Location: Manchester, England
About Me: Hi Jen’s readers, I’m Amy. I’m 19 and I’m studying at university to become a journalist. I also have a YouTube channel where I like to talk about the things that interest me such as veganism, fashion and what I’m getting up to in my daily life.
Favourite Animal: This is such a difficult question but I’m going to have to say bunnies.
When did you go vegan?
I went vegan almost three months ago.
Why did you go vegan?
My initial reason was quite a selfish one, it was mainly to help my skin problems but after seeing how going vegan could impact animals lives and the environment, I felt really compelled to do it, more so for the benefit of others.
What have you found challenging/difficult?
Eating out at restaurants and cafes has definitely been the most challenging part, especially if I haven’t had chance to have a look at the menu online at home first. A lot of places only have one vegan option on their menu so you either end up having to order that or have to start asking for things like cheese and mayonnaise to be taken off certain meals. Failing that you can always order a bowl of chips, a side salad and there’s always vegan alcohol available so it isn’t too bad.
What product most surprised you when you found out it wasn’t Vegan/Cruelty free?
I used to eat a lot of soup, especially tomato soup. I was really shocked when I started to take note of ingredients, that so many tinned soups contained milk, even tomato soup. I only buy fresh tomato soups now so that’s solved that problem.
I was also really shocked at how much makeup isn’t cruelty free or vegan and that’s something I’m still finding tough to buy because brands don’t make it easy to distinguish if they’re vegan or not. So many companies are ambiguous with their responses, but I guess that’s an answer within itself…
If you could say anything to your previous non-Vegan-self what would it be?
I’d probably tell myself to stop mocking a diet and lifestyle that I hadn’t even tried yet. I found myself doing all this research into the lifestyle but I kept trying to justify my own eating habits and decision to wear leather and fur, when really all I was doing was continuing to harm myself, the environment and innocent animals. If I could go back a year I’d tell myself to step up and do what I knew was right all along and to stop trying to justify my awful habits when there really was no excuse for me to be partaking in those things.
What are your favourite Vegan restaurants/cafes/shops?
I’ve only been to one vegan cafe but it’s called VRevolution in Manchester. I had the Mini Mac there, which tasted exactly like a beef burger you’d get from Mcdonald’s.
Even though it’s definitely not a vegan restaurant, Nando’s have some really good options. I had hummus there with pita bread for starters and then a veggie burgers and peri peri fries for my main with some mango juice and that was delicious.
So far I’ve only really visited one shop for vegan food, aside from my local supermarket, and that’s Holland and Barrett. I get my vegan cheeses from there for sandwiches and pizzas. They have such a wide variety of mock meats and other foods which I’m yet to try, as well as a huge rage of vegan shower and bath products.
What is your favourite/best Vegan documentary/book/Instagram account/blog/YouTuber?
My favourite vegan documentary is probably Cowspiracy. I was already vegan when I watched it but I spent the entire duration of the film just sat on the floor, in front of the TV, despite there being a sofa behind me because I got so into it. I cried a lot during it as well because I couldn’t believe how much the human population is being lied to by organisations who claim to be helping. Things are so much worse than I could ever have imagined.
My favourite people that I follow on Instagram are also my favourite YouTubers to be honest. I love Natasha and Luca from That Vegan Couple, Michael who runs The Vegan Activist channel, Emily from BiteSizeVegan, Kristen Leo and Sarah Lemkus.
Which well-known vegans would you have at your fantasy dinner party and what 3 course meal would you serve?
I’m fairly sure that these people are vegan but if they’re not I’m sorry… I’d invite Sia, Morrissey, Gary Yourofsky and Kat Von D. For starters I’d probably do some kind of salad with maybe a bit of pasta or hummus and pita bread. For a main course I’d do a spinach and chickpea curry or a vegan stir fry and for dessert I’d make my vegan cookies.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about going vegan?
Make sure you have clear reasons as to why you’re doing it as this will help to keep you on track. If you know why you’re doing it then you’ll be more likely to stick with the lifestyle.
Think about what meals you like to eat now and then look online for ways to veganise the same meal. For example I used to love eating a roast dinner with my family but instead of having roast beef with them, I have Linda McCartney’s vegan sausages instead. Another example is pizza; just replace the cheese with vegan mozzarella from Holland and Barrett and the meat with another mock meat.
Be prepared to be asked lots of questions and for people to have some pretty strong opinions about what you’re doing.
Any further comments or anecdotes to share:
Something that really inspired me in the beginning was to not think about veganism as having to give things up, think about what you have to gain. For me that was improved health, mood, energy and clarity, not to mention what the animals and the environment have to gain from you going vegan.
Thanks so much, Amy! *all of the applause emojis* What a BABE! <3
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