My name is Géraldine. I’m 30 years old and best known as @eatwithfingers on Instagram. I recently moved back to my country, Mauritius, after spending nearly 7 years in Austria. My husband and I are working on a project at the moment – opening a vegan coffee shop – which will be a new concept on the island. I create daily vegan recipes and keep in touch with the vegan community on Instagram and our blog, which is under construction but please bookmark it! www.eatwithfingers.com.
What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?
In October 2013, I admitted that I was unhappy with my physical appearance and how I was feeding my body. That’s how my health journey started. 3 months later, I realized that this was not enough. While reading and gathering information about nutrition, I came across some vegan foodists. Their passion to live a cruelty-free life was fascinating. I immediately knew that this is how I wanted to spend the rest of my life. I began to eliminate animal products step-by-step from my nutrition then gave myself a deadline and it was on new year eve 2014. My transition from a meat eater to a plant-based lifestyle took one year.
How long have you been Vegan?
My vegan journey started in January 2015 .
Why is being Vegan important to you?
Being vegan is giving equal rights to every individual. Animals are individuals with unique personalities and emotions just like cats and dogs. They are intelligent and wants to have a free life just like us humans.
Do you have a blog or favorite vegan blog you read?
After reading inspirational souls, I highly recommend it because I enjoy reading vegan stories. Some month ago, I created the hashtag #shareloveback which is basically a mini concept like yours to promote veganism. I ask new vegans, veteran vegans, and those in transition to a plant-based diet to share their journey to inspire others to start and it gets a positive response on Instagram.
Any recommended Vegan books?
Veganism is self-teaching to be able to live in harmony with oneself and the world. I recommend reading Eckhart Tolle and Dale Carnegie.
Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other?
I love watching vegan vlogs on Youtube and Instagram is a positive community where everyone is supportive.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
My Youtube channel, eatwithfingers by Geraldine, is a fun part of my life when I want to stimulate my creativity. I share recipes and will vlog in a near future.
Do you actively promote veganism? How? Please share any stories you would like.
@eatwithfingers promotes veganism on a daily basis. I want to inspire people to believe in themselves, to understand that we don’t need to make other beings suffer to satisfy our taste and our life. Vegan food tastes better.
Do you miss any non-Vegan foods?
Not at all. It happens that I think about a non-vegan food and nowadays everything is easy to vegan-ize.
What is your favorite Vegan meme?
I love Vegan Sidekick and when people ask me, “What does a vegan eat?”.
What is your favorite Vegan stereotype? If someone asks you a question about it, how do you respond?
People think that vegan means being skinny and lacking energy. This is not true. I lift heavy at the gym, even more than non-vegans. The main reasons behind going vegan for me were to stop exploiting animals, protect the environment, and share love and compassion.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
My favorite restaurant is Dancing Shiva in Vienna, Austria. It is a place where you can enjoy a delicious raw vegan brunch.
What’s your favorite recipe?
Nice cream of course! No precise recipe needed. Just blend some frozen bananas with other frozen fruits or raw cacao powder, raisins or dates to give a sweeter taste. That’s it.
What is the one big stereotype you hear about Vegans that you want to dispel?
That being a vegan means healthy and lose weight. Veganism comes in all shape and it does not automatically mean healthy food. There is a big range from raw vegan to junk for every taste.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
Since I went vegan, the only regret I have is losing so many years supporting a cruel animal industry and being blind to the truth. Remember that we all feel this at a point but don’t be harsh on yourself. Willingness to start a vegan lifestyle is already a good beginning. Inform yourself, teach yourself. You don’t have to buy fancy vegan products; cooking is cheaper and will encourage you to keep moving. If you miss a non-vegan food, don’t worry, just go on the internet and you will find thousands of vegan versions. Please, think of being more than a dietary vegan. Be a voice for the voiceless. Be kind. Be humble.
Are you a cruelty-Free vegan?
I try my best not to support any form of cruelty and unfairness which is sometimes hard.
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
Mauritius has some good vegan clothes. My favorite is the ethical boutique Vintidui, handmade and unique pieces. They have an online shop.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
Since I moved to Mauritius, I find it hard to be ethical vegan. I am having difficulties finding body cream, shower gel, and makeup. Using coconut oil under this heat is burning my skin. I can skip the makeup till I have access to vegan ones. As for the shower gel, I need to read a lot until I can find one.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
Some weeks ago, my neighbors were putting traps on mango trees to hunt bats. They wanted to eat them. I was not able to defend those poor creatures. Fortunately, some other neighbors were courageous enough to make this stop.
How do you encourage others to be vegan?
A passive approach is the best way to encourage someone to go vegan. The obvious one will be food as we first eat with our eyes. There are so many easy delicious vegan recipes and nowadays food presentation is trendy thus encourage people to give a plant-based nutrition a try.