Name: Wes Taft | Location: Birmingham, Alabama, USA | Instagram: @existential.records
Single, middle aged guy who is a truck driver and loves music and vinyl.
When did you go vegan?
Around May 6, 2016
Why did you go vegan?
My body seemingly flipped a switch after I moved out West for two years and just said no to anything made of dairy. I found it easier to just go completely vegan rather than dairy free, and I had the added benefit of not feeling guilty about animals dying for me to have a meal.
What have you found challenging/difficult?
It can be challenging when you are traveling and don’t know the area well or places where you can find something to eat. I have learned to be prepared and have some snacks in the car and fruit so if it takes me a while to find something, I won’t be starving. Apps like Yelp and Happy Cow are a lifesaver and have helped me find some really unique places.
What product most surprised you when you found out it wasn’t Vegan/Cruelty free?
I haven’t really researched this. I was more surprised by the amount of amazing food that is available versus what I had perceived was available. You can make just about anything vegan and it taste as good or better than a version using animal products.
If you could say anything to your previous non-Vegan-self what would it be?
Do it sooner rather than later and stick with it. And do a little at a time. And don’t cheat! You’re only cheating yourself and your health by not getting those products out of your body.
I don’t want to gloat when others seem to have so much disdain for 2016, but this was the best year of my life. I went #vegan and lost 50 pounds, I took some fun trips and saw people I hadn’t seen in ages, and I think I’ve figured out the kind of work I want to do for the rest of my life. It’s all about perspective. I think 2017 is going to be even better and I hope it is for you as well. I appreciate the likes and follows and wish you all a Happy New Year 🎉- Wes ☺
What are your favourite Vegan restaurants/cafes/shops?
Vegreen Asian Fusion – Duluth, Georgia
Real Food Daily – Los Angeles, California
Sweetpea Bakery – Portland, Oregon
Native Foods Cafe – Tigard, Oregon
What is your favourite:
Documentary? Forks Over Knives
Which well-known vegans would you have at your fantasy dinner party and what 3 course meal would you serve?
Ian Mackaye from Fugazi
Paul McCartney from The Beatles
Mike Gordon from Phish
Coastal Kale salad
Orange “Chick’n” and Fried rice
Pecan Pie Granola Bars with Vanilla Nice Cream
I’ve spent the majority of my adult life eating in restaurants. But since going #vegan, I’m really making an effort to cook at home more. I’m so grateful to so many food bloggers on Instagram who post pictures of delicious looking food. So for this #mothersday, I made my Mom some Coastal #kalesalad thanks to #newseasonsmarket, a #cornsalad thanks to #barefootcontessa, and a tricolor #carrotraisinsalad thanks to #fooddotcom. If I wasn’t in a hurry I would have tried to plate these better. I’ll leave that to the food bloggers. Happy Mother’s Day to all the ladies and #moms everywhere. ☺️💐❤️#tryvegan #plantbased #goodhealth #whatveganseat #🍽
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about going vegan?
It can be a challenge depending on where you live, how open minded you are about giving up certain foods and trying new ones, and how much your social life affects your decisions. But it’s worth it. You will lose weight, feel better and help the environment.
Please can you show us a picture of the inside of your fridge/cupboards?
Any further comments or anecdotes to share:
Going vegan has also been great for getting me back in the kitchen. I basically ate out twice a day for the past 20 years, which is not only very expensive, it’s terrible to consume so much restaurant food because of the way it is loaded with salt and other ingredients to make it taste good. I have almost totally given up any kind of fast food except for an occasional burrito at Taco Bell, which is still vegan. I love trying to figure out how to make vegan versions of things that I used to love that I can’t eat anymore. Overall it has been a life changing experience. I’ve lost 62 pounds and feel better about myself that I ever have my entire life.
Thank you so much to one of my favourite Instagram pal’s Wes for taking part in my Interview with a Vegan series!
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