To mark the last day of 2017 Veganuary today’s This Is What A Vegan Looks Like interview features Spencer Harris – their Development Manager. Spencer describes his job as a fantastic role working alongside other passionate vegans changing the world and saving animal’s lives! And I’d have to agree. It’s been a record year for Veganuary with around 60,000 people taking part in 2017, compared to 23,000 last year.
It’s been pretty hard to avoid Veganuary this year – from their brilliant advertising on the London Underground – which saw 2,500 adverts inside tube carriages for the last two weeks of the year – to the fantastic support from loads of high street chains and brands as well as from independent restaurants, pubs and cafes across the UK. It’s been absolutely incredible seeing so many people – including some of my lovely friends – give it a go and make the most INCREDIBLE-looking dang food. Seeing so many people embrace this kind and sustainable way of living makes me choke up a little bit. I’m a wuss, OK.
Spencer describes himself as a fitness addict, animal lover & activist. He’s a coffee buff, devoted husband, travel photographer, wanderlust junkie; he likes to explore, dream and discover new stuff daily! He’s the proud co-parent to two rescue cats; a one-eyed tuxedo cat called Sebastian, who loves drooling all over you and lying in random places and a semi-longhair black cat called Jacob, who loves climbing and eating! Big love for Jacob and Sebastian! Over to you Spencer:
1/ What made you go vegan?
I was an animal-loving meat-eater unaware of any harm I was causing and damage I was causing. I had moved to New Zealand with my fiancée and we were both working on a dairy farm, seeing first-hand how the animals were treated. My fiancée had been vegetarian for over 20 years and we both made the connection there; seeing how an animal, a living, breathing sentient being, was no more than a dollar sign. It really made me wake-up and after watching Forks Over Knives (well, half of it – I couldn’t stand to watch any of the animal cruelty!) we both decided the time was right to become vegan.
2/ If you could only watch 3 TV programmes for the rest of your life, what would they be?
That’s a tough one! I don’t generally watch a lot of TV but I get dragged into binge-watching series on Netflix! I would have to say Grand Designs firstly, due to having a love of building and architecture. Then it would have to be The Big Bang Theory, for the comedy followed by Game of Thrones, because this is my new binge-watching series and I’m currently addicted!
3/ What’s your favourite place in the entire world?
New Zealand. Having lived there for a couple of years I fell in love with everything; the people, the landscape, the culture, the lifestyle…..I would move there tomorrow if I could!
4/ What are the vegan options like where you live?
Not too bad. Birmingham is getting better and we have two recently opened coffee shops that are mainly vegan but do have a few vegetarian options. There are quite a few chain restaurants that provide good vegan options now too so it is completely different to four years ago when there was very little apart from a couple of restaurants.
5/ What is your idea of happiness?
Being in a foreign country, watching the sunset with my camera in hand.
6/ Which other vegan would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?
It would have to be Colleen Patrick-Goudreau – her podcasts were instrumental in giving me the basis to switch across to veganism and I would love the opportunity to just sit down and talk with her for hours!
7/ Do you have a favourite motto, if so, what is it?
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde
8/ What are your all-time fave vegan things to eat?
Avocado on toast! I could eat that all day, every day for the rest of my life. I am also a huge fan of smoothie bowls as they taste amazing and you can get so many ingredients into them to get as many nutrients as possible – a fantastic way to start your day! Finally, it would have to be stir fry, another simple, quick and easy dish that is very tasty and offers so many possibilities!
9/ What song do you most like to dance to at a party?
Fall Out Boy – Dance Dance
10/ Who in the world would you most like to see go vegan?
Leonardo Dicaprio…….he is such a huge advocate for the planet and seems to be on a personal mission to combat climate change. It would be amazing to see someone of his status embrace veganism and really promote it from in the highest forums.
Thank you Spencer and all of the Veganuary team. You are AWESOME. Finally, I wanted to share this great advice can apply to anyone but especially new vegans or people trying out Veganuary – well done all of you! You’ve made this dork *waves* so very bloody happy!