Being Vegan, Vegan Being: Heidi Caterina – I Felt Like I had Been Lied to for My Entire Life.

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Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve been living in London for almost 5 years now. I work as an actress, model and singer. Above all that, my life’s work is to promote veganism off and online. My main platforms to speak for the animals are instagram @heidicaterina and youtube @heidicaterina. Youtube is mainly for my Finnish speaking viewers.

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What lead you to veganism? How long ago? 

I was struggling with my skin and energy levels almost 4 years ago. I was googling dietary tips for constant tiredness and that’s when I discovered vegan related videos on youtube. I spend hours on watching Freelee, That vegan couple and Bite Size Vegan. On the 23rd November 2015, I went vegan and I haven’t looked back ever since. 

When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?

I went vegan overnight so eating vegan was easy, but I was still debating whether I should keep my non-vegan clothing. I sold all my non-vegan items except for an old back bag which is was bought back in 2011. I don’t use it often, but when I do, I have lots of appreciation for the bag because I know that someone was murdered for this bag to be made. 

Do you make any exceptions for yourself or if you are married with kids – your family, when it comes to veganism?

I am not planning to have kids anytime soon. The condition of our home aka the planet Earth, makes me question whether bringing a child to this world is a wise decision. The idea of feeding my child(ten) which dead animals is unnecessary. We get all the required nutrients from plants. I am more than happy to make vegan meals for my child(ren) for school. My family/siblings are very into plant based diet. I don’t see any problem with that. The world is changing and people are becoming more aware that WFPB diet is good us.

Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?

When they are old enough to see it, yes. But until then, I will educate my kids and tell them that we don’t eat our friends. 

What does being vegan mean to you?

It means that we need to cause the least amount of suffering towards others. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about justice and fighting was is right. It’s impossible to be 100% vegan because just walking down the street, I might kill a bug or a spider. There’s a difference between consciously and subconsciously killing someone. I do support vegan items that do have non-vegan items. It’s all about supply and demand. We vote with our money. When we support the vegan items, they will start producing more and more vegan items until there’s no demand for non-vegan items. I want to be compassionate to my own species, but there are moments where I wanna move to an island with bunch of alpacas. When people are trying to justify their reasons to eat animals with no valid reasons, it makes you sad. 

Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?

That’s how we make the change. I am not saying you must be activist, but without activist, the animals don’t have a voice. Without the activist, people wouldn’t know what’s happening inside the slaughterhouse. The animals need us, therefore we must use our voice. For example, if you’re posting vegan food on your social media, that’s you being an activist. You’re showing the world that you can eat delicious food without causing unnecessary suffering towards animals. 

How compassionate or empathetic are you towards non-vegans?

I used to be one of them. I try my best to educate them because people should know what they are supporting. We need to start making more conscience decisions. But those who do know what happens, have seen slaughterhouse videos and watched all the documentaries, I try my best to ignore them. There’s so much I can take until it starts to consume me.

Any recommended Vegan books?

How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger.- Proteinaholic by Dr. Garth Davis.- The Cheese Trap by Dr. Neal Barnard

Any recommended social sites, blogs or pages?
 Cruelty Free Kitty which is the ultimate cruelty-free/vegan guide for makeup and cosmetics.- if I need to do research on anything vegan diet related. – On youtube, I enjoy watching MadFit, EarthingEd, Mic the Vegan, James Aspey and Joey Carbstrong videos. (They are all vegan ofc).

Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?

Melancholia and The Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind are one of my favorites. You can follow me on instagram @heidicaterina.

What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?

I can only say just one? In this case, I must say PUREZZA!!!!! Other favorites are Vurger Co., Pho Restaurant, Deliciously Ella, CookDaily… (and list goes on and on).

Please share your favorite vegan recipe?

Pasta bolognese.

  • Cook gluten free pasta. 
  • The sauce: garlic – onion – mushrooms – courgetti- aubergine – tomato passata-spinach-black beans-green pepper bell-coconut milk-pepper-herbs-smoked paprika
  • Finish with vegan cheese or nutritional yeast. 

Some encouraging words for new Vegans?

You are not alone. Keep fighting for justice! And if you need vegan friends, participate vegan groups on facebook.

What is the vegan scene like in your city?

London is a vegan paradise. I don’t have any complains except I wish there were more gluten free vegan donuts available.

What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?

Join FB vegan groups, join protests, go to vegan meet-ups or find local vegans on instagram and ask them to hang out sometime! 🙂 

What does living cruelty-free mean to you?

It’s means trying to harm animals and the environment practical as far as is possible and practicable.

From eating animals to loving them.

What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?

I do sometimes buy Magnum vegan almond ice cream. 

What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?

Right now I don’t think there’s any. Maybe one day, when I have my own place, I’d like to have a sofa that was made of a vegan leather. 

Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?

I guess the beginning was the hardest. I felt like I had been lied to for my entire life. The real difficulty in being vegan doesn’t involve food. The hardest part about being vegan is coming face to face with the darker side of humanity and trying to remain hopeful. It’s trying to understand why otherwise good and caring people continue to participate in needless violence against animals – just for the sake of their sensory pleasure or convenience. 

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