My name’s Dimitri D. Marquis, I currently live in Montréal and I recently obtained my Master’s in Public Health – Epidemiology at Université de Montréal. But of course, we are not just what we study/work as… I’m, among other things, a gaffe and an introvert, but veganism has helped me a lot with meeting new conscious persons. I count some of them as my closest friends. I also have an interest in plant-based nutrition, I love critical thinking and I constantly question my words, my beliefs/values, and my actions. As for things that are vegan-related, I’ve been organizing/participating in a fair amount of activism events.
What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?
A bit over 3 years ago, I was writing a paper on animal rights in a Bioethics class and came upon some of Peter Singer’s work. I also read some peer-reviewed journal articles on non-human animals’ cognitive abilities for that paper and that information was enough for me to make some changes in my life and go vegan, as I deemed that was the most rational course of action with the knowledge I had acquired.
How long have you been Vegan?
I went vegan cold “Tofurky” on January 3rd, 2014, so a bit over 3 years ago.
Why is being Vegan important to you?
To me, there’s no justifiable reason to not go vegan: Whether it is for one’s health, the environment or ethics, veganism is more just and logical than carnism, the status quo.
Any recommended Vegan books?
How Not To Die, by Dr, Michael Greger. This book, whether you are vegan or not, will teach you so much about nutrition and the power of food.
Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer. “Eating and storytelling are inseparable”.
Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows, by Melanie Joy. That publication talks about the belief system and the psychology of eating meat, also called ‘carnism’.
Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other?
Any local vegan group, depending on where you live (for events, recommended restaurants, sales on some vegan products/produce, etc.)
What Fat Vegans Eat for meal ideas.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
Do you actively promote veganism? How? Please share any stories you would like.
I do on social media (Instagram and Facebook) and in real life. On both accounts, I try to use a strictly positive approach to my activism, as it is more effective and efficient and makes my interactions with vegans and non-vegans more pleasant and fulfilling.
On social media, I regularly post information meant for both vegans (for them to use/learn about) and non-vegans.
In real life, as mentioned earlier, I’ve participated in and organized activism events. Notably, I’ve organized some Earthlings Experiences in the metro and in grocery stores, a few Vegan Potlucks, leafleting events, and I’ve also taken a minor part in the organization of a Vegan Pop-Up Shop which will be held every month in Montréal. The event was organized by KOFI and Alexandra Bandean, both previously featured on Inspirational Souls.
Furthermore, I’ve participated in vigils, protests, and marches.
I also use my scientific background to help friends, family and people in general with evidence-based nutrition.
Do you miss any non-Vegan foods?
No, as everything can be veganized with a bit of imagination
What is your favorite Vegan meme?
What is your favorite Vegan stereotype? If someone asks you a question about it, how do you respond?
The myth that vegans lack protein is definitely the one I’ve encountered the most. I typically respond with questions like:
-How much does a person need per day on average?
-How much do you consume and how much do you think I consume daily?
Most people don’t know the answer to those questions, nor do they know the name of the condition associated with protein deficiency, as it is so rare it’s practically never encountered in the western world: kwashiorkor. I’ve had some interesting discussions with a few individuals, however, and evidence is usually provided to back my claims.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
ChuChai, it’s simply splendiferous.
What’s your favorite recipe? Please share it.
Crazyvegankitchen’s tiramisu. Everyone has loved it, whether they are vegan or have lived in Italy or not.
What is the one big stereotype you hear about Vegans that you want to dispel?
Veganism is nutritionally inadequate and expensive.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
Inform yourself, talk to other vegans, try to partake in events near you (or organize some if none exist): This will help with your sanity, especially if your non-vegan relatives aren’t supportive.
Are you a cruelty-Free vegan?
I don’t like the term “cruelty-free”. Being a vegan is minimizing the harm done, and it is the least one can do, but there are many other things a person can do to lower their impact even further: living in a zero-waste home, shopping less and more consciously, etc.
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
Druide, Green Beaver and Dr. Bronner’s.