Hello, my name is Rachel Finan. I am English and moved to Toronto, Canada in 2004 with work ‘for 2 years’ and here is where my heart is now. I identify as Canadian. I am 38 years old, live in Leslieville in a beautiful old house with 2 bunnies and 2 fostered guinea pigs currently. I am a recruitment professional who specializes in Human Resources recruitment. I work closely with clients to take them through business transformations as well as contingency based recruitment for all roles that fall under HR. I have worked for my company for 16 years.
What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?
My story starts when I was about 2.5 years old. For Sunday dinner, my mum had made lamb chops and I asked her if the baa lamb in my book was the same as the lamb chop on my plate. There and then, I stopped eating meat that had the same name as what it was. I never liked any pork products but beef took be to be about 5 years old to realize it was a cow. I think my mum wishes she had told me now but in the early eighties, it wasn’t easy to know that I was getting the right nutrition. I will always be grateful to my mum for making 2 separate meals to allow me to have my choice. Fast forward 34 years as a vegetarian and I started to learn about the dairy and egg industry from my friends Derek Walter and Steven Jenkins – aka Esther the Wonder Pig’s dads and that’s when I made the full connection and ultimately, the full switch to vegan.
How long have you been Vegan?
Why is being Vegan important to you?
Animal liberation is my one of my life’s purposes. From my story, you can tell that I am hugely compassionate and was likely born that way. I believe that a life is a life, whether it is a spider, a whale, an elephant or a human. No-one wants to die at the hand of another. Vegan isn’t about what I eat, it is the desire to do as little harm as possible to all living beings, the earth, and my own soul.
Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other?
Toronto Vegans, Vegans United, What Vegans Eat…. There are so many. I invite you to join your local branch of Direct Action Everywhere and Anonymous for the Voiceless – the peaceful disruptions and outreach I have done with these organizations has been both massively impactful to others who are awakening to the cruelty on their plate and incredibly satisfying to me. My legacy is through every life I have touched. I lobby the Canadian Government as part of Mercy For Animals’ campaign to drastically improve transport regulations – change often starts within government legislation.
Do you actively promote veganism?
See above. I share lots on my social media too and after posting the MFA undercover investigation at Lilydale chicken farms, I have had 7 people this week reach out to me to help them go vegan.
What is your favorite Vegan meme?
The one where you are at the pearly gates and St Peter says ‘now you will face everyone you killed’ the person says ‘but I didn’t…’ looks behind and sees all the animals they killed.
What is the vegan stereotype you hear the most and how do you respond to it?
But protein…. Lol, I say I obviously don’t get any so I am about to die…
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
Planta and Fresh
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
Honestly? Avocado on crumpets. I eat it every day
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
Be kind to yourself. Always do your best. Learn and grow. I don’t think you should take baby steps, you should go fully vegan overnight but if you slip, forgive yourself and carry on.
What does living cruelty-free mean to you?
Do NO HARM wherever possible. I don’t kill spiders, I choose cruelty-free products wherever possible, I know I can do more re: consumption and waste, I am learning about that too. It also means spreading the message through love based communication and education.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
Agar agar, anyone?? Lol and liquid smoke/amino acids
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
Never. Not since I made the switch. I only wish I had made it sooner.
What is one question you would ask other Vegans? Please answer it.
How can we make more people wake up and see the light? Mobilize, work together, spread the message of love and nonviolence