About me: I’m a part-time sub editor and part-time potter who cares a lot about English language, the internet, and spreading vegan awareness and positivity thru the medium of @yesitsallvegan 🙂
My cat Tobi. She’s named after Tobi Vail from Bikini Kill and was dumped in a box at a bus stop in Harlow before we adopted her from Chestnut Cat Sanctuary in Essex. She’s v photogenic so basically the poster girl for #AdoptDontShop and is the most high-maintenance, highly strung little weirdo but also a constant source of company and hilarity.
When did you go vegan?
In 2007, after reading John Robbins’ Diet For A New America.
Why did you go vegan?
After reading the aforementioned book (which made me realise how fucked up factory farming is), but also spending time in a very inclusive vegan community in Fort Worth, Texas – specifically Spiral Diner – that made me realise vegans were actually totally nice and normal people who didn’t just wear hemp and eat hummus.
What have you found challenging/difficult?
Nothing major comes to mind, although there are always times when you’re travelling and unable to plan ahead and end up having to live on bread and crisps – France and Spain, I’m looking at you. Happy Cow and Instagram have gotten me out of some tight spots, though!
What product most surprised you when you found out it wasn’t vegan/cruelty free?
It drives me crazy that there’s gelatine in the icing on Pop Tarts – if anything, that’s, like, the least gelatinous part. And don’t get me started on the whey in the Ecover washing-up liquid.
If you could say anything to your previous non-vegan-self what would it be?
You might think vegans are weird now, but that’s nothing compared to how weird you’re gonna think eating cow milk is in a few years.
What are your favourite vegan restaurants/cafes/shops?
In London, I love Black Cat. It’s a genuinely welcoming, friendly place where the food gets better every time I go. I love everything Club Mexicana do and can’t wait to see what they do next. And props to Cook Daily who I think really has been responsible for bringing the vegan message to a whole new wave of people. In New York, Champs (above) is my spiritual home, and Homegrown Smoker in Portland almost brought me to tears. Unicorn Grocery in Manchester and Food Fight in Portland are my favourite vegan shops.
What is your favourite/best vegan documentary/book/Instagram account/blog/YouTuber?
I love making Mexican food at home, and the book Vegan Tacos by Jason Wyrick has taught me so much. The Olives For Dinner blog because a) Erin loves sriracha as much as I do and b) constantly inspires me to try and take my cooking to the next level. Chickpea magazine is incredible (I interviewed the editor, Cara, here) and Clara Cakes’ enthusiasm and entrepreneurialism also makes her one of my heroes (also interviewed here).
Which well-known vegans would you have at your fantasy dinner party and what 3 course meal would you serve?
I would cheat and get Ava of @guacandroll to do the food for us because she catered my wedding (above) and it was great. I’d ask her to make us waffles cos she just got a waffle iron. Maybe fondue too. Vegans don’t get to eat fondue enough. And we’d figure out how to make the Mildred’s coconut pannacotta for desert.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about going vegan?
Just do it!
Please can you show us a picture of the inside of your fridge/cupboards?
My fridge looks so sad right now (it’s the day before I pick up my vegetables from Growing Communities) so i’ll spare you that; but here are my dry goods (note obsessive stockpiling of wheat gluten and soy curls)!
Any further comments or anecdotes to share:
I guess i’d just like to say that this feels like such an exciting time to be vegan – more and more people are thinking twice about what’s on their plates. Be supportive of one another and be kind – some people are still turned off a vegan diet because there’s a stigma that vegans can be judgemental and ~militant~. Let’s work to undo that and make this lifestyle look as friendly and welcoming from the outside as we all know it can be. Instead of, for example, criticising businesses that are vegetarian but still serve dairy milk, or making people feel like they’re not being ‘vegan enough’, celebrate the small steps that are being made in the right direction every day. Maybe one day everyone will be vegan, and that’s going to be great, but let’s support others as they find their way and in a way that works for them – we’re all different.
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