for you, Iarlaith! Your willingness to really examine your lifestyle and live by your principles is inspiring. I’ll look forward to keeping an eye on what you write here, and I hope I’ll cross paths with you and your family again this summer in the Alpes?


  2. Great start to your blog Iarlaith. It has certainly made me think about the ethics and health risks of eating meat. How about a few recipes for those wishing to give it a go..


  3. Loved your blog! As a Senior, I’d be interested in reading about how Plant Based menu could affect related topics i.e. general health, energy levels, cognitive activity and dementia. Good luck with your project.


    1. Thank you Stephen! I appreciate the support. And especially thanks for the suggestions, I haven’t thought of those topics – they are very interesting and important. They have definitely been noted and may possibly be made sometime in the future!


      Iarlaith – The Sweet Spud


  4. Hats off to you Iarlaith. I’m looking forward to following your blog and recipes. Congratulations on being what seems to be such an amazing,caring and cool teenager.


  5. I totally admire your conviction and I think I could be vegan too but for giving up milk cos there is nothing else that tastes right in tea and coffee and I do not want to drink them black nor give them entirely. Also, living on benefits, some vegan foodstuff is very expensive such as vegan chocolate and marshmellows. I am happy to a degree that I am a vegetarian but I would dearly love to cross over to the vegan side but it’s simply a case of how do I afford it? And what can replace cows’ milk?


    1. First of all, thanks for the support and taking the time to comment 🙂 Secondly, those are a couple of excellent questions that probably merit a blog post each (topics that I hadn’t thought of before reading your comment).

      On your first concern – What can replace cow’s milk? I have some amazing news! There’s a whole world full of different types of plant-based milks! There’s coconut milk, hemp milk, hazelnut milk, rice milk, cashew milk, soy milk, almond milk, oat milk and the list goes on to infinite! Not really but almost.

      Now, some of these you may LOVE and some of them quite the opposite. My younger brother Rory loves soy milk, my dad drinks lots of coconut milk and I’m not to keen on the soy but I love me some coconut and hemp.

      These would all go great in tea and you’ll probably barely notice the difference but… I heard… That there’s a new super milktastic vegan milk that tastes like milk that’ll be available in the future – perfect day – It’s quite incredible.

      You’re other question, ‘how (you) afford it?’ Is a good question to bring up too. It is true that vegan products made from small vegan companies tend to be more expensive; like marshmallows or chocolate. However, fruit and veg are a lot cheaper than chicken and beef. Same goes for rice, chickpeas, lentils, oats, quinoa, etc. That is why so many people in the developing world are vegetarian or vegan – because it’s cheaper to afford rice, beans and bananas than steak and lamb. By the way, I’ll let you in on a cool secret: normal oreos, skittles, doritos and digestives (which are all mass produced and cheap) are all accidentally vegan, just check the ingredients to make sure you’ve got the right ones 😉

      Thanks again for the support!

      Iarlaith – The Sweet Spud


      1. Maith an Fear Iarlaith,

        Good luck on your journey and Great blog, I wish you the very best on your new approach to life and I’m sure you’ll be better off for it but you’ll have a job converting me (says he licking his fingers after a piece of Jamon!!!)


      2. Good man yourself too, Tiarnàn!

        Enjoy your food – and make sure to clean them fingers with a napkin after all that licking, young man!!!

        Iarlaith – The Sweet Spud


  6. Hi Iarlaith

    Can I just say – what a fantastic read! I came across this post in the FB group “Zero Waste Ireland” & so glad I did! So entertaining, honest & beautifully written! It is so inspiring to hear about your transition to plant based – especially from the eyes of a 14 year in Sligo! I am plant-based myself & love reaping the countless benefits!

    I would love to share this via social media to inspire further afield (I run a #followfriday every friday for inspirational blogs I come across) – do you have any social (twitter/facebook/instagram) with this blog as I would love to make sure you get the recognition for it too!

    Well done again



  7. I’m vegan a year this month and it’s the best decision I ever made too. Reading your post really confirms for me why i started this journey. I really admire the fact you’re writing about your experiences as hopefully this will inspire people to transition. Looking forward to reading more ☺ Thank you ☺


  8. Great job Iarlaith, I love the post and of course the fact that I’m the person who showed you that amazing video of Gary Yourofsky, that video changed my way of how the world is. I’m not vegan nor vegetarian but i would like to. I’ve been reducing the amount of meat and junk food in my diet and I feel better and happier.
    Great job with this inspiring post!


    1. Hey Juan! It’s awesome that you read the post bro, I really appreciate it – and thanks again for sharing that Yourofsky speech with me! You da man, man.
      It’s super to hear that you feel better after reducing meat and junk food; yo Juan, if you’d still like to be more vegan-style then I should probably let you know that I’m open to helping you out if you’d like help, bruv. Either way thanks for reading and leaving that fantastic comment. See you when I see you, Juan 😉
      – I


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