Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Anca-Monica, I’m currently working out of London and I’m The Vegan Model. Not just a model but a vegan and sustainable role model. I write essays on www.ancamonica.com about ethical issues mainly within the fashion industry. I also share on Instagram how one can dress and live in a cruelty-free way without compromising on style.
What lead you to veganism? How long ago?
A few years ago I had a lightbulb moment that we shouldn’t exploit animals for our convenience, so I became vegan. A dear friend of mine who’s been vegan for over 26 years guided me through the process of transitioning and now I want to help others.
When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?
There weren’t as many vegan options a few years ago. When I had a lightbulb moment I stopped consuming animal products instantly. Once you see the truth there’s no going back. After I realized what animals go through, I knew I would never touch meat again. Then, it took me 2-3 weeks to relearn how to cook and eat but I did it because I placed the well being of another species before my taste buds. Nowadays there are so many delicious vegan options available the transition isn’t difficult. Especially this Veganuary! I’m pleasantly surprised each time I see another place adding vegan options to their menu.
Do you make any exceptions for yourself or if you are married with kids – your family, when it comes to veganism?
Veganism is a black or white thing. There’s no place for compromise. I never make exceptions no matter who. Many people find it difficult to be vegan during family gatherings because they’re afraid to not be perceived as disrespectful if they refuse non-vegan food. But I always put my moral values and my love for animals in front of my fear of how I would be perceived. If I would have children yes they would be vegan 100%, no exceptions.
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?
Absolutely! I believe that if people knew the truth about what’s happening in farms all of us would be vegan. It’s a reality that we should not be afraid to show our children. They deserve to know the truth so they can make well-informed choices, rather than adopt a lifestyle of willful ignorance based on the delusions the meat marketing experts serve us.
What does being vegan mean to you?
Veganism for me means adopting a lifestyle that does not inflict harm on other species, which includes bugs and bees. With regards to vegan companies, I don’t believe a company is really vegan if they’re owned by a non-vegan parent company. It’s most likely green-washing. True vegans are in business for their beliefs, not for money. Lastly, I treat humans as still the same as before going vegan.
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?
Yes! We all have to speak up for the voiceless and do our part to end speciesism. The ones of us who have our eyes open to the truth have a duty to try and inspire others to change.
How compassionate or empathetic are you towards non-vegans?
I will release in 2 days an article on my site about the topic – Should Vegans be Tolerant?
Any recommended Vegan books?
Animal Liberation by Peter Singer. Truly eye-opening!
Any recommended social sites, blogs or pages?
http://www.stylewithasmile.co/ – Love her work and dedication. One of my favorite fashion bloggers out there!
https://consciousfashioncampaign.com – Engaging fashion industry events to commit to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
https://www.dominionmovement.com – Dominion! A must watch for everyone.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
The Retreat Kitchen in Richmond. One of the coziest and friendliest family-owned businesses I have ever been to.
Please share your favorite vegan recipe.
Definitely wild rice with smoked tofu, avocado, and rocket salad, topped with hemp and sesame seeds, and nutritional yeast.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
Never forget why you went vegan in the first place. Don’t compromise on your moral values, and never let people or situations drag you off your path.
What is the vegan scene like in your city?
Lucky for me, London is one of the leading Vegan capitals at the moment. I’m amazed at how easy it is to become vegan here. There’s literally a vegan option in every place you’ll visit.
What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?
You should get in touch with your local vegan community. Also, Facebook groups are really helpful.
What does living cruelty-free mean to you?
I’m kind to all beings, but animals deserve kindness more than humans. I will treat people according to their individual traits by which they deserve to be treated.
What are your favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
Osier Studio – Coolest vegan handbags
Fabrikk – High tech and innovative cork accessories
Emani Cosmetics – Best moisturizing serum to ever touch my skin
Ferron – One of the most versatile handbags ever
La Enviro – The Vegan Watch I got most complimented on.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
I didn’t come across anything yet that I could not find a vegan version of. And honestly, I doubt I will.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
One of the most difficult things as a vegan is traveling to countries where the vegan scene is basically non-existent. Eating out with friends can be a struggle but one can plan in advance and research where to eat delicious vegan meals. There’s no reason ever that’s good enough to stop being vegan.