1) Why are you vegan?
When I was in my early twenties, I finally stopped growing. I figured, I’m fully grown, I can stop eating meat now. I’d never felt good about killing sweet animals when I didn’t have to. So I went vegetarian. If I’d had the education available today, I would have gone vegan as a child, when I first learned that bacon was pig, or at least by my teens. I went vegan fully 10 years ago, and it was both challenging habits-wise and easier than I thought, transition-wise. And today it’s much easier than it was then—there’s amazing butter, ice cream, and more vegan options at restaurants than back then. And the more of us go vegan, the easier it’ll get! We can drive Capitalism to a more compassionate place.
As an environmentalist and vegan, I always remind my fellow vegans that single-use plastic, flying in planes, idling etc…all of this is killing our earth, causing climate crisis, that animals depend on. So it’s not enough to care a little. Let’s care a lot!
We don’t have to be vegan or ethical out of guilt—we can do so out of care, and joy.
2) As a vegan have you struggled while travelling? If yes, how have you overcome that over time?
Honestly, traveling is one of the funnest things about being vegan. Especially with a friend or partner.
I’ve found delicious, healthy, eco vegan options in Paris, in Firenze, in Mexico, just about everywhere. Sure, sometimes it’s inconvenient, but it makes it like a treasure hunt. And discovering different foods and chefs and restaurants and street food—that’s a great part of the joy of traveling.
If you could share a few tips with readers who are looking to either ease their life as a vegan or for anyone looking to make the foray? Something you wish people had told you at the start of your journey.
3) Can you share some pantry essentials for a vegan? Something you wish you’d known when you began your journey.
Locally, I’m on the customer board of a zero-waste, mostly vegan local grocery. So I always stock bulk rice, lentils, beans, popcorn, spices, nutritional yeast, figs, raisins, oats. Then I also always get fresh olives, pasta, edamame (frozen), lettuce, veggies, fruits—I shop for fresh stuff at the farmers market, too, as it’s local. Bring your own mug and bag, and bike if fun!
Any tips for being a cost-effective vegan? There is common consensus that it’s an expensive proposition.
I never get this. I think meat and milk and such are both expensive shortterm and longterm, in terms of health. And without our corrupt subsidies, meat and milk would be far more expensive.
I do spend a lot of money eating out. But at home I eat pretty simply. I spend more money on organic, and local, but that doesn’t have to do with being vegan. To those spending lots of money eating out, I’d say get some good bulk going at home (I store stuff in metal trash cans), and you can make your own oat milk cheaply, for example.
4) What are your thoughts of quasi-veganism or part-time vegan? The person who is primarily vegan but continues to consume ghee and / or yogurt for health benefits.
Not a fan. I have a lovely, sweet, loving, fun, silly dog. I always think of being mostly vegan as being mostly nice to a sentient being, like my dog, but maybe cutting off their leg. That’s horrible! If we care, keep it simple. Care. They deserve life and joy and peace just as much as anything in this world. Every animal deserves as much love as my dog does.
That said, if you’re coming from a meat/dairy diet, any step is better than nothing! It’s much kinder to animals and the planet to eat less meat or dairy. But don’t let that be your stopping point.