Hey everyone! Bonjour! Olá! Guten Morgen! Hallå! Kon’nichiwa! Hope you lovely lot are all doing great and if you’re taking part in Veganuary you’re having a blast.
Today’s ‘This Is What A Vegan Looks Like’ is another two-for-one deal. I really do treat you well, dear reader. It features the two self-proclaimed goofballs who started Pig Out: a website they hope will become an online community resource for all things vegan. Just launched, the website is home to recipes, interviews, features, tips and vegan community vibes. They’ve been vegan for just under two years, and have been making up for lost time by eating all the vegan grub they can get their paws on.
Do check them out over at www.pigoutzine.com follow them on twitter and on instagram too whilst you’re at it! I’ve been a huge fan of their series of 31 Vegans’ First 31 Days. Over the next month, they’re talking to 31 people about their first month of veganism. Absolutely fascinating – read it now. NOW DANG IT.
Right, time for their TIWAVLL, please take it away Sam and Laura:
1/ What made you go vegan?
Sam: I couldn’t cook anything without cheese in. I worked in the catering industry for a long time and when I went vegetarian I realised I couldn’t cook anything without meat in. Then as I began to consider veganism I realised the same, but with dairy. It was really liberating to discover food all over again and be excited about cooking. The longer I’ve been vegan, the more I’ve read up on the subject. Animal cruelty along with environmental and sustainability factors have only cemented my belief that this is the best, tastiest diet for me.
Laura: For me, it was a challenge to strengthen my willpower. That sounds so silly looking back, but I wanted to know if I could do it. I’m not the type of person to look into something and think ‘nah I can’t do that so I won’t even bother trying’. Sam helped with that, as he was the one who brought veganism up in the first place. I was already vegetarian and had spent most of my childhood and teenage years being put off by anything that looked remotely fatty or bloody or animal-like, but he started me thinking about the next step. Then I started to learn the truths about the meat and dairy industry.
2/ If you could only watch three TV programmes for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?
Sam: My first choice would definitely be early Simpsons (seasons 2 – 10). Purists will say the cut-off point is around season 5 or 6, but I spent a lot of my childhood watching 8 and 10. Here I am now, years later, making friends with salad. Second choice would have to be Planet Earth. And Gravity Falls. I love cartoons.
Laura: I’d have to copy Sam and say Planet Earth. My little brother used to watch those types of programmes a lot when we were young and I could never get into it, but then it just clicked in my 20s and clearly, they’re the best thing ever. Secondly, I’d have to say FRIENDS. I can watch that whole series over and over and still laugh at something new. I want to cheat with my last choice as I feel like I have to mention Michael Moore, anything by him! But, that’s cutting into film not just TV programmes.
3/ What’s your favourite place in the entire world?
Sam: The Peak District. It’s so green and unbelievably beautiful. And even though you’re not suppose to, we camp out there when we get the chance. There’s nothing like a night under the stars.
Laura: A place called Aira force in the Lake District. It’s a huge waterfall that takes you on a beautiful walk up and down the land around it. Every part is so different. I remember going as a child and sitting on a rock overlooking this pool of water that was so clear and so still and the rock underneath was so smooth and colourful. It’s my happy place.
4/ What are the vegan options like where you live?
Sam: So many. We’re seriously spoilt. We have a 100% vegan cafe, a Mexican place, an Italian and a 100% vegan burger place all within five minute walk. It’s really a wonder we ever get outside that circle.
Laura: It has become better and better in the last six months, too. People in the area are realising that veganism is growing so there is a steakhouse that has just started to do a full two-page vegan menu. It’s no longer about finding the one or two ‘vegan’ cafes and restaurants, as most restaurants will have a few vegan options now, or will go out of their way to make something different.
5/ What is your idea of happiness?
Sam: A world where everyone is kind to each other and respects each other. And sprouts are free.
Laura: Personally, it would be to accept myself and accept the present. On a larger scale, I’d like to change our blame culture. I think that could fix a lot of problems in the world.
6/ Which three vegans would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?
Sam: Joaquin Phoenix would be cool. Jared Leto would be great to talk to about veganism and climbing – he made a really great film about the climbing scene in Yosemite. Lastly, I’d pick Hannah Pixie so I could get a tattoo while we wait.
Laura: Hmm this is a difficult question. I’m a bit miffed I didn’t make it into Sam’s top 3. I’d pick Ariana Grande, because she’s so young and it really inspires me that young people can make such a strong statement. I imagine she’d be inspirational. Miley Cyrus, because on top of her veganism, she goes against so many stereotypes and rejects the pressures of fame. She is who she is and I’d like to thank her for that. And Leonardo Dicaprio, because I’m sure he’s a secret vegan who doesn’t want to make it public and I want to talk about that.
7/ Do you have a favourite motto?
Sam: I don’t, so let’s make one up. Erm – eat like nobody’s watching. Eating should always be something to enjoy, sometimes the right thing to do is to put down the cutlery and dig in with your hands and get crumbs everywhere. Embrace the mess and the pleasure.
Laura: Sam always says to me that I’m ‘in charge of my own [enter ingredient] destiny’. So when we’re making dinner and I ask how much coriander I should scatter on top, he says that to me. It always makes me laugh.
8/ What’s your all-time fav vegan thing to eat?
Sam: I’m going to say Mac n Cheese, I think. I adapted a non-vegan white sauce that I’d had drilled into my brain when I worked in kitchens and it’s the most creamiest, most cheesiest, most comforting thing. We roast red peppers for some sweetness and top it off with panko breadcrumbs to give all that oozy yesness a delicious bite. Honestly, so good.
Laura: Cheesecake. When I went vegan, I thought it would be the one thing I’d never have again. I then went in search of a vegan cheesecake that had the taste and texture of a ‘real’ cheesecake and I can thankfully say, I found it recently. If you want to eat the best cheesecake, look up these guys.
9/ What song do you most like to dance to at a party?
Sam: We dance a lot in the kitchen while we’re cooking so I’d have to pick one of my all-time favourite kitchen jams which is Baby Love by Petite Meller. So much dancing.
Laura: No Diggity is a classic for everyone I think. There’s one I love that goes ‘hey hey hey hey machine man’. I don’t know what it is, but that’s my favourite. Also MIA is great for dancing at parties.
10/ Who in the world would you most like to see go vegan?
Sam: I’d like to say everyone, but I guess that’d be cheating. So I’d say someone super famous so they can talk to a huge audience about the positive aspects of veganism.
Laura: My mum. She’s probably one of the least likely people to do it, but she’s a standard omni person who doesn’t like change and feels things are too difficult. She also thinks I’ve turned into some weird tree-hugging hippy who has a weird thing for animals. She reads newspapers like the Daily Mail and learns from the people around her in a suburban neighbourhood and government job. I think if she went vegan it would really mean something. It could happen for more people in her position.