My name is Alexandra Bandean, I was born in Romania but I’ve lived in Montreal, Canada for 17 years. From a young age I discovered a passion for arts; I started rhythmic gymnastics (which included dance at that time), drawing and singing. Now, I love to include pretty much everything in my life: acting, painting, singing, photography, and I am also pursuing a major in Mathematics & Statistics, with a minor in Art Education. I also organize and participate in protests, vigils, and events for raising awareness about human and animal rights.
I am actually assisting my friend Kofi in organizing a monthly Vegan Pop-Up Shop along with my friend Dimitri Marquis, here, in Montreal with Georges Laraque’s (vegan professional hockey player). help and advice.
I will be participating in Miss Canada Globe in July, where I plan on promoting veganism. I also played in a Punjabi movie staring Diljit Dosanjh (called Super Singh), coming out worldwide this June.
I want to go to India when it comes out and inform people about veganism as well.
What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?
Seeing a 7 minutes excerpt of Gary Yourovsky’s the Best Speech on Facebook in which he was saying that we do not need to eat animal products to survive is what made me go vegan. That’s when it just clicked (and that click is what people need to feel in order to make the change, but what triggers it depends on everyone). I realized at that point that I did not have to hurt animals to survive and it made me feel so much better. And then I started doing research and watching videos of all kinds, and decided to go vegan.
How long have you been Vegan?
It’s been a year and a half only, and as every vegan says, I wish I would have made the switch earlier.
Why is being Vegan important to you?
Being vegan just opened my heart and my eyes so much. It makes me feel a strong connection with myself and with others. It has been a learning process from the beginning, still is, and will always be. All living beings should be treated equally; there is not one that is more important than another. My life just shifted for the best from the moment I decided to go vegan.
Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other?
When I went vegan, I found it very important to have support since I lived with my non-vegan family and had no vegan friends. So there are Facebook groups such as Vegans United, and also local groups where you can find people with the same mentality and values as you and with which you can share ideas and thoughts.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
I think the Greatest Speech, by Gary Yourovsky is really awesome. It can make non-vegans think about veganism in an all-different perspective.
Do you actively promote veganism? How? Please share any stories you would like.
I promote veganism everyday, on social media and whenever I have the opportunity to talk about it. I always have flyers with me and I have stickers on my belongings, so it is really visible too! I also regularly participate in protests and vigils.
Once, I organized a last minute vigil; we were 20 people with flyers and signs. We went to a shopping mall in Montreal and stood in front of a store until the security told us to leave (which we knew would happen) otherwise he would call the security manager. So we left and stayed in front of the mall, where we were aloud. Later on, the security manager came outside, and told us that we were doing a great job and he showed us his arms on which he had vegan tattoos. We were so surprised and happy!
What is your favorite Vegan meme?
There are so many I love… It is very hard to choose. But I would go with these ones!
What is the vegan stereotype you hear the most and how do you respond to it?
I guess the “Where do you get your proteins from?” is the question I get the most when I say I am vegan. Usually, I give a small and overall description of the fact that we get proteins from plants very easily and that they are well absorbed by the body, in comparison to animal proteins that cause health problems. And I tell them about the fact that we do not need to harm animals to survive and that we, in fact, live better without harming them, on so many perspectives.
Screenshot from “Le Journal de Montreal”
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
This is so hard; I love food so much, and vegan food is definitely the best food I have ever eaten in my life. But I would probably go with… these vegan chocolate chips cookies.. I love Cookies.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
It feels like it is a big change and it actually is, but it is such a positive one. You may not even realize yet how it is going to make you evolve and change your vision of the world, all for the best! The key is the motivation behind it. Watch videos, inform yourself on the industry and its impact and that is what will keep you on the right track. We are actually changing the world, together!
What does living cruelty-free mean to you?
It means causing the least harm possible to all living beings. Buying or making vegan things that do not harm animals/humans in the process.
What are your favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
It was at the beginning when I was transitioning, since I lived in a non-vegan home with my non-vegan family and had non-vegan friends. It was the fact of dealing with people that did not understand me, and seeing them causing animal suffering by eating/using non-vegan stuff. I just wanted them to understand what I understood. However, I am proud of my sister and my parents who turned vegetarian not too long ago. I am hoping to see them going vegan one day!