Tell us a little about yourself.
I live on the Gold Coast in Australia, where I have an acreage property with native animals living in the surrounding bush such as koalas, wallabies, hares, turkeys, possums, snakes, goannas, kangaroos and foxes. I work for an Australian snack food company with an entirely vegan product range.
What lead you to veganism?
In my teenage years I had acute bodily acne. Doctors said my acne wasn’t diet related. At the age of 16 I read Prof Arnold Ehret’s book “The Mucusless Diet”. I was so inspired at what I learnt about diet and fasting that I literally went raw vegan overnight! Within a week all my acne had cleared! From a health perspective there was no turning back. And that was 38 years ago!
When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?
When I went vegan, I was still living with my parents, and Mum usually cooked the meals, so it was very easy for me to just start eating fruit and veggies and ignore everything else! I’d never bought clothes or other items with animal products in them, so that was not a problem.
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into products?
I believe it’s child abuse for parents to brainwash their children into thinking that eating animals is ok. All of us are born vegan with natural compassion in our heart, and children know it’s wrong to hurt others. We need to encourage their natural compassion through kind education. Explaining to them that animals want to be loved and treated kindly, just like we do.
What does being vegan mean to you?
My vegan credo is “Do No Harm” and this applies to all living beings; animals, plants, humans and the planet. From a young age, I resonated strongly with Gandhi’s principle of non-violence; Ahimsa (kindness and compassion in thought, word, and deed). So my ideal way to behave is to always strive for treating others with kindness, compassion, love, and respect. In a practical sense, this translates to relocating bugs and spiders outdoors, to only eating at fully vegan restaurants (unless there’s no one in the area) and to purchasing from cruelty-free companies where possible.
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?
The decision to become vegan is a form of personal activism, setting an example for others to follow. I originally went vegan for health reasons, so I often find “food activism” to be an effective way of educating pre-vegans. I’ve participated in street activism, but I do most of my activism online, through my social media posts and YouTube videos. For the last 3
Any recommended vegan books, social sites, or blogs?
“Why Become Vegan” book by Sandra Kimler and “The Mucusless Diet” book by Prof Arnold Ehret.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
Forks Over Knives. Cowspiracy. What The Health. Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Dominion. Earthlings. Unity.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
I love the simplicity of raw vegan desserts. Banana and chia slice: Base is 20 medjool dates and 4 cups dessicated coconut blended together and pressed into cake pan, then popped into freezer. Top: 1 can coconut cream, 20 medjool dates, 8 tablespoons coconut oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence, 3 bananas and 1/4 cup chia seeds. Blend together and pour onto base. Freeze. When frozen, move to fridge to thaw and cut into slices. Enjoy!
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
In 2018 the amount of vegan resources, awareness, support and products available make going vegan a breeze. When it comes to food, there are vegan options popping up everywhere. There’s vegan documentaries, support groups, cooking channels, activists, celebrities, festivals, markets, tours, vegan supermarkets, home-delivered vegan food, vegan politicians, vegan dating sites and many fully-vegan, ethical companies. It’s so easy to choose compassion over cruelty, to choose life over death.
What is the vegan scene like in your city?
Thriving! My home town of the Gold Coast has 17 fully vegan eateries and a vegan supermarket, which also delivers Australia-wide! And then there’s another 30 fully vegan eateries to the north in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. And that’s not counting vegetarian places with vegan options. We have regular vegan markets, political events, information nights and weekly activism events. My Vegan Life meetup group has fortnightly social gettogethers.
What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?
Join a local vegan meetup group to meet like-minded people in your area. Get involved with activist groups such as Anonymous for the Voiceless. Visit vegan markets, festivals and vegan restaurants and shops.
What does living cruelty-free mean to you?
Do No Harm as much as possible.
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
I don’t have a favourite non-vegan food product or company.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
Shopping for vegan shoes, because I need to try them on in person for size, and they’re easy to order online, but harder to get to in person.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
I don’t think I’ve ever struggled with my veganism, but I’ve struggled many times with the ignorance of those around me, and their refusal to choose compassion over cruelty.