Name: Mel

Location: Somewhere between Manchester and Liverpool

Twitter/Instagram @names: @DarkRetro

About Me: staunchly 80s goth inspired, vaguely Kate Bush whimsical. People frequently say I look like Nigella but I don’t use irritating descriptives such as ‘oozingly’ or ‘sumptuously’. I’m pretty good pals with most cats. Probably your cats.

Favourite Animal: *Napoleon Dynamite voice* I’d have to say a Liger. It’s pretty much my favourite animal… But I haven’t seen one so I guess I’d say my cat Harry. He’s a grey/blue Russian blue/British shorthair. But don’t tell Murray, he’s our other less cuddly cat. (NB. For full disclosure, all cats are loved equally)





When did you go vegan?

3 months ago!

I stopped eating meat last March, having previously sourced organic, ethically sourced meat….from the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall school of thought. I then watched a whole load of documentaries such as Food Matters, Food Inc, Cowspiracy and Vegucated. So yeah, you could say that I was finding facts to back up what I already knew went on. Hence the decision to cut dairy and eggs.

Why did you go vegan?

Well tbqhwy Jen, I couldn’t keep gleefully (Hi Nigella) ignoring what I knew to be true, and felt increasing guilt around food. And I’m not a fan of feeling guilt around food. I’m very pro-joy around food.




What have you found challenging/difficult?

Eating out… At home I have complete control but living in the NW, there are options but I need to plan where to eat, check menus….or end up eating nothin all day while out!

What product most surprised you when you found out it wasn’t Vegan/Cruelty free?

Mints. I mean really, peppermints which had animal product in.




If you could say anything to your previous non-Vegan-self what would it be?

Do it sooner. Your stomach has had enough.

What are your favourite Vegan restaurants/cafes/shops?

Can I say my own kitchen?! Really, Ocado are amazing and have a great variety of vegan goods and I love cooking, so making my own food is guaranteed to make me happy! Eating out, Love Juice in Chorlton is a beautiful raw/vegan delight, BonBon Chocolate Workshop in the Northern a Quarter has the best dairy free hot chocolate, flourless chocolate cake and handmade chocolates. Also Hebden Bridge is great for vegan eats.




What is your favourite/best Vegan documentary/book/Instagram account/blog/YouTuber?

I love @healthyhealinghabits, Hannah is a stone cold babe. HensCleanCakes on IG is amazing and I’ve just ordered her book. Whilst I don’t like the term ‘clean eating’ as it suggests a virtuous, judgemental view of perceived ‘unclean’ foods…..her bakes are insane. Also TheVeganKind, who are all round informative and inspiring folk.

Which well-known vegans would you have at your fantasy dinner party and what 3 course meal would you serve?

Leo, obv.

David Avocado Wolfe, cos he would be crazy and fun.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z who I’m counting as ‘one’.

Thai Sweetcorn Fritters, Chilli dipping sauce, shredded salad.

Green Thai veg curry with marinaded mushrooms on the side, jasmine rice, mango salad. Pad Thai peanut noodles.

Peanut Butter and Banana layer cake.

What advice would you give someone who was thinking about going vegan?

It’s only hard for the first month, it then becomes habit… And for the times you wobble, remember that you are thinking of your own ‘want’ and not the animals.

Please can you show us a picture of the inside of your fridge/cupboards?

Oh my. Ok, see below! Also relevant, I am spending the same as when we ate meat. Why? Well I care more about what I put in my mouth which means more organic, fresh, locally sourced foods.


image image image image


Any further comments or anecdotes to share:

My beloved is now veggie at home, with less and less meat and dairy in his diet…..previously having eaten very little vegetables, fruits and legumes. I want him to eat what makes him happy, rather than what makes me happy….but they are increasingly the same thing. Praise be 🙂 x



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  1. March 9, 2016 / 9:05 am

    Fyi, Mel is an amazing cook, and always has the most amazing foods/treats on offer! She is also, along with you, who inspired me to stop eating meat and, as a result, cut down on dairy/eggs etc 🙂

    • Mel
      March 10, 2016 / 9:09 pm

      ?? I love you and am glad to share all the good things in life ?? xx

      • March 11, 2016 / 12:54 pm

        I love you! You are awesome and inspiring and lovely 🙂 x

    • March 11, 2016 / 12:52 pm

      I would really like her to cook for me! You are very lucky. That’s really awesome, how are you getting on? I hope you’re enjoying it and eating lots of wonderful meals. Have you tried the beetroot falafel yet? I just had some more for lunch; it is annoyingly better than any falafel I have ever made! Grr. Jen x

      • Emma
        March 11, 2016 / 1:04 pm

        Really well actually thank you, not missing meat, at all and absolutely loving cooking amazing veggie meals from scratch!
        I haven’t actually, I had added some to an Ocado shop the other week but they weren’t in stock :'( xx

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