Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Chloe Tesla, I’m 28 and I live in Paris. I’ve been an anti-speciesist for 6.5 years and I share about my vegan lifestyle every day on social networks, especially on my Instagram: @chloe_tesla. I’ve been working as a professional model for 9 years now.
What lead you to veganism? How long ago?
I became vegan 6.5 years ago, on September 10th in 2013, after being vegetarian for 2 years (2011). I turned vegetarian after watching the documentary « Earthlings » and vegan after more researches and watching « The most important speech you will ever hear » by Gary Yuorofsky.
I started being vegetarian in 2011. I immediately felt the need to go in the streets to speak up for the animals. My family (parents and brother) followed me in both vegetarianism and veganism.
When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?
When my family and I stopped eating animals, we decided to give all the meat and fish to my grand-parents. For clothes, we gave away some of our items that weren’t vegans but we honestly didn’t have many things as we were mostly buying from fast fashion shop, not from big brands (so mainly synthetic fabrics).
Do you make any exceptions for yourself or if you are married with kids – your family, when it comes to veganism?
I don’t have children and I don’t want any by choice. I’m really aware of the ecological context of the planet and I think it would be irresponsible to bring any other human being on a planet that can’t already bear us anymore. I’m anti-natalist and the difference is important to me. I’m, however, totally open to adoptions.
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?
Yes. I do! Everyone deserves to know the truth and make their own choices according to the facts. Children are perfectly capable of saying if they want to go on eating animals or no when we show/explain to them what animals go through. Animals are friends, not food and children know it if you let them a choice.
What does being vegan mean to you? For example, does it extend to not killing bugs and bees? Does it include not patronizing vegan companies owned by non-vegan parent companies?
For me, being vegan means not supporting animal exploitation anymore, in any form. When you understand you don’t need to use animals to live a healthy and comfortable life, there is no excuse to keep on using them.
I don’t kill bugs and bees because I’ve been raised this way since I was a child. I have trouble coping with mosquitos as they are the only one attacking humans for food and can transmit diseases. I wish I was able to buy only from vegan brands and vegan brand owners but things are a bit more complicated. I buy my food mostly in organic shops but organic shops sell animal products so, of course, I’m not happy to support them. But I don’t have many choices here. I try to do my best, always. I’m vegan and there isn’t any exception that would make me stop being vegan. But I find it hard (not to say impossible) to only finance fully vegan businesses.
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?
I think it is! Because if not us, who? I’ve done plenty of different actions for the animals over the past 9 years, but with time I understood that every vegan is different even though we share strong core values.
Some vegans are good at cooking/launching a cookbook, some vegans are good at raising awareness in the streets, some vegans are good at speaking for the animals on TV or through a YouTube channel and some vegans are good at direct illegal actions and saving lives in factory farms.
I think we need everybody but some actions are more powerful and efficient than others.
How compassionate or empathetic are you towards non-vegans?
I would say I’m not that compassionate and empathetic towards nonvegans and I am less and less. When I became vegetarian almost 10 years ago, I was compassionate towards nonvegetarians and was always trying to explain, show documentaries, give advice, etc. But back in the days, people didn’t really know about animal abuses, there weren’t as many videos, pictures, information, etc. Today, things have changed and I would say a huge majority of the world population now know how much animal suffers for human greed and how easy and healthy it is to go vegan. So, my patience really has limits now.
Any recommended Vegan books?
Eternal Treblinka » by Charles Patterson. This book is explaining and showing the similarities between animal exploitation and the Holocaust.
Any recommended social sites, blogs or pages?
Instagram: @unoffensiveanimal @weanimals
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
The most important speech you will ever hear » by Gary Yuorofsky
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
So many amazing vegan restaurants in London, Paris, Los Angeles, etc.! It’s hard to choose but if I have to choose one in Paris, I would say ‘Tien Hiang’. It’s a vegetarian Asian restaurant (95% vegan options) serving mock meat and fish in Bo Bun, Pad Thai, spring rolls… etc.
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
Here is the recipe of my everyday smoothie: One banana, a handful of frozen raspberries, 2 dates, some cashew nuts, a vanilla protein powder scoop from ‘Vivo’ and water.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
They only thing you will regret by going vegan is that you haven’t gone before!
What is the vegan scene like in your city?
I live in Paris (which is a capital) so I would say that it is where the vegan scene is the biggest in France and it’s growing! But I’ve traveled a lot and I have to say that France is generally really late in the term of vegan options and open-mindedness on the matter.
What does living cruelty-free mean to you? Does it extend to the way you as a vegan treats other humans too?
Totally! I have a cruelty free lifestyle concerning animals but it doesn’t mean my lifestyle is perfect and 100% ethical.
Going vegan made me conscious of the world I live in and I’ve changed so much in the last years. Apart from being vegan, I almost don’t shop anymore, I avoid fast fashion as much as possible, I’m going towards minimalism, I want to buy only fair trade and sustainable items, I try to eat local, travel less by plane… etc.
It’s a global consciousness and lifestyle: animals, humans & nature all in one!
What are your favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
For cosmetics, I love « Oden » natural oils. Zao makeup » for my organic makeup. Matt & Nat » for bags.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
Nothing really… I find everything I need in a vegan version and I generally try to need less and less 🙂
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
I only struggle with veganism with my job. Working as a vegan model in the fashion and commercial industry is a BIG challenge. I’ve refused loads of professionals contracts (=money) over the years but I can’t control everything. I try my best and always speak up for the animals to the teams I’m working on it and I hope I’m inspiring some of them to go vegan.