Name: Oli Ratcliffe | Location: London | Instagram: @theyungv
About Me: I’m Oli, I’m 25 and I work for Vodafone and Club Mexicana! But soon I’m going to take a food writers course with the aim of becoming a food journalist.
Favourite Animal: Easy. Sloth
When did you go vegan?
I went vegan on the 1st day of 2016 so about 11 months ago as of writing this!
Why did you go vegan?
I’d had the idea for a while, I’d been vegan during the week for a few months as a way of eating more fruit and veg but it was one of those things I knew I had to do as I consider myself someone who cares about the environment and the planet
What have you found challenging/difficult?
The really annoying stupid things like not being able to have those horrible but also amazing onion ring crisps because they have milk powder in!? WHYYYYY they are the best worst snack! But on the whole, living in London has made it super easy and my family and friends have been great with it.
What product most surprised you when you found out it wasn’t Vegan/Cruelty free?
Like Jen, I miss Lilt
If you could say anything to your previous non-Vegan-self what would it be?
Funnily enough it wouldn’t be to go vegan earlier, I think that I made that change at the right time for me and if I had done it any earlier I most likely wouldn’t have stuck by it. I’d just have probably told myself that there are few things better than a nice ripe peach.
What are your favourite Vegan restaurants/cafes/shops?
Obvs I love Club Mexicana, but Pomodoro E Basilico, Temple of Seitan are all top. Harvest in Stoke Newington has some amazing vegan bakes and a great selection of vegan choc. And SaladPride in Covent Garden is the best place in the world.
I finally made it down to see Sara @bittersweetvegan in Brick Lane and just had to go for the ‘good’ burger. This is without a doubt the best burger I have ever eaten. If you’re vegan or not I urge you to get down to @pomodoro_e_basilico and TRY THIS! It’s a seitan patty with carrot bacon, beetroot ketchup, garlic mayo, cashew cheddar and all the trimmings and it is just taken me to cloud 9. I’m now about to buy some cookies and twix bars for later #Vegan #VegansOfIG #VeganFoodShare #WhatVegansEat #VeganDrinkShare #WhatVegansDrink #VGang #PlantBased #PlantPower #GoVegan #EatVegan #CrueltyFree #HighCarb #Carbs #CTFU #801010 #PlantsOnFire #Vegains #UKVegans #Raw #RawTill4 #FamFoods #LondonVegans #VeganFood #VeganLife #FeedFeedVegan #PlantStrong #EatTheRainbow #VeganBurgers
What is your favourite Vegan documentary/book/Instagram account/blog/YouTuber?
In terms of books it would probably be Finding Ultra by Rich Roll, Meat is for Pussies by John Joseph (Great for dispelling the myth around men needing meat to be manly) and Mad Cowboy by Howard Lyman. Documentary would be Cowspiracy, the Instagram account would have to be @yesitsallvegan its just so good, for blogs Rich Roll and YouTube would be the Happy Pear.
Which well-known vegans would you have at your fantasy dinner party and what 3 course meal would you serve?
I’d love to have the Happy Pear over for dinner, the guys have so much energy and they just seem like wonderful people. I’m in love with middle eastern food so I think I’d do them mezze to start (Falafel, bread, hummus, etc) to start, a tagine for main and then some baklava or a cake for dessert!
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about going vegan?
I’d obviously tell them to do it but to really look at why they are doing it, because you think it’s great for losing weight or it will make you seem more interesting/cool are not solid reasons and you’ll just give it up. Educate yourself on why you’d want to and then if your reasons stack up, then do it.
Any further comments or anecdotes to share:
Please someone make those onion ring crisp things and I will be your slave.
Thanks so much, Oli! I loved reading this. Everyone be sure to follow Oli on Instagram for more beautiful food pics!
I think I may have found Oli the Vegan friendly Onion Rings crisps of his dreams – the Happy Shopper brand don’t have milk! Hope you can track some down. If anyone else has any tips of other brands please let Oli know ASAP!
I am looking for more vegans to interview for the blog, if you would be interested please get in touch!