Next up in the This Is What A Vegan Looks Like series is Andrew Lewis aka @LondonBooksTblr . Paying tribute to the best bookshops in London, his tumblr is a bibliophile’s dream and will make you want to get rummaging around your favourite book shop immediately, like right now.
I’m very grateful to Andrew for taking part in this feature and for his thoughtful responses. I am also more than a little desperate to try his Great Granny’s Wartime fruit cake!
1/ What made you go vegan?
After 15 years as what I would consider a reasonably well informed strict vegetarian I needed to take the plunge and fully commit to my values. When you know the rational arguments you reach a point that you need to take action on what you believe in, which for me is that every life is a unique existence that will never be repeated or replaced. Every life human or animal is sacred in its individuality and needs to be respected because of that.
2/ If you could only watch 3 TV programmes for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Channel 4 news, The Natural World, He-Man re-runs.
3/ What’s your favourite place in the entire world?
The Dorset coast UK, with my Scuba Gear on. English diving has a bad reputation for being cold with low visibility. Sometimes that can be the case but it is also one of the most fascinatingly colourful displays of mind boggling bio-diversity. Not the vibrant rainbow colours of the tropics but rich autumnal reds and greens with a cast of intriguing fish life every bit as charismatic and engaging (or more so in my opinion,) than any you would find on a coral reef system. Add to that fascinating shipwrecks and stunning geological formations and it becomes an unceasing inspiration. It’s completely life affirming for me each time I go.
4/ What are the vegan options like where you live?
Very, very good. South London has probably the best range for Vegans in the UK thanks to the diversity of the community. Within walking distance I have access to the terrific flavours and portions of Veg Bar in Brixton, the most amazing desserts from Ms Cupcake and incredible Gourmet vegan Afro-Caribbean food from the Calabash of Culture in Sydenham. For home cooking the dairy free range just gets better and better in the supermarkets these days and wholefoods shops are on hand for those hard to find ingredients.
5/ What is your idea of happiness?
A good book and time to do it justice.
6/ Which three other vegans would like most like to be stuck in a lift with?
Al Gore, Morrissey and Moby. The perfect mix of ideas, experience, inspiration and controversy.
7/ Do you have a favourite motto, if so, what is it?
Discipline is freedom. For me it’s my way of checking in with myself to avoid becoming too materialistic. If I can manage without it then I should. The simple life is the happiest one.
8/ What are your all-time fave vegan things to eat?
Egyptian Lentil, Thyme and Broccoli risotto. It’s my week night staple but I still love it so much. Also Great Granny’s Wartime fruit cake (handily vegan due to rationing.) It’s a secret family recipe though I’m afraid.
9/ What song do you most like to dance to at a party?
Enjoy the Silence – Depeche Mode. Classic electronic sounds do it for me every time.
10/ Who in the world would you most like to see go vegan?
Theresa May. I personally support the Greens but this current UK Government doesn’t really understand conservation in practice. It would be great to have a national leader with a real insight into compassionate responsible consumption.
How fun is this series? I absolutely love reading why you guys went vegan, getting ideas for new box-sets to gorge on and tips on where to eat around the world.
I am so keen for this series to be inclusive and to truly reflect the diversity of people living a vegan lifestyle, if you are or know any vegans then please consider getting involved or showing them this blog!