Name: Sarah Kirby
Location: Essex, UK
Twitter/Instagram @names: @thevnicelife
Website: The V Nice Life
About Me: I am a compassionate lifestyle blogger & vlogger who promotes kindness to animals via a vegan, vegetarian and cruelty free lifestyle.
Favourite Animal: I have 2 cats & 2 dogs and I’m torn between them, I love cats & dogs equally!
When did you go vegan?
I went vegan about a year and half ago now after having spent a year being vegetarian.
Why did you go vegan?
For me going vegan was a natural progression on from being vegetarian. I originally went veggie for the animals and I wasn’t aware of how much cruelty there was involved in the dairy industry. After reading a couple of books and watching some documentaries like Vegucated & Earthlings I knew that I had to make the change to go vegan. I always say I am vegan for the animals primarily but since watching the Cowspiracy documentary I have also learnt how being vegan helps the planet and global warming so this is also a great reason for making the change.
What have you found challenging/difficult?
I would say that going vegan initially surprised me by how easy I found it giving up dairy and eggs and I was also surprised by how little I missed them, particularly cheese. The only thing I have ever struggled with is chocolate. I have had times where I have really missed dairy chocolate but there are now some great alternatives available which is making it easier. Aside from that, it’s taken quite some time to find make ups and household products that I really love and would continue to use again. It’s been a case of trial and error and has by no means been an overnight change.
What product most surprised you when you found out it wasn’t Vegan/Cruelty free?
I’m not sure if there was one product which really surprised me but in general I was pretty surprised by certain food items like crisps which I’d never imagined to contain milk powder before going vegan. It taught me to check every item and not take anything for granted because it can be so surprising what food manufacturers decide to put dairy in!
If you could say anything to your previous non-Vegan-self what would it be?
Take it slow and do the best I can. Sometimes I feel like there is too much pressure on the label of being vegan and having achieve perfection over night. It’s been a long transition for me and it’s taken time to find some replacement products that I really like. It’s not all about being perfect but more so about reducing demand and making as many positive changes as you can to become completely cruelty free.
What are your favourite Vegan restaurants/cafes/shops?
Ooh this is hard because I have so many! I think my all time favourites in London are Tibits, Mildreds & Manna. In Essex where I live I love The Oak Tree in Leigh on Sea, The Railway in Southend & The Den at 23 in Colchester. My overall favourite vegan place would have to be Brighton as there is so much choice for veggies and vegans, it’s really great. Veganz supermarket in Berlin is also an amazing place to shop for all things vegan. I hope we get a branch in the UK soon!
What is your favourite/best Vegan documentary/book/Instagram account/blog/YouTuber?
My favourite vegan documentary would have to be Vegucated (Netflix) because it was the film I watched which motivated me to go vegan, but I would also recommend Cowspiracy (Netflix) as another good one.
A really good book I read when I first started to research about going vegan was The Ultimate Vegan Guide by Erik Marcus. I found it to be really easy to read and super informative. It really opened my eyes up to the cruelty within the dairy industry and motivated me to go vegan.
My favourite vegan Instagram account at the moment is @thevegankind because they post really relevant and important news from within the vegan world along with some funny quotes / memes about vegan life too.
Which well-known vegans would you have at your fantasy dinner party and what 3 course meal would you serve?
Good question! I would have to invite Russell Brand, Steve-O & Joaquin Phoenix. That would be amazing!
I’d serve up some vegetable tempura followed by a sweet potato & pumpkin katsu curry and coconut ice cream for dessert.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about going vegan?
Do your research, watch some documentaries and read some books. Treat it like a transition and don’t stress about changing everything overnight. Ask questions & get advice from Twitter, especially during the 7pm #VeganHour chat on Tuesdays. Follow some vegan blogs like my own. Use the #VeganFood search on Instagram for some food inspirations – it’s my go to info source if I’m lacking in inspiration. I would also say that if you’re not vegetarian then go veggie first for a while so it’s not such a huge shock to your system.
Any further comments or anecdotes to share:
I always ask people if they’re an animal lover and then if they could cause physical pain to an animal with their bare hands. If they can’t then I tell them to stop being a hypocrite and buying animal products from the supermarket! (In a nice way of course!). Why is it ok to harm some animals but not others? I will never understand.