About Me: I’m a freelance photographer, stylist and increasingly infrequent blogger.
Favourite Animal: Squirrels! I’m from Australia (i.e. the only continent they do not live on) and still get very, very (VERY) excited every single time I see one.
When did you go vegan?
Why did you go vegan?
After cruising along as a mostly vegetarian for almost a decade, I was looking into veganism for health reasons (aren’t we all) and through an internet rabbit hole came across a video of male chicks being ground up alive. It broke my heart and I decided that I didn’t want to contribute to that ever again.
I’ve since found that there are overwhelmingly more reasons to be vegan than not to be, but at the end of the day it all really comes down to the fact that I am lucky enough to have a plethora of choice in what I buy to eat every day, so it makes sense to choose the option that doesn’t support the harming of other beings.
What have you found challenging/difficult?
Learning to bake without eggs and dairy was definitely daunting at first and it took some practice to get back to the level of confidence I had with non-vegan baking. As with most things though, what seemed impossible at one point became the new normal quite quickly and I can confirm that cookies and I are back to being head over heals for each other.
More generally, seeing the world through your new vegan eyes can be pretty rough. It is frustrating and heart breaking and baffling to know that the majority of people – including your own friends and family members who you KNOW are kind, generous and open minded in other aspects of their lives – consider animals a commodity whose lives are second to the way something tastes or looks.
What product most surprised you when you found out it wasn’t Vegan/Cruelty free?
The new £5 notes! So unnecessary. I also get really mad when dark chocolate contains dairy. WHY??
If you could say anything to your previous non-Vegan-self what would it be?
I’m not sure if any words would have made me go vegan sooner, unless they came from someone I knew pretty well. So instead of words, I wish I had had more vegan representation around me. Someone who could show me that veganism isn’t actually about dieting and depriving yourself of cheese or throwing blood on people who wear fur.
What are your favourite Vegan restaurants?
I LOVE Rasa, a South Indian restaurant that is vegetarian and have many many vegan options. My husband and I take everyone there. I’m also really into Temple of Seitan, Cookies and Scream,Ms Cupcake, Club Mexicana, Mildreds and Mooshies (argh the aubergine phish burger!).
What is your favourite Vegan documentary, Instagram account, Blog, YouTube Channel?
A beautiful blog/youtuber I recently found is Good Eatings. I think Laura Miller is hilarious. I love accidentally vegan Uk’s instagram account and love scrolling through the hashtag as well. The homemade vegan pantry is a gorgeous cookbook that teaches you to make all kinds of vegan basics like mock meats, tofu and cheese, milk and butter alternatives at home. If anything, it’s a really good read in preparation for someone asking what exactly tofu or seitan is or in response to the ‘vegans eat so much more processed food’ myth.
Which well-known vegans would you have at your fantasy dinner party and what 3 course meal would you serve?
I had to google famous vegans and Fran Drescher came up. Obviously she’s in. And I’m not 100% sure Leonardo di Caprio is actually vegan but if he is, he’d be another pick as he was the first actor I ever had a crush on (don’t be jealous but I even had a Leo watch). Maybe Fran and Leo can bring a friend each to make up the numbers! Menu-wise it has to be mexican – plantain or tofish tacos, bean-y nachos, margaritas, and chilli chocolate brownies seem like an appropriate dessert.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about going vegan?
It’s important to remember that everyone is different and you should take it at a pace that works for you. I firmly believe if you’re doing as much as you absolutely can right now, that is bloody amazing.
Though I transitioned to vegan from vegetarian cold tofurky, when I first gave up meat years ago, it wasn’t quite as smooth. I fell off the horse a few times including a trip abroad where I ignored my vegetarianism completely citing International waters and stints where I made an exception for fish and chips. As time passed, I stopped craving meat until it just wasn’t an issue anymore. If I’d given up completely because of these incidents, or because I couldn’t stop all animals or insects in the world from being harmed ever again that would have been really sad. So I’d say don’t give up and stop worrying about what others are doing or saying! And also, do educate yourself on how to eat (mostly) healthily as a vegan, make sure you supplement B12 and literally anything you think you’re going to miss food wise, has a vegan replacement.
Please can you show us a picture of the inside of your fridge?
Thank you so much for taking part in my interview series, Erika! You’re so inspiring and your photography is INCREDIBLE! ?