A vegan activist and mum of three is preparing for her first Christmas as a vegan and explains why she won’t give in to her meat-eating friends.

Leanne Geaves gave up animal products in January, and in her drive to reduce her impact on the environment she is scaling down this Christmas and ensuring her family do not over indulge.

Leanne is mum to Jacob, six, Henry, five, and two-year-old Evelyn who all follow vegan diets, although her husband Luke is a pescitarian.

The 33-year-old, from Henley, said: “I have never bought many presents at Christmas as I don’t see a real need for it.

“Since becoming vegan I have began to be even more wary of how much I buy and how much I waste – it’s ridiculous how much some people buy for Christmas.”

This year, Leanne has not bought any new presents for her children, opting entirely for second hand goods from Skoobs in Witnesham and Choices in Barham.

“Second hand stores are a great place to find games, action figures, dressing tables and books – all for a reduced priced,” said Leanne who has also given her children hand me down jumpers.

“Since living a vegan lifestyle I have not bought or worn any wool, silk or fur.”

Leanne has not only bought vegan items for her children, she has also bought vegan chocolates and treats for her friends and family.

She has admitted the Christmas build up has been a test: “More than anything the hardest thing about being a vegan is certain situations, like birthdays, weddings and Christmas – it sometimes puts a big strain on my relationships, but nothing will stop me thinking of the animals.”

She says most people are fully respectful of her decision to become vegan with her uncle and his partner happy to eat the portobello mushroom dinner that she is serving instead of traditional turkey.

The family made their decision to change their lifestyles after watching a number of animal welfare documentaries including What the Health and Cowspiracy on Netflix.

“As a mother, it upsets me to know that baby calves are taken away from their mothers and that they are denied their mothers milk and the mothers are not given the chance to give food to their child,” said Leanne.

She believes that the range of vegan options available have made it easy for her to transition, saying it’s just about “knowing what you can and cannot eat”.

The beauty therapist, who also runs her own Facebook group called Very Gentle Intro which offers support and guidance to anyone interested in veganism, will also be wrapping her presents in brown recyclable paper and painting it with Christmas decorations by hand.