Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a vegan psychologist and bodybuilder in Sydney Australia. I work in animal protection and have been fortunate enough to work in animal advocacy in several groups for over a decade. This year I am running for Parliament for the Animal Justice Party.
You can find Emma online here:
Facebook – EmmahurstAJP
What lead you to veganism?
I’ve been vegan for 19 years. I went vegetarian when I was young once I made the connection between a hen purring from happiness and my cat purring in a similar way while hugging him. I thought, “If I can’t eat my cat, I can’t eat this hen.” Years later I read online about the horrors in the dairy and egg industry and went vegan overnight educating myself on everything I needed to know as I knew then I wanted to dedicate my life to ending animal suffering from the hands of humans.
When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?
I eliminated animal products immediately. I kept a few pairs of leather shoes and a silk dress. I thought I would wear them out, but I couldn’t bring myself to wear them knowing of the animal suffering so ended up donating them to a charity.
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into products?
I used to run an animal club for children ages 5 to 12. We used to talk about farming methods and I taught them about battery-caged egg farming. They got very angry. I recall one boy raised his voice and asked, “What are you doing? When we are adults this won’t be happening.” Their responses to animal suffering are so genuine- we should certainly be teaching children compassion towards animals- and if we feel we need to hide the truth from children, well that just shows there is something wrong with farming and killing animals.
What does being vegan mean to you?
My mantra is non-violence and compassion for all. My compassion certainly extends to humans, despite the fact that humans are the primary cause for so much animal suffering. When I was a child I avoiding ants on footpaths and asked others to do the same. I still can’t kill a mosquito!
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist? What form of activism do you take part in?
We need as many voices for the animals as possible. We can all do our bit to help spread awareness – that could be showing how amazing vegan food is, or attending protests. I work in media and campaigning and spend almost every day spreading the word in any way I can.
Any recommended vegan books, social sites, or blogs?
Check out https://nsw.animaljusticeparty.org/
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant
Vina in Newtown followed by Gelato Blue for dessert 🙂
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
As a bodybuilder, I eat mostly fruit, vegetables, tofu, and protein powder! One of my favorites is 300g silken tofu, 2 Tbs nutritional yeast, 1 tsp turmeric, and tsp of apple cider vinegar- scramble over low
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
It becomes second nature before you know it. Your health will improve, your mindset will be clearer and your conscious calm 🙂
What is the vegan scene like in your city?
We have one of the fastest growing vegan markets in the world- come join us!
What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?
Join an active animal group- a lot of groups have meetings and dinners so you can combine activism with making friends.
What does living cruelty-free mean to you?
Avoiding cruelty wherever possible- makeup, clothes, food.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need
Weight lifting belts and motorbike jackets that aren’t so expensive 😉
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism
To be honest I have traveled in the outback of Australia and still never struggled. I have only ever struggled with the negative attitudes from people who are threatened by my veganism. I have overcome this though as I realize that these people are coming from a place where they are threatened- they feel guilty and making fun of me or attacking me makes them feel more confident they don’t need to change. I see this as an opportunity now- they can get rid of that guilt they are pushing away simply by considering vegan as an option.