Welcome to the first post in my new This Is What A Vegan Looks Like series where I ask people, from around the world, to answer 10 (pretty damn tricky) questions about veganism, TV, music and travel. I’m hoping to show that vegans are a diverse collection of people, that there isn’t a “right” way to approach veganism and to get some box-set recommendations on the down-low..
It is Jen – not Moby, not Alicia Silverstone, not even Esther the Wonder Pig – who has done the most to help me personally make the connection between living animals and meat and helped me to open my eyes to the grisly process of turning the former into the latter. She’s been inspirational and kind – literally every dumb question I’ve had she’s taken the time to answer helpfully. As a result, if you are reading this blog and thinking of embracing veganism and need help please get in touch and I’ll aim to be as gracious and practical as Jen was with me!
However, enough about me, over to you Jen:
1/ What made you go vegan?
I had been vegetarian for about a year when I learnt what happens in the dairy & egg industries and I immediately went vegan. I wanted no part of it.
Seeing male chicks in the egg industry on their first day on this earth being tossed into bin bags (whilst alive) and left to die a slow and painful death of suffocation or thrown into a grinding machine (again alive); seeing how dairy cows are treated, learning that in order to produce milk she must be impregnated over and over again, each time her new born calf torn away from her (if male he is sent for veal, if female her fate the same of her mother) so that we can take her milk that should be used to feed and nourish her newborn, this process repeated over and over until her body gives up (around 5 years) and she is sent to slaughter.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. We need to educate ourselves so that we can live in peace. I always recommend the documentaries Vegucated, Earthlings and Cowspiracy – all either available on YouTube or Netflix (or both).
2/ If you could only watch 3 TV programmes for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Parks & Rec, SNL, Grace & Frankie.
3/ What’s your favourite place in the entire world?
My home! I am such a home-body.
4/ What are the vegan options like where you live?
I am very lucky to live in London with such a vast array of Vegan options all around (of which there seems to be a new one popping up every five minutes!).
Not just the incredible restaurants and cafes but two of my local shops (House of Mistry in South End Green, Hampstead and Revital Health in Belsize Park) stock brands like V Bites, Vego, Doisy & Dam, Fry’s Family, Veganaise, Plamil, Violife and Booja Booja. AND a couple of the cafes have vegan options – the Banana Bread at Silverberry Café and the Chocolate Pear Cake at Le Pain Quotiden are both divine and go down really well with an iced coffee on a Saturday morning.
5/ What is your idea of happiness?
Hanging out at home with my Husband and the cats or doing anything, anywhere with my two glorious nephews; they are my happy place
6/ Which three other vegans would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?
7/ Do you have a favourite motto, if so, what is it?
Treat others how you wish to be treated.
8/ What are your all-time fave vegan things to eat?
Club Mexicana’s BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Burritos, Tofish Tacos, Everything Nachos and Beer battered cheese (Gary) fries. At what point do we hold a Jen-Club-Mexicana-Intervention?
I also love chilli, guacamole, jacket potatoes, beans on toast, anything from Fry’s Family, French bread with lashings of Vitalite, garlic bread, lasagne, tofu bacon crumbles, rice, fried tomatoes, cookies, salt & vinegar McCoys, broccoli, lemon cashew dip, spaghetti, chips, roast dinners, sweetcorn, sautéed greens, buffalo cauliflower, butternut squash soup, mac n’ cheese AND SO MUCH MORE! #AnythingYouCanMakeICanMakeVegan
9/ What song do you most like to dance to at a party?
I don’t take much coaxing to get my butt on the dance floor but Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer fills my feet with joy
10/ Who in the world would you most like to see go vegan?
Michelle Obama. She harps on and on about healthy eating and yet eats animal products. I KNOW I KNOW VEGANISM ISN’T ABOUT EATING HEALTHILY IT’S ABOUT NOT CAUSING HARM TO ANIMALS BUT COME ON, MICHELLE, COME ON. Plus I fucking love her, people listen to her and did I mention I love her?